November 18th, 2015
Traffic control was pitiful. It took over 1.5 hours to travel roughly 3 miles and I, along with many many others, ended up being directed from one side of the stadium to the other side of the stadium to a parking lot across the freeway from O.co Coliseum. After walking to the stadium and standing in a moderately long line, I was told I could not bring my Nikon 14-24mm lens into the stadium. I checked both the O.co Coliseum and the Raiders stadium policy and rules on the internet the day before I flew to Oakland. It clearly stated lenses up to 6 inches were allowed. Security personnel have a card the size of a credit card that they check the lens length with. In short, the Raiders have a 3 inch max length rule like the Cowboys and the 49ers. The difference is, they don't mention that on their website. Talking my way up the chain of command of security personnel got me nowhere. The lower level security personnel were good...I have no issues with their professionalism. The head of security...he was a prick. That guy needs to work on his people skills.
Back to my rental vehicle I went. I exchanged the rejected lens for a fish-eye lens and back to the stadium I went. I was directed away from the original gate because they said it was over crowded. Off to another gate I went along with everybody else. After a 45 minute wait and not moving hardly at all, those at the back of the line left the non-moving gate and went back to the "over-crowded" gate where it was now empty. I finally made it into the stadium. By the time I got to my seat, the first quarter ended.
Pictures were hard to come by. I bought a 1st row upper deck ticket, but the first row is 6 feet away from the railing because of the walkway. There is no standing allowed at the railing and they are on you quick. All my photos were taken via step up to railing, snap a photo, then move.
I'm hoping this write-up will help other photographers with their O.co Coliseum experience.
If you are going just to photograph the game, there is no need to rent a car. BART will take you from the airport to the stadium. Travel time between the airport and Coliseum is 8 minutes. If you are going for more than a football game, but the football game is your first stop, I recommend taking BART to the game, then going back to the airport, then jump on the shuttle bus to pick up your rental car.
What I haven't figured out yet is, if you have a camera bag, you'll need a place to put it while you go to the game. Does anybody know if the Oakland airport has lockers?