Laney College Football Field - Oakland Roots SC
Photos by Meg Minard,, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86
Laney College Football Field
900 Fallon St
Oakland, CA 94607
Year Opened: 1962 Capacity: 5,500
Do you think the Athletics are the only sports team in Oakland, CA? Think again. Only a few years in existence, the Oakland Roots SC draw large crowds during the soccer season. The club is a member of the USL-C, the second level of soccer in the United States. It began its remarkable venture in 2019 as a member of NISA (National Independent Soccer Association) and moved to the USL-C in 2021.
Oakland business people who pride themselves on being Oakland community-based own the Roots. Food trucks are all local; Oakland artists perform prematch entertainment. The away-game pub partners are community bars and tap houses.
It’s all quite impressive. The owners and community should be proud of their team and organization.
The Oakland Roots SC play their home games at Laney College’s football field. The college is a public community college near Lake Merritt and has a reputation for diversity and high-quality technical training.
Food & Beverage 4
The food choices are amazing. Yummy local food trucks line closed-off 10th Street. Just a few of the fares offered are:
Mediterranean (gyros, rice dishes, and salads)
Pupusas, Nachos, Tacos (Guatemalan and Mexican)
Coolinaria (contemporary Mexican using locally sourced ingredients)
Munchiez (comfort food and sweets)
Southern Comfort Kitchen (lots of fried fish choices)
A bar tent offering canned beer, seltzer, cider, and wine is set up along the street as well.
I did not notice any tables or chairs to sit and eat. Fans enjoy their meals by standing up or taking them to their seats.
It’s fantastic to see the variety of cuisines offered and even better that they are local Oakland businesses.
Most of the seating area is on the east side (closest to the campus). It consists of 10 – 12 rows of bleachers facing west. The bleachers do not have handrails installed; for those uneasy on their feet, stay in the handicapped section or top rows. The club ‘brands’ some sections. Mosaic seats are the three sections at center pitch. The first five rows center pitch, padded with bright, multicolored cushions are known as the Mosaic+ seats
Oakland Roots Colorful Mosaic+ Seating, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
The Deep Roots Supporters section is the last two sections on the far south side of the bleachers. Smaller sets of bleachers sit on the west side and are used for overflow and players’ families. The club places individual seats around the pitch, behind the sideline boards, for fans wanting a ‘close to the action’ experience.
Fans cannot walk the entire perimeter of the pitch. The players’ family section is guarded and blocks the circuit.
The Oakland Roots SC uses the football stadium scoreboard that is prominent behind the south goal and shows the time, half, and score. The organization rolls out a soccer-specific modular turf over the football field for the soccer season.
Keeping with the community-based theme, Oakland residents and organizations provide the entertainment. At the match of this review, the Oakland Youth Symphony Orchestra performed pre-game, as did G-Eazy, a noteworthy rapper and producer born in Oakland. Youth soccer clubs kicked the ball around at halftime.
The stadium is on the urban 60-acre Laney College campus less than a mile from Lake Merritt.
For places to eat, several Vietnamese and Thai restaurants are nearby. Closer to the lake are Portal (brunch restaurant) and Tacos Mi Rancho (Mexican). Several breweries are about a mile from the field: Buck Wild Brewing & Taproom, Oakland United Beerworks, Original Pattern Brewing, and Federation Brewery.
Jack London Square, a historic waterfront and marina area with dining, bars, shopping, and entertainment, is only 1 ½ miles from Laney College Football Field.
An excellent museum to visit is the Oakland Museum of California, just a ½ mile from the field.
Most of the hotels are in downtown Oakland, about a mile away. These include a Hampton Inn Oakland Downtown, Ramada by Wyndham, a Marriott, and a Courtyard Marriot.
Only two years in the USL-C, the Oakland community has adopted the Oakland Roots wholeheartedly. It’s a pleasure to see a variety of ethnic groups, families, kids, and young adults rallying around this soccer club. All fans stand up and cheer (or moan) at the action on the pitch. They’re certainly a jolly, boisterous crowd!
Deep Roots, the supporter’s group, creates an electric atmosphere at the matches with drums, flag waving, cheering, and jumping.
A drum line riles up the fans pregame with a spectacular parade along 10th St before the match. Drums, dancers, and a person on stilts stride down the block for all to enjoy.
During the contest, Ryan, a local artist and avid fan, stands behind the goal and paints a landscape of the stadium and the soccer match.
Oakland Roots Local Artist, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Average attendance is 4,600, giving them solid crowds for most matches throughout the season.
Getting to Laney College Football Field is relatively easy as it is right off the I-880 and a ½ mile from the Lake Merritt BART Station. Parking is in the Laney College Student Parking Lot on E 7th St, across from the campus (just look for all the cars), and is free.
The main entrance to the stadium is on E 10th St and 2nd Ave, and fans walk through metal detectors for their security check. Clear bags up to 14” x 6” x 14” are permitted. Security is taken seriously. Gates open an hour before kickoff.
10th St between 2nd and 4th Avenues is closed off for the food trucks and pregame entertainment.
Restrooms are under the press box and bleachers; another set is in a building on the northwest end of the pitch. Expect lines during sold-out matches.
The seating area can get crowded, especially during games that sell out.
Return on Investment 5
A single game ticket price for an Oakland Roots match runs as follows:
GA – $20
Mosaic – $25
Mosaic Plus – $35
Field Seat Endline – $65
Field Seat Sideline – $75
Season tickets and group packages reduce that price. Fans are not charged for parking.
The food prices are what is to be expected in California.
The fans and game day atmosphere are phenomenal. You’ll get your sports entertainment money’s worth at a match here.
The Oakland Roots SC joined the Common Goal movement whose mission is to create positive social change. Participants contribute a minimum of 1% of their salaries to fight social inequality.
“The club was founded with a purpose; to harness the magic of Oakland and the power of sport as a force for social good.” – taken from the Oakland Roots website
The organization is promoting their women’s team counterpart, the Oakland Soul, who will begin play in 2023 in the USL-W league.
Being involved in the city and incorporating community businesses and organizations in aspects of the match day is profoundly evident.
Sports fans of Oakland have definitely embraced their new soccer club, Oakland Roots SC. You’ll find a packed house often throughout the season with passionate, welcoming fans.