With the announcement this week that British Airways will in March 2017 commence direct flights to the Bay Area city of Oakland, California, UK fans of the Raiders and Warriors just got closer to the teams they support. The four flights per week out of Gatwick will allow fans of Oakland sports another option for getting to the West Coast more quickly, in addition to the Norwegian Airlines flights already on offer. BA will be utilising a Boeing 777 on the route and have announced return fares coming in at less than £400 p/p including tax.
Oakland is a great place for fans of West Coast sports to base themselves. Just a 20 minute ride from San Francisco, the city is home to the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and hosts the Golden State Warriors of the NBA. Currently the Raiders sit atop their division and look to be a serious contender for the first time in years – which should become a regular trend under young quarterback Derek Carr and his double threat receiver tandem of Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. Meanwhile the Warriors’ signing of hoops legend Kevin Durant in the off-season makes them many people’s favourites to lift the NBA title again this season, after coming so close last season. If you’re visiting in the summer or early autumn, there is also the opportunity to check out the Oakland A’s (who share the Coliseum with the Raiders) and the San Francisco Giants, whose AT&T Ballpark overlooks San Francisco Bay.
Aside from the sports, the area is also fantastic for exploration by British tourists. Oakland itself is home to the beautiful Lake Merritt, as well as the Museum of California and Redwood Regional Park. Over the bridge you have San Francisco, home of the world famous Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf. And for the more adventurous, hiring a car can take you through wine country where you can explore Sonoma County and the Napa Valley, while beach towns such as Santa Cruz are a couple of hours south.