It’s up to the fans

Trib reporter Angela Woodall’s writeup of the Keep the A’s in Oakland tailgate ends with the following quote by Let’s Go Oakland’s Doug Boxer:

“Now it’s up to the fans.”

He’s absolutely right. It is up to the fans. It has always been up to the fans. If the A’s had 34,000 – heck, 30,000 – filled seats every night, there would be no question as to whether or not the A’s could and should stay in Oakland. It’s really that simple. 30,000 a night would show that there were enough season tickets, walkup sales, suite and club buys to make it work. That is the challenge. That is why the question exists.

We can go on all day and night about ownership, or marketing, or the stadium, or a roster without huge stars. What about the fact that the team we love is the Oakland Athletics? Our team. Our passion, which for me has been for 30 years, for the guy sitting next to me tonight at least a decade more. If – and this is a big if – MLB’s process is legitimate, there’s a very simple way to prove that the fanbase here is that rabid.

I’ll gladly trade a little elbow room for some butts in seats. After all, there’s no passion in an empty chair.

82 thoughts on “It’s up to the fans

  1. Definitely felt the Oaklanders in affect last night. Lots of energy and excitement before the onslaught of errors ruined everyone’s mood.

  2. I walked through the area. It looked like a lot of fun.
    .
    One thing, long ago, I suggested is that the A’s embrace a tailgating culture. Find ways to make that make them money. Have a band in the parking lot, set up a roped off area with an outdoor bar, sell tailgating supplies…
    .
    Last night was awesome until Kouzmanoff booted a few. It really felt like 2006, or maybe the late 80’s. I had a great time out at the yard, I hope most of you were out there enjoying it too.
    .
    It’d be great if there were a few more nights like this in the near future, like tonight for instance.

  3. While I wonder how most teams would do regarding attendance with wandering (often unlistenable) radio flagships, poor marketing, and constant threats to move (besides stadium and roster issues), I agree that it’s ultimately up to the fans. Attendance is the one variable that we can and do control. That’s why I continue to be a season ticket holder….and yes, last night was awesome at the tailgates and in the stands, notwithstanding the sloppy performance. I’ll be there tonight and tomorrow as well. Go A’s!

  4. I agree, show up and that will help the Oakland cause big time. Bud is watching. If the 3rd deck wasn’t tarped, there could of been 45k easy last night, just saying.

  5. “Opening Day” is always packed, tarps or no tarps, isn’t it? (Just saying). GJ10, didn’t realize that all of the 36K last night were from the city of Oakland. Friends/family from SJ and Hollister who were there last night will be surprised to find that out.

    • “Opening Day” is always packed, tarps or no tarps, isn’t it? (Just saying).GJ10, didn’t realize that all of the 36K last night were from the city of Oakland.Friends/family from SJ and Hollister who were there last night will be surprised to find that out.

      GJ10 said that he “felt the Oaklanders in effect” last night. Clearly he didn’t say all of the crowd was from Oakland. I have no idea where you got that idea from.

      And I actually understand what GJ10 means. Plenty of fans wearing Oaklandish and “Oakland” t-shirts and what not. If I had a buck every time I saw a “Red Star” Oakland shirt…

  6. I didn’t see anything in GJ10’s comment that even suggested that everyone in the stadium was from Oakland. Then, what do I know? I’m just a trollbaiter.

  7. The parking lot was a huge party and the crowd was great. Totally into it right through the bottom of the eighth when the place emptied out. I didn’t mind though as it made the walk over the BART bridge about as easy as you’ll get with a big crowd. Despite the score it was a great opening night. The weather was great, and the sky at first pitch was beautiful. And best of all: real, live, meaningful baseball was being played. That’s always a good thing. Go A’s!

  8. MarineLayer: This whole “fan’s choice” conjecture is disproven by recent events. The Maloofs, despite the fact that the team has had 100% attendance for 17 out of 26 seasons, are still moving the Kings to Anaheim because Sacramento won’t build them a new stadium (that’s the official reason, anyways). The Chargers seem to be drawing good numbers but threaten to move the team to LA because San Diego won’t build them a new stadium. Also, see the Vikings rumours.

    While attendance plays a role in the ownership’s complaint to MLB, its a red herring. The move is about market size, a stadium as a revenue source, and corporate friendliness.

    • @slooz – I’ve got no argument against what you’re saying about markets. It’s just that if the A’s were drawing 30k it would largely run counter to the market argument, at least locally, since the attendance makeup would broadly cut across multiple demographics and include premium buys. It would be much harder to argue that the East Bay “isn’t enough.” Since the A’s haven’t historically pulled in great attendance, people look for correlation and market is a good start.

      @georob – Embrace your trolling nature.

  9. Great crowd last night, going to be lame when there’s likely 12k at best tonight.

    Strangest anti-current ownership banner I saw was “Fisher = Greed, Finley/Haas = Winners.” Yes, the same Finley that was notoriously cheap, attempted a fire sale so bad it was overturned by the commissioners office and tried to move the team to New Orleans and Denver.

  10. If only the 1/2 of the 45K FB LGO fans showed up every night…..

  11. Great post. Thanks for reinforcing what I have been moaning about for years. Buy tickets, buy season tickets…create a demand. Go to the park often, Make people want to attend and sell them out. At this point, don’t worry so much about when they’re going to get another park or where the park is. Just go enjoy what we have and the rest will fall in line, A well attended franchise is a wealthy franchise and one that will eventually get new digs. Okay…off soapbox.

  12. Yes, apparently some people weren’t born yet when Charlie Finley let MVP-Cy Young winner Vida Blue sit rather than pay him $63,000. Blue ended up signing for $50,000.. I’m headed to the ballpark shortly. I’ll go to the games whether they are in Oakland or San Jose. Would love to hear if any of the pro-Oakland protesters had any ideas on how to pay for a new ballpark there other than “John Fisher is rich and should become a pauper so we can have a new ballpark.” I can understand how they feel but the numbers don’t seem to add up in Oakland. Even Dave Stewart on TV said he’d like to see the team stay in the Oakland area but acknowledged that sometimes “you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

  13. Perhaps this is more accurate than my memory of the Vida Blue holdout:

    “Oakland A’s pitcher Vida Blue ends a long holdout and signs a new contract for
    $63,000 a whopping raise. Blue, who received $14,750 last year as he won the
    American League’s Most Valuable Player and Cy Young awards in his first full
    season with the A’s is happy. The 22-year-old originally asked for $115,000.”

  14. @ML “It’s just that if the A’s were drawing 30k it would largely run counter to the market argument, at least locally, since the attendance makeup would broadly cut across multiple demographics and include premium buys.”
    You haven’t really supported this statement. It is not at all obvious to me that even if the A’s were drawing 30K in attendance each night, the suites would be full. The target market for suites is simply different than for regular seats. If the premium seating and suite demographic is in short supply within the immediate radius of the stadium (and I believe it is), it’s questionable whether the A’s could support a privately-financed ballpark there even if they drew 40K per night.
    Consider: The Raiders have filled 63,000 seats for many games when the team was doing well. I was in the stands for most of those games, and remember the club seats as generally being about half full, if that. And the financial terms offered by the Raiders for those seats is better than most NFL markets.

    • @bartleby – At new ballpark prices you’d be correct. At Coliseum prices I could easily see 30-40 suites sold on a regular basis. That’s not much compared to the sheer volume of suites at the Coli, but that’s not a horrible number for a ballpark these days.

  15. i still wished most of the 3rd deck tarps were pulled off.

    i actually don’t mind the mt davis tarps but as for the third deck maybe keep th tarps with the world series championship years/seasons and every other section other than those should be seats again. it’s obvious wolff’s plan to create a lower capacity hasn’t worked when he put those tarps up in 06. five years of tarps and all the ridicule they get, imo time to take them off or at least the ones i mentioned earlier. imo those third deck seats are pretty good and maybe in somewhat of a goodwill gesture, i know don’t laugh, by the a’s org they could make them family sections seats where the prices are reduced. maybe in “big draw games” like against the nyy, sf, bos, firework games, and other special ocassions they can increase the ticket price of those seats.

  16. Nathan, I’ll be honest… I laughed out loud at the idiocy of that particular spray painted sheet.

  17. Always find the tarp issue interesting- those that want them pulled off would prefer to see 17k in a 45k seat stadium than 17 k in a 36k seat baallpark- bottom line the tarps make the horrible attendance look reasonable on most nights-

    @ML- help me out on your comment if the. MLB process is legit….assume you mean from an Oakland perspective- the fact that MLB is even waiting on the EIR from Oakland is amazing- whether it be Roger Noll or the bulk of the national sports colunists all believe San Jose is a better place from an economic perspective for the A’s- what most folks find as sheer folly is that bs is taking so long to move forward- contrast him to the Kings move to Anaheim which if approved mid-April took all of about 3 months to put together…and that is settling TR rights for 2 teams- not 1- that is the part of this process which begs a legitimacy question

  18. Never been crazy about the 3rd deck tarps, and even the players want them off and packed with fans.
    From a few days ago, Gio Gonzalez:
    “I can see the tarps on the top (deck of the Coliseum) coming off,” Gonzalez said of a best-case visual. “I was talking to Rickey (Henderson) and he said, ‘Man, those tarps were never up when we played.’

  19. I say remove the tarps but plan concessions for the current 35k capacity. If somehow someone on the 3rd deck can’t get a “dawg and a beer” after the 6th inning, oh well.
    Again, its all about the economics.

  20. @ML “At Coliseum prices I could easily see 30-40 suites sold on a regular basis. That’s not much compared to the sheer volume of suites at the Coli, but that’s not a horrible number for a ballpark these days.”
    The suite prices at the Coli are incredibly low relative to what other teams get. The A’s offer deals where a suite goes for something like $1K (and I understand they were bundling them for free with partial season ticket plans this year). In contrast, I believe suites at AT&T Park go somewhere in the $3K – 6K range. (I can’t verify those figures, as the Giants don’t publish suite pricing, so I stand ready to be corrected if I’m wrong about that).
    My point is, the A’s can’t seem to move very many suites at Coli prices in the current Coli. If they build a new ballpark, moving them at Coli prices won’t be good enough; they’ll need to move them at AT&T Park prices. So I guess I’m still taking issue with your original thesis: “If the A’s had 34,000 – heck, 30,000 – filled seats every night, there would be no question as to whether or not the A’s could and should stay in Oakland. It’s really that simple. 30,000 a night would show that there were enough season tickets, walkup sales, suite and club buys to make it work.” If the A’s drew 30,00 fans per night, it would arguably show that there could be adequate regular season ticket and walkup sales in Oakland. However, it would not show that that A’s could sell enough suite and club buys at AT&T Park prices to make a privately-financed ballpark pencil out in Oakland.

    • @bartleby – Good attendance doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There would be network effects from simply having a scene at the Coli. Whether it’s enough is up for debate, but it can’t be easily discounted.

  21. @bartleby — If there were premium, upscale, seating in a new Oakland ballpark… those would be easier to sell. The suites in the Coli are “meh”. Create something new and exciting and they will sell. I’m sure the Giants were not filling whatever club-seating they had at Candlestick, at a high rate.

  22. @chris You echoed my sentiments perfectly. BTW I live in Fremont.

    • @chris You echoed my sentiments perfectly. BTW I live in Fremont.

      Some people have poor reading comprehension.
      BTW, I live in Union City. I just want a new ballpark in the Bay Area period. This means Oakland OR San Jose.

      • Some people have poor reading comprehension.BTW, I live in Union City. I just want a new ballpark in the Bay Area period. This means Oakland OR San Jose.

        Outstanding post Chris! Let’s see: insinuate something in a post (i.e. all the fans in attendance want the A’s to stay in Oakland). When it is rebutted in kind just become insulting and claim the rebuttee has “poor reading comprehension.” Genious! At least you’ll follow the A’s wherever they go in the Bay Area, so I’ll give you legit props on that.

  23. @David At the time the Coli was remodeled, those Coli suites were state-of-the-art. In fact, so far as I can tell, all the remodel accomplished was construction of Mt. Davis, replacement of seats, and addition of club seats and suites. There certainly was little noticeable improvement to the rest of the building. The club seats and suites were kind of the point, because the Raiders keep all that revenue (whereas regular seat revenue is shared).
    From the very beginning, at a time when those club seats and suites were “new and exciting,” it was a fiasco. The Raiders simply could not move that product, despite the fact they only play 10 games at home (including preseason) and despite the fact the Niners have (to my knowledge) no club seats at Candlestick and relatively few suites.
    Now if the Raiders can’t sell club seats/suites in Oakland for 10 games a year with virtually no competition, what chance do the A’s have for 81 games going head-to-head with AT&T Park?
    I’ll say it again: Proximity matters, even more for premium seat customers than regular fans. The indisputable fact is that AT&T Park is significantly more convenient to get to for most large companies in the Bay Area than Oakland.

  24. @ ML “Good attendance doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There would be network effects from simply having a scene at the Coli. Whether it’s enough is up for debate, but it can’t be easily discounted.”
    That’s true as far as it goes. I have no doubt that a “scene” would energize whatever corporate premium seat buyers exist in the East Bay. But you can’t buy product you can’t afford. At $3K to 6K a game (let’s assume) over a multi-year contract, it’s a pretty select group in the target demographic for suites, almost exclusively big companies. And at $70-150 per game for club seats, it’s also a select group, still primarily big companies. I know a lot of folks you would consider high-income individuals who would never consider paying that much out of their own pockets for regular season baseball games, at least not on an extended commitment basis. When the vast majority of this demographic has easier access to AT&T Park, I just don’t see how the A’s could consistently draw enough to pay the note on a privately-financed yard. You have to admit it would be a big risk, to say the least.

  25. Oh well. Just got home. 15,088 attendance – 2,500 less than the Sharks had tonight. Pathetic. (BTW, it took me 35 minutes to get from just outside downtown San Jose to the Coliseum – with some traffic. So the A’s moving to San Jose wouldn’t be much of a burden at all for East Bay fans.)

  26. @jk- too bad those tarps where on tonight- needed another 10,000 seats so the15k that were there had more seating options- and the beat goes on in Oakland- 15k on a nice Saturday evening- with the early start time Making it better for families with kids- Sharks had their usual sellout- nearly 2k more than Oakland-

  27. It was free calendar night, the weather was perfect, early evening start – everything in place for what should have been 30,000 in attendance. Instead, it’s the usual 15,000 – with many sections having from 0 to 5 people. Can see why players like Adrian Beltre simply don’t want to play in Oakland. We sure could have used him tonight.

  28. Okay, so 30k is the magic number for the A’s to draw in an average year, which is also the average of all the other teams for the 2010. They’ve averaged 17,400 each of the last 2 years for so-so teams. How much did tarping the 3rd deck cost them? I’d say about 2k a game, That brings it to 19,400. How much did the ghastly Mt. Davis structure in the out field cost them , where fans can’t stomach it’s ugliness and will never return to see a game? I’d say 4200 a game. That brings us now to 23,600. And now the biggie. Lew Wolff’s ownership– the one foot out the door, this place sucks, San Jose is the only way to go BS every day? At least 6500 a game. You now got 30,100. Get rid of LW/JF, take the tarps off and you still got a respectable 25,900. Add winning and you can get back to 30k. A new park at VC, you got 35k for the first 3 years for sure.

  29. Someone needs to explain how the tarps are suppressing attendance when the rest of the stadium is only 43% full. Is the goal to make the stadium 25% full instead? Who would want to commit hundreds of millions of dollars to a stadium in a city with several decades of poor attendance? And who built Mount Davis? Was that Lew Wolff or the duly elected officials of Oakland and Alameda County? Someone needs to tell me…

  30. Complaining about the attendance on the second day of the season, is just wrong. The Sharks and Warriors, both sold out their games last night. That’s a lot of sports fans, spending money during a lousy economy. “pathetic” is a little over the top, in my opinion.

    • Complaining about the attendance on the second day of the season, is just wrong. The Sharks and Warriors, both sold out their games last night. That’s a lot of sports fans, spending money during a lousy economy. “pathetic” is a little over the top, in my opinion.

      For once I agree with David (somewhat). Yes, people should not be complaining about attendance on the second day of the season; it is wrong. On the other hand, you know what else is wrong? Completely blowing out of proportion the Opening Day crowd of 36K and insinuating it’s a clear sign that the fans want the A’s to stay in Oakland, they hate Wolff, the tarps don’t belong, bla bla. Let’s just all agree that attendance here on out will be in the 10-15k range with occasional spikes for Yankees, Red Sox and Giants. Damn, 2015 can’t come soon enough!

  31. Sorry – 15,000 on a beautiful night (with the team only one game under .500), with a calendar giveaway, truly is pathetic. The Sharks, playing a nontraditional game played by few in the Bay Area, outdrew the A’s by 2,500 people. And we’re supposed to be upset that Wolff would actually rather be in San Jose than Oakland? (And it’s much cheaper to see the A’s than either the Warriors or the Sharks.)

  32. A SATURDAY night, too. Not a weeknight where people have to work the next day. There truly is no excuse

  33. this move shit that Wolff has started and nurtured, has A’s fans complaining on the second day of the season. Nice. Instead of focusing on the rebuilt offense and bullpen, some folks are so invested in Lew’s fantasy that they disparage the City of Oakland and its fans. Not nice. Maybe we should also shun the team on the field because they lost two games (with bad pitching put of the bullpen and sloppy “defense”)? This top post encourages us to go the games, regardless of the product on the field, or the overall vibe between the fans and management. I’ll try this. But, the complaining is, just, pathetic.

  34. …Talk of the A’s moving has been going since the 1970s because of the long tradition of poor attendance. It certainly didn’t start with Wolff. It’s amazing A’s owners have been gracious enough to keep the team here all these years. And it’s tough to upgrade the team when players don’t want to play in front of empty stands in Oakland (for reference, see: Beltre, Adrian). A new stadium in Oakland (which I would run, not walk, to get to ) could soon become another PNC Park in Pittsburgh once the novelty wears off: beautiful ballpark, empty stands…. In my first visit to the Bay Area before I moved here, I remember reading an A’s program that discussed the notion of whether the team was going to stay or not. The year: 1980.

  35. Adrian Beltre is one guy. What about Godzilla? Balfour? Willingham wants an extension. Screw Beltre! Go A’s!!

  36. Explain why you think the novelty would wear off in Oakland, but not in San Jose. Cause San Jose has a history of supporting the Sharks, the only NHL team for hundreds of miles.

  37. In retrospect, we know that moving the A’s to Oakland was a mistake, the Bay Area couldn’t support two teams in 1968 (I remember hearing Lou Boudreau saying that on the Cubs radio broadcast around 1972). But like many parents, we love our mistakes anyhow.
    Since then, the South Bay has grown enough that it could support a team, and that seems to be the best solution, the one that the Tampa Bay owner seemed to be alluding to when he said he’d be the last one with a problem.

  38. re: Explain why you think the novelty would wear off in Oakland, but not in San Jose

    ..Easy one. The best analogy we have is the Sharks, San Jose’s only major pro team. Arrived in San Jose in 1993 and the novelty still has not worn off. Oakland once had the only NHL team with 375 miles, too. How did they do? They eventually became the only team in the four major sports to fold in the last 40 years (after a season or two in Cleveland)… Don’t the A’s deserve better than 15,000 on a beautiful Saturday evening? Last night featured this little enclave in the outfield seats with their “Keep the A’s in Oakland” banner – God bless them – not far from entire sections with 0 to 5 people drifting in and out them.

  39. re: Complaining about the attendance on the second day of the season, is just wrong.

    Why is it wrong? Because it places personal responsibility for the A’s plight on poor fan support and takes it away from the “rich meanie” owners?

  40. ..if Oakland were such a better place for the A’s than San Jose, we know Neukom would pack the moving fans to get them there, instead of fighting tooth and nail to keep them out. We can be sure of that…

  41. ..get the A’s to San Jose, I mean…

  42. This thread is as ugly the A’s defense vs Seattle

  43. Yikes… So, the same thing happens every year happened again. Opening night is huge, next night is below average attendance from the previous season. This isn’t exactly new or out of the ordinary or anything.
    .
    What’s the big deal? It si what it is. No need for the pissing contests,
    .
    And I understand what is meant above by the “Oakland” love in the stadium. There was plenty of it. Perhaps my favorite part of the night was when a dude walked by witha “stAy” banner and yelled at my section”We need a new stadium and we need it HERE! Not in FREEEEMMMMMOOOOOONNTTTTTT.” He sounded kind of like Mean Gene Okerlund.
    .
    Good stuff.
    .
    Oh wait, my favorite part was when Josh Willigham hit a freakin’ frozen rope on top of the Left Field Scoreboard. I turned to my 11 year old daughter and we did our secret handshake while everyone went nuts. San Jose, Oakland and Anywhere in Bay Area people alike.

  44. My favorite shirt was the one with Barack Obama wearing an A’s hat. Girl wearing it said she got it on Telegraph.

  45. @jk “Okay, so 30k is the magic number for the A’s to draw in an average year, which is also the average of all the other teams for the 2010. They’ve averaged 17,400 each of the last 2 years for so-so teams. How much did tarping the 3rd deck cost them? I’d say about 2k a game, That brings it to 19,400. How much did the ghastly Mt. Davis structure in the out field cost them , where fans can’t stomach it’s ugliness and will never return to see a game? I’d say 4200 a game. That brings us now to 23,600. And now the biggie. Lew Wolff’s ownership– the one foot out the door, this place sucks, San Jose is the only way to go BS every day? At least 6500 a game. You now got 30,100. Get rid of LW/JF, take the tarps off and you still got a respectable 25,900. Add winning and you can get back to 30k. A new park at VC, you got 35k for the first 3 years for sure.”
    You do realize your numbers are absolutely, completely made up, right? And they defy common sense. Walter Haas did not get 30K average attendance in 11 out of 15 years he owned the team. Most of those years, he didn’t even come close. So let’s knock off the “Lew Wolff is costing the team 6500 fans per game” crap. There’s no evidence whatsoever that that is the case, and common sense says it isn’t.
    Attendance over the past five years is generally consistent with the entire history of the A’s in Oakland.

  46. @jeffrey, when “the same thing that happens every year” is used as rhetoric by the Oakland-only crowd it’s worth pointing out the next part of “the same thing that happens every year.”

  47. “My favorite shirt was the one with Barack Obama wearing an A’s hat. Girl wearing it said she got it on Telegraph.”

    Wow, they’ve really built a cult around that sound bite.

  48. …We already know Oakland’s poor history of fan support. It’s like the owner of the NJ Devils once said about his own team’s fans: “We love our fans. We just don’t have enough of them.” So let’s move the A’s to San Jose (a whole 40 minutes’ drive from the Coliseum), keep the existing fans (the few, the proud) and build a new fan base in the South Bay and – presto! – a big fan base for the A’s, they won’t be scaring away free agents anymore and they’ll have the money to spend. Everybody wins. Why the fixation on keeping the A’s in Oakland when what’s been tried for decades hasn’t worked, it doesn’t make much sense.

  49. @TonyD- 2015? They’ll still be at the Coliseum, pal. VC will be a year or two later–I can wait till then. They’re 2 years behind SJ, which will still have the Sharks (another great year, another playoffs choke), Earthquakes (new stadium in a few years, check it out), Sabercats( The cheerleaders are the only draw in this dreadful sport) and little Giants, where all the fans will see them become big Giants.

  50. @ML–what is the significance to the April 28th San Jose City Council Session–noticed you listed it on the calendar–

  51. just over 22k for sunday’s game.

  52. 7-1…just awesome! You know what else will be awesome…Opening Day 2015 at Cisco Field/SJ! At least we know that yard will be paid for.
    The phantom one at VC?….

  53. @gojohn I am curious, but can’t seem to open the link. Any tips?

  54. re: VC will be a year or two later–I can wait till then.

    …Any information on who will pay for the Victory Court park? I’d like to shake their hands and thank them. Got some names?…Mayor Quan says she’s been in contact with MLB (I’m sure Chuck Reed has been, too.) Wonder what answer she gave when MLB asked how the ballpark would be paid for and what Oakland’s public contribution would be.

  55. Vic Torre Court, the love child of Margaret Smith Court and Joe Torre, will build it–he wants something named after himself… I was at the park today, nice vibe with warm sunshine and all the Ichiro and Matsui fans contributing to earthquake relief.

  56. Tried to create the link from my iphone and it didn’t work out to well. Picture of four empty premium suites.

  57. re: empty premium seats. That and the vast acreage of empty seats says it all. Oakland can whine all it wants about how much it wants and deserves the A’s but the bottom line is few bottoms in the seats.

  58. @ gojohn It’s a shame, particularly considering how reasonably the A’s price them. At $1K or so for a 12 seat suite, it’s actually within the reach of regular people for a game or two, assuming you had 11 like minded friends.
    I also find it very telling that the A’s don’t even try to market seats as club seats, even though they have a club and could easily do so if they felt there was a market.

  59. Yet another thing I think too many A’s fans do not sufficiently appreciate: How many teams have a club that’s open to anyone with a ticket, including Wednesday $2 bargain hunters?

  60. …the Sharks club section is open to club seat holders, only. Let’s see: $2 Wednesdays, free parking Tuesdays, all-access club, $38 for a seat three rows behind the A’s dugout. Yet some people actually believe Wolff is “suppressing attendance.”

  61. GJ – That looks like my company’s old club suite…..we bailed out when the economy tanked (yet kept our HP Pavilion Sharks suite) and probably won’t renew anytime soon unfortunately. :(

  62. Jeffrey already showed not to long ago that the A’s attendance always falls off the 2nd game of the season. This has happened almost without fail over the years…Even when the A’s were coming off WS appearances.

    The only way VC gets built is with MLB subsidizing the park big time. If Selig is really that cowardly ( I don’t doubt it) he will have the rest of the league pitch in $$ to get an Oakland ballpark done. In that scenario the A’s would still remain on revenue sharing and the others owners would end up not only paying upfront for the VC ballpark but would also still be propping the A’s up via revenue sharing payments…..How does that make sense to anyone?

    This is of course unless Oakland themselves subsidizes the ballpark itself on top of infrastructure, business relocations, and transportation around the site…..I ask considering the issues Oakland is facing, why would they put in dime for the ballpark itself?

    The only choice in reality is San Jose because of the private sector (SVLG) backing the new stadium. It is either San Jose or contraction.

    Rumor has it MLB is going to “try” to contract the A’s and Rays after the current CBA expires this year then have their owners get the Dodgers and Mets in return…both of whom have major ownership issues (McCourt and Wilpon)

    Lew Wolff/John Fisher would go “buck” and be very happy with the Dodgers. For the Rays owners to get to the Mets would be a coup in its own right.

    I say the players fight tooth and nail to stop it….Therefore San Jose is the only real choice at this point. Reality bites….

  63. Players and agents are already aware of the great solution for the A’s in San Jose. If MLB cowardly selects contraction instead, the union and the agents can hammer away at the owners’ rejection of all that Silicon Valley money and stubborn idiotic sticking to “territorial rights.” Players won’t stand for premium, starting jobs being lost even if the owners expand the rosters so there is no actual lost number of jobs. But contraction still serves to suppress salaries by cutting premium starting jobs and replacing them with third-string jobs. 27 guys per team instead of 24 just means three extra guys sitting on the bench, not playing and earning minimum pay while players have fewer starting jobs to pursue and thus the low bidder will get those jobs. Unless the owners plan to add a 10th player to the starting lineup. Maybe a mid fielder or something. I wouldn’t put it past the same commissioner who tied the All Star Game, has home advantage in the World Series determined by the All Star Game and wrecked 100 years of tradition by instituting interleague play.

  64. How bout them Gold alts?
    .
    Not exactly the same as I wished for, but awesome nonetheless.

  65. @Jeffrey: The gold tops are lookin’ great. I was wondering if Gio would pick them for any of his starts. On a somewhat related note, does it bug anyone that the A’s employ two versions of the “A’s” logo? If you look closely, you’ll sometimes see the 70’s/80’s “fat A’s” logo compared with the thinner one (’92 onwards) you see on the caps and gold top jerseys.

  66. I think an important thing to remember in the low attendance discussion is that the loyalty of hardcore fans isn’t being disputed. It’s the casual fan that the A’s are failing to reach. Attendance is a two-way street, so it’s definitely discouraging how ambivalent the average Bay Area baseball go-er is towards the A’s. Some can blame it on the ownership or whatever but from my own dealings, I’ve found that people just aren’t interested in the A’s—which I think is a worse problem than fans actively not liking the A’s.

  67. It used to be the Giants that were on their way out. The Giants played in a windswept prison yard of a ballpark and the A’s had a nice “sunny” ballpark with flowers beyond the outfield and a view of the Oakland hills. Then, the Giants signed Bonds and got a new ballpark while the A’s hard their park ruined by their landlords. Apathy toward the A’s can be fixed just like the Giants fixed theirs. Two ways to do it: Winning a lot (tough to do on a limited budget) and/or getting a new ballpark. While I personally don’t care if the park is in Oakland or San Jose, Oakland has shown a long history of poor support of the A’s and there is money to be had in San Jose to get the ballpark built.

  68. Even though I mostly appreciate Lew Wolff as an owner, I am by no means a Wolff apologist. General public perception of the A’s can (and should) be addressed with or without a new ballpark. That’s really something that needs to be handled from the top level on down. My hope is that Moneyball will generate a little more interest in the team. On that note, I wonder how/if the A’s were compensated from Sony/Columbia. Early reviews are promising, though I’ve yet to see anything regarding my wonderful performance as the super studdly fan sitting next to Jonah Hill.

  69. Blaming attendance on the ownership fails logically on two counts. Hardcore fans may hate the owners but go to games anyway, because they have so much emotionally invested in the team. Casual fans are largely unaware of the issues that the hardcore fans gripe about, and don’t care anyway. They just care about things like: is the team any good, is the ballpark pleasant, how long will it take me to get there, how’s the weather today, who’s pitching, etc.

  70. One need to look no farther back than 2002(well b4 the diabolical Wolff and Tarps). 20 win season, MVP, and one of the best teams in the league. Check out the attendance from the opening PLAYOFF series.

    What’s the excuse. Oh yeah, day games, we don’t get prime time Friday night games like the Yankees, blah blah blah. MLB does not want excuses when it comes to attendance. Especially not in the PLAYOFFS! This would have been a nice time to ATTEND!

    We had a nice place to play, and We(Oakland/Alameda County) ruined it by letting a team that scourned us 10 years earlier, come back and decimate our baseball facility. Remember sending the A’s to Vegas to start the season in 96? I do, and you better believe the A’s do to eveytime they look out to center field and don’t see the hills. Where was loyalty and tradition back then. The team was just a few years removed from a great 5 year run, and we pushed them out of the home where they had earned 4 more Championships Than the team across the bay.

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