While we’re waiting for some reports to be distributed, I’ll let you in on an exchange I had with A’s Senior Director of Ticket Operations, Steve Fanelli. gojohn10 had noticed that the All You Can Eat View Level Upper Reserved sections (316-318) are now being called the “Value Deck.” Tickets for these seats are called “Jumbo Tickets” and cost $12 for regular games, $15 for premium dates (Giants, Yankees, etc.).
Each Value Deck ticket will come with $6 of food or merchandise credit baked into the ticket’s barcode. If you have one of those tickets you can have your ticket scanned at one of the concession stands behind 316-318 or at a participating stand on the Plaza or Field concourse. Fanelli said that they’re working on a Value menu, containing items that cost less than $5. You’ll be able to use multiple ticket credits for a single purchase. I didn’t ask, but I assume that the value isn’t good for beer.
I wish this was offered in 2006, instead of tarping off the entire third deck. It combines a cheap ticket ($6) with guaranteed concessions revenue -or rather, a justification for keeping the concession stands on the upper concourse open. As it grows in popularity, more sections can be untarped so that more people can take advantage. Even though I bought a fielder’s choice plan in the bleachers for this year, I would seriously consider changing that seat to a value deck seat. Unfortunately, the A’s don’t offer a value deck season ticket plan (doh!).
I’ve never seen a proper breakdown of the A’s revenues per attendee, but they have to be among the lowest in the majors. It’s not just the ticket discounts like Double Play Wednesday. I don’t have any hard evidence of this, but I’ll put it out anyway: We hardcore fans don’t spend our money in the Coliseum. Who does? Casual fans. Not only are the concession stands much more full on the weekends when casual fans come out, they buy food and merchandise in greater quantities than we do. Given the A’s revenue woes, they should be exploring every avenue to bring more casual fans in – and this sounds like a good start since it works for both fan and team.
That’s not to say that hardcore fans should feel ashamed. I don’t. I’m much more likely to bring in a burrito and a 20-oz. soda in than I am to get a Big Dog and a souvenir cup. The team allows it, so I’m going to take advantage. I go with a large group about twice a year and we always do a nice tailgate and bring stuff in. Hardcore fans go often, so they don’t feel compelled to buy something everytime they enter the gates. We’ve tasted everything there already.
The Value Deck, as it stands with Sections 316-318, is only around 1200 seats. So even if it is incredibly successful, it’s not going to move the needle that much. Still, I like the concept as it takes some of the packaging done with ticket packs and makes it an everyday, individual seat purchase. As a marketing experiment, it’s not exclusionary as tarping and the AYCE tickets were. In fact, I believe in it enough that I’d like to buy 4 tickets for myself and 3 blog friends. I’d like to document the whole experience, from buying the tickets to entering the Coli to cashing in the $6 credit for the first time. Anyone interested? Drop me an e-mail and we can work out the details.