I was there

A day later, there’s a bit of squawking from the media about the rather pitiful turnout Monday night, coupled with Jorge Leon’s mongoose to Lew Wolff’s snake. I didn’t know about the Leon-Wolff exchange until Tuesday morning, but yeah, I was there for the game.

I hadn’t noticed it previously, but this season the A’s have stopped the “Guess the Attendance” game, usually held in the middle of the 8th. Dick Callahan didn’t even give the figure with his postgame announcements. We’ve rehashed this enough, but if you want to have at it you know where to go.

71 thoughts on “I was there

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention I was there - -- Topsy.com

  2. Doesn’t A’s sign policy state that a) no signs in field of play and b) they reserve the right to remove any sign they deem inappropriate?

  3. Ipad at the game? Thats a little much. too Giant’s fan style for me.

  4. Going into the season, I didn’t think the attendance would drop this low. I don’t think it’s due to fans boycotting or fans opting to go to Giants games. I think it’s something much worse. I think most people just don’t care.

  5. BTW, how’s the MLB At Bat app on the iPad? I’ve had 2009 & 2010 on the iPhone. I loved 2009 but 2010 has had trouble with video, the Gameday refresh-rate feels sluggish, and the audio delay for the radio feeds is as much as a full minute. In 2009 I could listen to the radio while watching the Gameday and the two would sync reasonably well. 2010 was a step backwards and more expensive.

    It’d be great to see Apple contribute to the new ballpark.

  6. The A’s are losing a lot lately and have been losing regularly since 2007. Half the roster is injured and no one knows what is going to happen with the new ballpark. Is it any wonder fans aren’t showing up?

    I wonder if the anti-San Jose fans would get on board if the deal was a choice between San Jose our out of the Bay Area for the A’s?

  7. Hey ML you were there and Jorge was there. Did you do any outreach and try and see where he’s coming from or get his side of the story? It would be nice to hear what Jorge has to say without sensationalism from the media.

  8. There’s a little clip from KQED that had him speaking. From what I heard on Saturday, he’s actually a pretty reasonable cat. He knows that the city has made some mistakes, and I think he gets why a move could happen but that doesn’t mean he has to like it. Supposedly he and Wolff will meet over the weekend. I wonder if Wolff will break out the “dossier” that he’s shown to the Chronicle (and me a year ago).

  9. @Briggs – At Bat is good. I actually like the desktop 2010 version because it has so many features, but it’s also a bit buggy. The iPad version doesn’t have as many features. It’s still a great companion. On Friday I’ll try out the iPad version of iScore, the scoresheet app.

  10. “While the Giants list the equivalent of 21,000 full season-ticket holders, the A’s have fewer than 5,000.”

    Gosh Lew, maybe while you were increasing season ticket prices by 60% in your first 5 years at the helm, you might have considered NOT telling Oakland to go to hell, and NOT trading away most of the A’s best and most popular players.

  11. pjk, I think there are Oakland-only fans who would rather see the A’s move or contracted than go to San Jose, and that it has a lot to do with anti-corporate sentiment and the feeling that Oakland has been left behind by corporations as Silicon Valley remains prosperous.

  12. baycommuter, I think there a lot of pro-San Jose fans who would rather see the A’s leave Oakland for the South Bay, regardless of what’s a better long-term situation for the franchise or the vast majority of A’s fans, in order to get the “minor league” chip off their shoulder.

  13. I agree with Bay Commuter.
    The main reason why I follow the A’s with so much passion is because they are the Oakland Athletics and there is a tie to Oakland.
    I do not associate myself with San Francisco or the Giants culture.
    If the A’s move to San Jose they will effectively become just another big money team with casual observers instead of committed fans. The San Jose A’s will become what the Giants are. Big money, big business, and have casual observers instead of die hard flag waving fans.

    Oakland has shown that it can draw fans, it’s just hard to do so when the team is struggling, the economy is down, and the minority owner has given up on the city (even if he has good reason to).
    It’s not just Oakland, look at Cleveland’s attendance this year, and there are other teams.

    It’s not that Lew Wolff doesn’t care about Oakland, he just doesn’t care about the Athletics.
    He is just using the team to make a business decision.
    New stadium, new retail, new real estate. He is a business man and if he can get a new stadium with all his extras, he will be so happy because he thinks it make sense from a business point of view.
    He tried in Oakland, no go. He tried in Fremont, no Go. And now the MLB will probably let him try in San Jose and we will see what happens.

    In my opinion, Oakland gambled with trying to keep the Raiders and now that Santa Clara might get the stadium, the Raiders and 49ers might share a stadium.
    And if the A’s move south as well, then Oakland will be left with the “Golden State’ (what a joke having the moniker Golden State) Warriors.
    And maybe the Warriors will have plans to move back to San Francisco by then.

  14. I don’t have any hard numbers I can refer to, but I don’t feel that the dropping attendance is due to any anti-SJ movement, or fan boycott of any nature. Hardcore fans will always turn up to games. It’s that middle market of fans that the A’s are pulling in, and they represent the vast majority of ticket buyers.

    Hardcore fans & stat-geeks can always find enjoyment in the game regardless of how the team is doing. However, the average fan want doesn’t have much to relate to the team with. The familial bond between a team and its fans depends on having familiar faces in uniform and continuity from season to season. That’s fine and dandy too because in the end, baseball is entertainment and appeals to many people on many different levels.

    Unfortunately, budget restraints seemingly keep the A’s from giving that kind of product to their fans and low attendance is one of the consequences. Like it or not, when most people spend their money on tickets, they’re expecting that “baseball experience,” which is what the Giants offer so well. If most fans don’t get that from the A’s, they’re gonna lose interest until the A’s organization gives them something they can hold on to.

    Personnal, I like Beane’s gutsy trades of Hudson, Mulder, Haren and Swisher to replenish the entire organization with great talent but an organization can’t survive off the passion of its hardcore fans. They need the support of the masses. I don’t know. Blame it on Stomper.

  15. Let’s be honest. Unless you plan on just rooting for the uniform, is there really anyone on the roster that you’d pay to see? There is not one star player on this team.

    • Let’s be honest. Unless you plan on just rooting for the uniform, is there really anyone on the roster that you’d pay to see? There is not one star player on this team.

      Yeah, unfortunately no stars currently. I remember a game in 2008 where Ken Korach was talking about how a player like The Big Hurt allowed him to tell a story with his play-by-play. We’re gonna have to wait.

  16. “Gosh Lew, maybe while you were increasing season ticket prices by 60% in your first 5 years at the helm,”

    You just won’t stop with these bogus FMI numbers. As has been discussed ad nauseum, the FMI index went up primarily because of the closure of the upper deck, removing a lot of cheap seats from their formula averaging. But those seats were never sold to season ticket holders anyway, so the FMI does not reflect a real increase in the cost of attending games.
    I can’t find historic price maps online, but I bought a Field Infield season package in 2007 for $28 per ticket. Today’s pricing: $28 per ticket. Going from memory, MVP Box was something like $34 then, and is now $38. I’m pretty sure Plaza Infield was $28 then, today it’s $24 (in other words, it’s gone down almost 15%).
    Overall, season ticket pricing has been pretty level since Wolff has owned the team, and still represents one of the best bargains in the bigs. You tell me how many other teams sell a seat directly behind home plate for as little as $38.
    So stop repeating lies like “the A’s are relatively expensive to see” and “Wolff has raised season ticket prices 60%.” The most likely causes for the A’s recent decline in attendance are poor performance on the field for the last few years and a miserable economy. If you want to argue it’s because fans hate Wolff, fine, although there’s no evidence of that . But it’s clearly not because the A’s are overcharging relative to MLB teams, other sports teams, or even other forms of entertainment.

  17. I think Briggs is correct, there is just a sense of indifference this year with regard to A’s baseball. Hopefully it’s just a temporary thing, but I suspect it isn’t. I think we’re seeing the rapid contraction of a fan base. This contraction was brought on by a number of things, the economy, unresolved ballpark question, Wolff’s comments, My fear is that the damage will be so severe, nothing, not even a new ballpark will bring fans back.

  18. bartleby, the figures I quoted are nothing more the weighted average price of season tickets. That cost went up every year from ’04 through ’08. The biggest price jump was in ’08, two years after the tarping, and that season was also the biggest per-game attendance drop for the A’s since 1995. Spin it as you like.

  19. The “weighted average” of an asking price that nobody pays for seats that are not sold on that basis is meaningless. As I’ve just pointed out, season ticket prices today are basically the same as they were four years ago; some slightly higher, some slightly lower. If you’re going to maintain your insistence that season ticket prices are up 60%, show me a single price category where they’re up that much. It defies logic to say prices are up an average of 60% if not a single price category has gone up anywhere near that much.
    Another example of how arbitrary and worthless the FMI data is: The Yankees just retroactively got their “average ticket price” for 2009 reduced from around $75 to around $50. How? By persuading the FMI people to reclassify some lower level seats as “premium” (and therefore excluded from the averages).
    The fact is, the A’s remain one of the biggest bargains in baseball. The attendance downturn is generally consistent with what we’ve seen during other cyclical declines in field performance. Whatever the A’s problems are, price gouging is not the cause.

  20. This is what we paid over the last 5 years. These are for full season MVP tickets.

    2006 – $36.00
    2007 – $36.00
    2008 – ?
    2009 – $40.00
    2010 – $38.00

  21. Hey TPS,
    If the city of Oakland and their pols had given a rats A$$ about the A’s over the course of 15 years (instead of destroying the Coliseum with Mt. Davis and allowing condos at Uptown) then we wouldn’t be having this “Move them to San Jose” conversation now would we. It’s time to move on brother!

  22. Thanks, FC. Your data seems highly relevant, since I strongly suspect the vast majority of A’s full season ticket packages sold are MVP Box.

  23. Jeez, I guess I’m too old school, but leave the I-pad at home and enjoy the sights and smells (spilled beer) of the game. I turn off my cell and will check it during the 4th or 5th inning.

  24. Lew Wolff is taking a lot of misplaced heat over fan-made signs, San Jose, the roster, and the state of the Coliseum. Speaking specifically of the sign issue, while I support the 1st Ammendment, some of those signs were misleading so I don’t have a problem with how it was handled. Additionally, the Coliseum is gloomy enough as is, so bitter, misleading signs don’t help the decor. Many South Bay fans (and beyond) have driven/BART’d to Oakland for decades to support the A’s. For those anti-SJ fans, it may soon be their opportunity to support the A’s in San Jose, or they could sulk.

  25. Briggs,

    The fear I have is if the ballpark ends up being built in SJ, a lot of the current A’s fans living in the east bay will simply not want to put up with travelling to the south bay. They’re used to the short drive to the Colesium, or taking BART. I think the current rift and the longer drive will cause east bay fans to either lose interest, or start supporting the Giants.

  26. I’m not suggesting “price gouging”. The Bay Area is an expensive place for everything, not just baseball tickets. I’m suggesting “mismanagement” in failing to offer the fanbase adequate incentives to purchase season tickets, after telling that fanbase you’re leaving town AND you’re doing a complete “burn it to the ground” 4 to 5 year rebuild.

    AFAIR, MVP section seats were $32 in 2004, when the team was very good. The increase to $40 by 2009, in the middle of the rebuild AND the economic meltdown, represents an additional $704 per year cost for a family of 4 to purchase a 22 game pack.

  27. @A’sobserver/jk-usa – Different strokes for different folks.

  28. @tps – Comparable seats to the MVP level at River Cats games are… wait for it… $37 per game single, $24 per game for a full season package. How much of a premium does MLB command?

  29. re: The San Jose A’s will become what the Giants are. Big money, big business, and have casual observers instead of die hard flag waving fans.

    If we want the A’s to succeed so they can hold onto players (anybody like seeing Zito in a Giants uniform? Didn’t think so), then they will need money. Lots of it. The purist, anti-business junk won’t pay the bills and won’t prevent us from having to count down the seasons until Kurt Suzuki leaves followed by (next top young A’s name here) and so forth, until the entire franchilse leaves.

    I am thrilled that Oakland, Fremont and San Jose are fighting over the A’s. I am hoping one of them wins this contest so we don’t see the A’s leave the Bay Area. The A’s San Jose site is about 5 minutes from my house but I would be just as thrilled to catch a game in Jack London Square or Cisco Field at the defunct NUMMI motors site.

    • re: The San Jose A’s will become what the Giants are. Big money, big business, and have casual observers instead of die hard flag waving fans.
      If we want the A’s to succeed so they can hold onto players (anybody like seeing Zito in a Giants uniform? Didn’t think so), then they will need money. Lots of it. The purist, anti-business junk won’t pay the bills and won’t prevent us from having to count down the seasons until Kurt Suzuki leaves followed by (next top young A’s name here) and so forth, until the entire franchilse leaves.
      I am thrilled that Oakland, Fremont and San Jose are fighting over the A’s. I am hoping one of them wins this contest so we don’t see the A’s leave the Bay Area. The A’s San Jose site is about 5 minutes from my house but I would be just as thrilled to catch a game in Jack London Square or Cisco Field at the defunct NUMMI motors site.

      The only thing I miss about Zito is his ability to stay of the DL.

  30. “How much of a premium does MLB command?”

    In the case of A’s v. River-Cats personnel, not much of a premium to claim. They have Jack Cust and Chris Carter mashing everything in sight, while we rely on Eric Chavez and Kevin Kouzmanoff for the fireworks.

  31. @tps – I’m serious. MLB, not A’s. If the A’s are basically a team of replacement-level players, then how much is it worth to see the other MLB-level teams?

  32. Caught a few minutes of the Extra Innings Show with Chris Townsend this afternoon. He was talking about the poor attendance. He had a guy call in from Fairfield who typlifies the attitude of a lot of “A’s fans”. He claimed he was a loyal A’s fan, but he didn’t go to games because of all of the talk about the team moving to San Jose, and the fact that the team had no star players. How in the world can anyone claim to be a loyal fan of a team if he or she will only go to a game if it’s convenient, and it has star players? Seems to me there needs to be an attitude adjustment on the part of a lot of “fans”. Too many excuses not to go to the game. No wonder the A’s are looking to move.

  33. I really don’t agree with the notion that the attendance has dropped horribly due to raises in ticket prices…No matter what the increase has been, the fact remains that the A’s still have some of the lowest ticket prices through out the MLB…Yes, there was a little jump in prices but almost all the other teams did the same thing…its more to due with the economy than anything…we still get good deals, at least in my opinion…

    With that being said…The reason are attendance has tanked from slightly below average to DEAD LAST is simple…Wolff has made very hurtful statements toward A’s fans (particularly Oakland) and people are just turned off by it…Rather you agree with his statements or not, they still have harmed the fan base and if anyone doesn’t see that, than your blind…You can’t blame EVERYTHING on the fans!…Put it this way, if the A’s were a normal business and these type of numbers came up, it would be the management that would be fired, not the customers…

    Here’s a perfect example…I like to have a good beer every now and then, and there’s a bar that I go to that I consider to be my favorite…If I’m having a beer in the bar one day and the owner comes up to me and says a bunch of hateful remarks to me, I would not be coming back…YES that means the loss of my business would hurt the employees (Brad Ziegler), and YES that would mean word would probably get around and less people would end up showing up…but that doesn’t mean beer fans, such as myself, suddenly went away…it just means we don’t like how the owner handles business…fans do this all across the nation with teams, you can find an example in every sport, almost every year…

  34. LeAndre,
    Correction to your post: Wolff has made very hurtful statement towards SOME A’s fans (he has?) and SOME people are just turned off by it. Key word added being SOME. Like the Ghost of Navigators past, you can’t (and don’t) speak for all A’s fans. What SOME of you A’s fans need to do (or should do) is place the blame on the A’s eventual relocation where it should be: with the City of Oakland! 15 years and nothing to show except for a few Google Earth overlays of PNC Park. I think out of all the A’s fans that post here, perhaps Jeffrey best represents what MOST A’s fans want: just build a new ballpark somewhere in the Bay Area, and sooner rather than never! Right now the best bet and opportunity lies in San Jose. Like a mentioned a few posts back to TPS, it’s time to move on brother!

  35. I really wish the Oakland-only crowd would stop trying to speak for all of us. Wolff hasn’t said a single thing that is “hurtful” or “hateful” toward me, an A’s fan. He has said he wants to get us a nice new stadium in a much better location than the current one, and he’s been trying to do so for years. I’m all for that, whether it’s JLS, SJ or somewhere else in the Bay Area. It’s only interpreted as “hurtful” by people who refuse to cross a city limit line to see their favorite team. A lot of us have been traveling many miles to watch the A’s for decades. If you can’t be bothered to do that, I just don’t have much sympathy for you. And you certainly aren’t someone I want speaking for me.

  36. What are the hurtful statements? I don’t really recall any. Honestly.

  37. PJK:
    The A’s have been successful with the system they have and have shown that in the recent past. The Marlins have also won World Series without spending more money than the big teams.

    The A’s organization makes money because of the revenue sharing and all that. Plus, the majority owner, (not Lew Wolff) is one of eight billionaire owners in the MLB.

    It’s not about being less competitive because we are ‘poor’ and ‘small market’ both of those things are not necessarily true and we have been very competitive before bring players up and then having them go be horrible for other teams like Barry Zito with the Giants (even though he is doing well so far this season).

  38. Did anyone catch Chronicle Live today? Marty Lurie definitely seemed to get where those so called Oakland only crowds are coming from. He’s worked with the A’s for many years and knows the organization very well and how they operate. He gets what’s going on just like the rest of us do. He is and will always be well liked among the Bay Area sporting world and his opinions gets my respect.

  39. Just got done watching the replay of Chronicle Live. I agree with Ratto in that whether it’s being done consciously or not, one of the reasons for the declining attendance is because the A’s are not building their younger fan base. If you scan the crowd at a Giants game, you see a lot of young 20 something faces. Not so at the Coliseum.

    With regard to Marty Lurie, he was critical of the A’s for going the rent a player route. I don’t know what else they could have done with their limited resources,and an empty farm system. Criticized them for signing Sheets and Crisp, noting that both were injured. First off, I didn’t know Sheets was injured, and second I guess Billy’s crystal ball should have told him Crisp was going to fracture his finger while sliding into second base. You roll the dice and take your chances. If Lurie really knew the A’s, he would have known that’s just a fact of life with the A’s.

  40. FC part of that is location location location though. What 20 something is going to come out to a game at the Coliseum when Pac Bell is right across the bay. 20 somethings want stuff to do after the game (ie: Bars, Restaurants, Clubs, etc…) particularly on weekends. What like that is there to do at the Coliseum? It’s sounds trite, but you need to be “hip”, and Oakland and in particular the Coliseum are not hip compared to their competition across the bay. And there’s little Wolff or the A’s can do about that in their current location. They need to move, be it SJ, Downtown Oakland, Sac, or elsewhere. The Coliseum and the wasteland around it is a dead end.

  41. Dan brings up a good point. Many of my young co-workers talk of going to a Giants game as if they’re going to a concert or Tahoe for the weekend. On the bright side: at least the Coli will be packed for the U2 concert!

  42. Tony, “Like the Ghost of Navigators past”….let me just say I am sick and tired of being linked with the “anti-SJ” members…I’ve said countless times on this blog that I wouldn’t mind the A’s in SJ, but would much rather them stay in Oakland…just because I have an opinion that you disagree with doesn’t mean you get to lump me with other people you disagree with…I don’t do that shit to you so I would appreciate it if you didn’t do it to me…

    With that being said…I’m sorry I didn’t say…”some”…my goodness, I was speaking in general…I know I don’t speak for all A’s fans nor am I trying to speak for all A’s fans…I was only referring to the fans who I believe aren’t coming to the games as often due to Wolff’s statements…rather you agree with his statements or not, it has definitely turned off a lot off fans…and if you think “most” A’s fans just want to see a new ballpark in the Bay area, and the drop in attendance isn’t because of Lew Wolff, then why have such a significant portion of fans, enough to drop us to last place, which I would say “most” stopped going?

    How about you give me your opinion on why the A’s have dropped from an average attendance to dead last instead of just nit picking through my comments….your selective reading completely missed the whole point I made…

  43. Jeffrey, saying to the city you play in that you don’t want to be here isn’t exactly flattering…the reason I say “hurtful” is because it is hurting the fan base…if you came over my house and I said…”I really don’t want you here, I actually want ML here…but hey, stay if you like” you probably wouldn’t feel very comfortable coming over anymore…get the picture

  44. @LeAndre… Got it. Thanks. When I read “hurtful” I thought of something like “You can all go to hell” or like he said somehting bad about somebodies mom.
    On the other tip, I think the reason the A’s have dipped to dead last (something they have done 6 times before in their 40 plus years in Oakland) is because they have sucked for three years in a row. More than any other factor, on the field performance impacts attendance. Add to it a team of relatively unknown players and the Coliseum and you have nobody but hardcore fans to show up. The last time they were last in attendance was 1997 and that was the second year in a row of last place attendance. Those were some horrible A’s teams.
    That is not to say that some hard core fans aren’t coming because of Wolff. I think casual fans and less hardcore fans probably have very little idea who even owns the A’s. Look at the comments in the Let’s Go Oakland facebook group and you will find all kinds of folks who really don’t know anything about the stadium situation or Lew Wolff.

  45. Jeffrey, I agree that the performance has a lot to do with it, but I still think Wolff’s actions have hurt the fan base significantly…I also think a lot of fans are quite aware of the situation as well…to be honest, I would be VERY surprised if I talked to any A’s fan and they told me they didn’t know Wolff wants to be in SJ and not Oakland (with the exception of kids)…just the other day on Bart I over heard a conversation between two older ladies who didn’t appear to be A’s fans or baseball fans for that matter, who were talking about the A’s and how they might end up in SJ…its no secret anymore, yesterday’s front page of the Chronicle can prove that…

    As regards to facebook, I don’t hold much credit to it…I’m actually surprised you even brought it up being that your usually one of the proponents of holding the facebook page to a grain of salt…but even then I still see a ton of Wolff hate…

    Do you honestly believe that Wolff’s actions, rather if you agree with them or not, have not hurt the A’s attendance?…I mean the A’s are in first place.

  46. Wolff’s actions have hurt the A’s attendance, of that there is little question. But the A’s performance over the last few years hasn’t helped either. And just because the A’s are flirting with first place doesn’t mean squat. There have been many years in the last 45 when the A’s were doing great and no one showed up anyway. We’ve discussed that on here ad nauseum. The numbers bear out that only when owners spend unrealistic and unsustainable amounts of $$$ (ala the Haas family for a few years in the late 80’s), the A’s generally have not draw well. Sure one thing or another exacerbates it, but by and large the A’s have a small fanbase. A fanbase I’d add that is littered with people with some of the lamest excuses I’ve ever heard of for not attending games. “Oh we don’t like the tarps”, “the team is bad right now”, “the owner doesn’t like our city”, etc… etc… etc… You don’t see folks in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, LA, etc… making the same excuses. Some cities have large committed fanbases, some don’t. Oakland is in the “don’t” category, and if 4 world championships over the last 45 years won’t change that nothing will.

  47. Dan, I agree with that except for the part when you include SF as a strong sports town…don’t mistake the success of the new stadium for a strong sports town…the A’s outdrew the Giants from 68′ to 99’…yes the A’s had better success but if SF was such a stronger market they would’ve outdrew the A’s, especially if you claim the A’s don’t have a strong market…

    I’m not the type to make excuses…I don’t complain about the tarps (except for the fact that they look ugly), I don’t complain about the ticket prices (there still extremely low), and I honestly think that the team makes a decent effort to improve the roster (considering how low the payroll is)…but when people give Wolff and Co. a free pass and blame everything on Oakland and the fans there no better than the ones who want to blame Wolff for everything…

  48. @LeAndre- I take facebook groups with a grain of salt because of the things I have read on them.
    And, I don’t consider Oakland and San Francisco (or San Jose) to be different markets. MLB is really the only business that does.

  49. “The A’s have a small fanbase. A fanbase I’d add that is littered with people with some of the lamest excuses I’ve ever heard of for not attending games.”

    Umm, if there are fewer people to attend, you get smaller crowds. Then you notice and listen to the people making excuses for not being there. I’m sure they have some similar percentage of lamer excuse makers in Boston, but with 6 million people, one team, and 38,000 seats, who notices… or cares? Is a new ballpark going to “fix” the fanbase of this team?

  50. What the A’s used to do in the 80’s that the Gints didn’t was make attending the game fun. Back in my 20’s heyday, the A’s and Gints had ballparks in somewhat similar settings. Both teams at least in the early-mid 80’s were middling at best. The A’s simply made attending games fun. Where most teams were still mired in organ music, the A’s brought in KFRC and rocked the house. They had Crazy George, they had picnic days in the parking lot. Basically, they made you want to attend the games. Today, the roles have reversed. The Gints have a fun place. They have the views of the bay, the coke slide, the high definition scoreboard that changes stats on the fly. Oh yeah, and once the fun inside the park is over, there’s more to do outside the park.

    Right now, the game experience in Oakland is just so darned predictable. Many of us regulars know the outcome of the dot racing and the cap game. We know when the Verizon text messaging comes on. Do something new for God’s sake. If the less than baseball purist wanted to just watch a game, they’d watch it on TV and have a party with their friends.

    What the A’s need to do, short of building a brand new park, is bring back the fun. They are making some strides. Cara running through the park helps a bit. The live dot racing, the stealing 3rd base, dance offs are great fun and infuse a bit of freshness in a somewhat stale ballpark. They need to get their marketing heads on. Bring back the fun billboards that used to dot the landscape. Bring in some hot cheerleaders to get the crowd going. Get the crowds going when it’s 2 strikes or bases loaded. Add wireless access for the tech geeks. Do more between inning antics like what they do so well in the minors. Bottom line, create excitement and get everyone’s minds off of the fact that we have a cement mausoleum and have one heck of a team that’s in first place for the moment.

  51. I think Bob Agnew’s comment in the sfgate article was very accurate.

    On another note, Larry Baer said something interesting that caught my ear recently. Radnich asked Baer if push came to shove would the Giants deny the A’s to SJ if it was the only way the A’s could survive and Baer said, “we have to play out the notion that there is not a possibility to build a new ballpark in their territories”.

    I’m thinking that Giants are currently or have already laid out the template for what compensation will look like if Oakland can’t deliver on a stadium . The BRC recommends that Oakland be given one more chance at a JLS site, Lew Wolff and Oakland and MLB get to work, and if they are at deadlock a year later, Compensate the Giants and get SJ rolling.

    I hope that’s how this works out because its fair to everybody.

  52. jesse—your failing to catch on to what the gints really want—the A’s out of the Bay Area–they know that Oakland will never work—think about it this way–why would you want a ballpark right across the water from your own where it can compete not only for the baseball dollars but also for the concerts, soccer, bowl games etc.—in other words–there is no way the gints want to have a direct competitor right across the water.

    The only reason the gints are holding the A’s to the territorial rights is because they know there is an extremely high probability that nothing will happen in Oakland and the longer this drags on the greater probabilty that the team will be sold and re-located out of the Bay Area–which would be the win the gints are looking for-

  53. Dan, why would you even bring up SF, Chicago and Boston to compare with Oakland in terms of fans complaining? Like they have any of those same reasons to complain about in the first place towards their team ownership? They don’t have tarps on their upper decks. Neither of those teams or exceptionally bad right now and none of the owners don’t dislike their host cities.

  54. OA—I am so tired of hearing about the tarps on the upper deck as being a reason that LW has screwed over Oakland—the only thing this influenced was the bogus average cost of a ticket that tps likes to try and use—lets be real here—city of Oakland fans are grasping at straws to try and blame anyone but the city itself regarding the A’s situation–

  55. @jesse: Bob Agnew… I once emailed him, while he was at KNBR, about the A’s 20 game win streak and he fired back this missive about spoiled A’s fans. When I read his quote I had to laugh. Agnew was at the heart of denying media coverage to the A’s for years and he now has the balls to come out and be indignant about how it is the A’s fault?

    As far as the A’s moving out of the area… I am pretty sure all of us have looked at this in our own way at one time or another. When you consider the other available markets… There just isn’t one that would make for a better situation for MLB. If we all accept that the Bay Area is a single market, that is.

    The only argument that is valid, in my opinion, is where in the existing market (not existing MLB Territory) should the team play? How would it benefit MLB to move the team to San Jose? Is the benefit to moving the team, within the market, a better net result than keeping them in Oakland? Is it a wash? What is the difference in Season Ticket price one could reasonably expect in Oakland v. San Jose? Sponsorship Revenue? How would a new stadium in San Jose impact revenue sharing? How would the same stadium in Oakland impact revenue sharing? Can the league entice one of the cities to back the stadium with public funds? Are there any tax incentives that the Cities can use to help with construction and “hide” the public contribution? Sales tax forgiveness on materials for example? If San Jose is the best outcome for the league, what is the appropriate recompense for the Giants? If Oakland is the best spot, the question is moot. If there is no recompense for the Giants how does that impact the whole formula?

    All of those questions and the big one still remains: What is the likelihood of a new stadium in either city actually happening?

    All of these questions, and then some, are what the committee is looking at. I am pretty confident that when they are done (which HAS to be soon, doesn’t it?) whatever decision they make will be based on a solid understanding of what will be best for MLB. This is why you hear Baer sounding less confrontational about San Jose. Because he now knows that it isn’t up to him regardless of how much he wishes it was.

    @Bill, I couldn’t agree more. The A’s need to find a way to make things fun. I felt like the Preseason Tailgate was an awesome idea. I wish they would have sponsored tailgates more often… like every Saturday and Sunday.

    Speaking of which, I am going to be at the game tomorrow, who else is? I’d love to say hi to some of you. Maybe even share a high 5 when Kouzmanoff hits a Home Run. Or something…

  56. well GoA’s I used to believe that too until it was pointed out to me that the Giant’s don’t get to choose the territory rights outcome. The other owners choose. I do believe that the Giant’s want the A’s out of the bay or a clear second class citizen stuck in the Coli with a poor marketing effort, but they don’t get to choose the A’s destiny so easily.

  57. GoA’s, I’m not complaining about the tarps nor do I really care that much about them since I rarely ever sat that high to begin with. My comment was directed at Dan for comparing those other cities with Oakland when it comes to fan complaints. Those are things that are irrelevant to his argument since they don’t have any of those things to complain about in the first place.
    What I’m tired of hearing is the old, “Sharks sell out in San Jose which automatically translates into so will the A’s.” The sharks better be selling out being the only NHL franchise in the Bay Area. On top of that, they’ve made the playoffs every year they’ve been in San Jose with the exception of like five seasons out of a total of 17 years. So you know what, they better be drawing a good attendance. The bottom line is no one knows if they would succeed or fail in San Jose so stop comparing the two teams and their fan base until that ever happens!! I’m also getting tired of hearing the A’s will be moving out of the Bay Area if San Jose doesn’t happen since that’s what the Giants want. How the hell does anyone know where the A’s will end up if San Jose doesn’t get the green light? There hasn’t even been any discussions or talks with any other city or potential ownership groups even discussing relocation of the A’s except for the city of San Jose for that matter.

  58. agree that the gints don’t have direct control per se—but they are exercising their control right now by bogging down resolution of the territorial rights process by continuing to advocate that not all stones have been overturned relative to Oakland—in the meantime the A’s are hangin in limbo–horrible ballpark, lousy PR—-and the gints loving every minute of it–the longer they drag this out the more likely that nothing will happen for the A’s in the Bay Area and contrary to what Jeffrey thinks…and I agree with his logic that on paper there aren’t necessarily better markets—but who would have ever identified OKC as a good NBA market—-emotion carries alot for prospective cities—all it takes is an individual(s) with deep pockets who have significant community pride—and all MLB has to believe is that the overall league financial picture improves–

  59. @Jeff :: I would have agreed with Agnew’s statement if anyone else had made it. btw, i remember that 20 game coverage on KNBR, very frustrating indeed. Glenn Kuiper was filling in for Radnich and the topic was whether Shinjo or Dunston should lead off, wow. now that ass is our broadcaster.

  60. Lew Wolff: “That’s not true (on hating Oakland), but I think when I talk to him (Jorge Leon) he’ll understand.” Understand indeed!

  61. What will come first, sale of Warriors finalized, or MLB makes a decision? For me personally, the next six months could be euphoria, or continued depression.

  62. Jeffrey, I’ll be at the game tomorrow!

  63. I’ll be at the game too. Perhaps we could meet up at the West Side Club or something?

  64. @GoA’s, it’s hard for me to argue with your logic there. I’ve made that point many times on this site.

  65. @GoA’s its kind of like how EVERYBODY thought Conan would end up on Fox, now he’s on TBS.

  66. I will also be at the game today. Look me up. I’m in Sec 118, Row 30. I even have 2 extra tickets for the game that no one apparently wants to use. Post me a message if you’re interested in the tix.

  67. LeAndre – sorry to paint you with a broad (and incorrect) brush. I hadn’t noticed your posts that you would be happy as long as the A’s stay local. That’s reasonable. You, then, are not one of the people I’m talking about and I shouldn’t infer that you are. My sincerest apologies for that.
    Now as far as what’s hurting attendance, I think it’s a combo of being a non-contender the past few years, a bunch of no-names, seemingly endless rebuilding (to the casual fan), and a crappy stadium in a bad location (not Oakland, mind you, just the immediate area of the Coliseum). I suppose there could be a lunatic fringe who are imagining insults from the owner and staying away because of it. I give them about as much credibility as your typical conspiracy theorist.

  68. FYI: Oakland Athletics that are fans on Facebook can get Plaza Level seats at the 5/22 Bay Bridge game for $10. I bought Plaza Level seats for this game in April for $26 each (Section 209). Right now, you can get Section 206 seats for $10 each.

    Aside from the bleachers, these are my favorite seats in the house. You get a great view of the field. This is absolutely a seat for only $10. Become a fan via Facebook take advantage.

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