An Experiment in Value

Over Mother’s Day weekend, I decided to give my beautiful wife a day away from her four kids (our three daughters and me). I thought it would be fun to make this day away from Mom an economic experiment of sorts.

The question: Could we sit in the Value Deck, bring our lunch but still eat our fill of crap food, keep one Andrew Bailey Bobblehead and make the day a financial wash otherwise?

The  spend for us was $21.60 for three round trip BART fares (my youngest is not old enough to have to buy a ticket yet) from Pleasanton to the Coliseum and back. $48 for 4 tickets in the 3rd deck and absolutely nothing more. So, our total outlay was $69.60.

The $69.60 got us more than just tickets and a ride to the game. We brought our lunches but we had $24 bucks in food/merch credit to use. We used the credits for two packages of Dibs, two fairly large sodas, and a giant box o’ nachos. All of this on top of a great spot to watch the game from (Section 316) and a good conversation with the Lone Stranger (and almost a visit with LeAndre until we had a melt down).

The second half of the experiment is underway right now… Three bobbleheads on Ebay. Judging from the comparable products… We stand to sell the three for around 15 bucks a piece (after fees and what not). So if that holds true,  we will have spent a lazy Saturday eating dibs and watching Ben Sheets dissect the Rays for about $25 bucks total. And increased my already sizable Oakland A’s Bobblehead collection by a Rookie of the Year Closer. Not bad.

Now if only it had been Dallas Braden Bobblehead Day, we probably could have covered our outlay and then some. Especially today.

A few of other observations about the 3rd Deck based on my first visit to the section since Barry Zito Bobblehead Day in 2003:

  • In my 30 plus years of visiting the Coliseum for baseball games I have sat about everywhere. Section 316 is one of the better places to see the whole field, and though I tried to convince my 10 and 7 year old daughters to move down into the second deck and sit in the shade… They would have none of it. In the 5th inning my oldest said “That Triple wouldn’t have looked as cool if we were down in the shade, Dad.”  I ignored her followup comment about how handsome Ryan Sweeney is (10 going on 30).
  • The concession stand right behind the section is extremely easy to get to and buy what you want. With restrooms right next to it and a wide open concourse, it was easy to take the youngin’s for potty/junk food breaks in between innings and not miss a pitch.
  • The staff up there is awesome. After the infamous melt down that thwarted my attempt to go and see LeAndre the usher came over and, through a big,knowing smile, she said “Last time you take them somewhere without Momma” as she helped me clean up the hurricane of garbage my 3 year old kicked up. I appreciated the observation and the help 🙂
  • I read once, on this very website, a comment about tarping the plaza bleachers and opening more of the third deck. After this trip, I fully endorse the idea. We have taken our girls to games many times and, usually when it is some sort of group outing for school or what not, we get tickets in the Plaza Bleachers. I’d suggest opening Sections 314, 315, 319 and 320 and closing the Plaza Bleachers.

I wonder if any of our readers have done a similar experiment? If so, let us know the particulars and  how it turned out in the comments.

7 thoughts on “An Experiment in Value

  1. I have purchased the Value Deck tickets three times, but not until I went up to meet you did I actually set foot up on the third deck. Last time I had been up there it was around sections 312 or 313 for the Eck Jersey retirement ceremony.
    I love the view from up there. You really can see everything well. The first downside I noticed for my short visit was that it is a little trek to get there from the rest of the park, and you’re cut off from everyone else in the park. The upside on that is that there are concession stands right behind so you don’t have to go far, unless you really want an Atomic Big Hot.
    The other downside is the sun, which makes it hard to sit there for a whole game with little ones (or grownups too) that might be more sensitive to it. That’s why two of the three times I’ve sat in the Plaza Outfield seats. (The other time I went to see friends in the Field Level Outfield before the game, never left, and managed to not have my ticket checked.)
    I’m really thinking hard about ditching work next week when Dallas pitches again. He’s slated to pitch on the 20th, which is a Thursday day game. If I go, I’m going to sit in the Value Deck for the whole game. Perhaps I’ll have more to say then.
    P.S. It was great being able to meet you and your girls. I love it when the kids have fun. The best moment of the game for me was after the first pitching change when the stadium clapped and then quieted down. In the moment of relative silence, my 22 month old belts out “Let’s go Oakland” and all my friends and family with us immediately follow up with the “clap-clap-clapclapclap.” It was priceless.

  2. Korach was just on with Radnich a half hour ago, and he indicated that Dallas might get the start Wednesday the 19th. That makes sense given that Mazzaro was sent back to Sac immediately after his start and Duke should start next Saturday if he’s healthy. Turnout should be good since it’ll be a DP Wed. I can’t make it – I’ll be at the SJ EIR Cert. hearing.

  3. Oh, well.
    I guess I’ll just have to remember to put on my long underwear and bring my heavy sweatshirt that morning.

  4. My value deck experience was a great one. I ditched work to see Dallas yell at Arod with my two kids. The usher gave my son a foul ball and my daughter an A’s squishy ball. The tickets were $45, parking was $17 (!), souvenir batting helmet and baseball earrings were $8.34 (after value deck discount), and a $5 cotton candy to wrap it all up. No counting gas, that is $75 for a great day at the park and an A’s win. Thank goodness the Stomper fun zone was flooded.

  5. Thanks for the story, I wonder how that experience will go down at the new A’s ballpark. My gal and I have discussed having a kid in the next 5 years, so I’m interested in what it’s like to haul a family/clan out to a ballgame. Since Kids’ Zones are fairly standard in new ballparks, I hope you can still watch the action while waiting in line for the A’s version of the Coca Cola slide or whatever.

    As a side note, my hypothetical kid’s grandmothers live only 10-15 mins from the Diridon site. Population sizes, urban infrastructure and public money aside, Diridon could be very convenient for me.

    I’m moving 5/20, so missing the 5/19 possible Braden start. Coincidently, I’m in Section 209 for the 5/22 game vs. SF when I should be moving/unpacking. However, watching the A’s squeak out 2 runs off Cain while Gio pitches a 4-hit shutout takes top priority.

  6. I feel like I’m the only one that hasn’t sat in the Value Deck…in fact I think the last time I sat in the third deck was when I was a child…my inexperience with it caused me to miss out on meeting with Jeffrey because I couldn’t find the way to get up there. Lol…I’ll have to get tix next game…

    The worse part about the whole thing Saturday was I sat in Sec 209!!!!….why didn’t I wait until Sunday!!!…that stub would’ve been priceless…

  7. @LeAndre, Dude that was like the third thing that ran through my ind after Dioner Navarro lined out to put DB one out away. “LeAndre was in Sec 209 one day too soon.”

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