Word came yesterday that the Raiders and Chargers were probably not going to accommodate the A’s and MLB by facilitating a swap of divisional home games. The current schedule has the Chargers visiting Oakland on Sunday, October 6. That’s an off day during the planned ALDS, but the schedule is still tight because of the time required to do the baseball-to-football-to-baseball conversion.
Complicating matters is the still TBD seeding of the postseason. If the A’s clinch either the #1 or #2, they’ll open with two games at home (unlike last year) on October 4 & 5. If they get the #3 seed or win the wild card playoff, they’d get Games 3 & 4 at home on October 7 & 8. Until that’s determined, the Raiders and the Coliseum are in a tough spot because they don’t know when they’d have to build in the football seats or tear them back down for baseball.
Apparently the Raiders can opt to play the game the night of October 6, which would allow for some extra time to do the baseball-to-football switch (bet on a daytime A’s slot to help), or a move to October 7, which would work only if the A’s got the #1 or #2 seed. If the A’s clinched a lower seed they could do what was done last week, where a Sunday afternoon Raiders game was immediately followed by the conversion in time for a Monday night A’s game.
The Raiders have been earnest about wanting to sellout the entire season in the new, smaller capacity Coliseum, so they must feel that a swap could jeopardize sales. It would be even worse for the Chargers, who’d have to figure out how many remaining tickets would have to be sold to ensure that there isn’t a blackout for the moved up game. The Chargers are somewhat dependent on Raider fans invading the stadium to get the sellout.
There’s a little flexibility for the NFL, and even though they don’t have to grant any since MLB and the Orioles didn’t do the Ravens any favors for Week 1, it’s nice to see that the Raiders can make some changes to make the switch relatively painless. The condition of the field will be another story, as is always the case in September and October.