The River Cats organization spent much of last week hyping up a big announcement scheduled for Saturday, August 2.
BIG announcement being made at Saturday’s game. Don’t miss it – get your tickets today! http://t.co/OLyCBdFoOB pic.twitter.com/s9GCsiULuU
— River Cats (@RiverCats) July 29, 2014
Given the mysterious nature of the team’s affiliation with the A’s after 2014, some thought the announcement would have to do with changing affiliations, say to the Giants for instance. Rules set in place by MLB and MiLB prohibit such announcements during the season. Teams aren’t even allowed to formally seek out new PDC’s (player development contracts) until mid-September, after the minor league season ends. Naturally, River Cats management refused to answer questions about the situation, so nothing new on that front.
What did they announce, then? A new 5,000 square foot, air conditioned club, named the Western Health Advantage Legacy Club. Open to all season ticket holders, the WHALC will also be available for special events. The air conditioning is a key point, since that sets it apart from other spaces within the park. The club will be an extension of the suite level down the left field line, above the beer garden.
The River Cats are finding themselves competing with the resurgent (at least off the court) Kings, whose downtown arena is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2016 season (2017 as a fallback). A ceremonial demolition ceremony at the mall where the arena will sit was held over the weekend. It’s better for the River Cats to make such amenities available before the new arena opens, the better to lock in sponsor and entice business-type season ticket holders whose eyes may already be wandering downtown.
As for that affiliation announcement? We’ll have to wait until September.
Okay, from an economic standpoint, I can see why the River Cats front office saw this as a “big” news item. But I’m sure I’m not the only one who was thinking (and hoping) that new seats were going to be added to the stadium.
Why were you hoping new seats were going to be added to Raley. The Cats aren’t exactly selling the place out regularly anymore.
I’m guessing he thinks the A’s might move there. But the lease extension all but assures that that ain’t happening.
Well that and the fact has always been that Raley wasn’t expandable for MLB. Not enough anyway other than as a very short term emergency option.
Hadn’t thoughht off this before now, but I believe the Chuck has thhe same sort of club. Wonder if this is some sort of Giants condition to move over?
To the Rivercats franchise – goodbye and good riddance – the A’s new triple A team will be better served at Fresno, Nashville, or where ever.
It really won’t… The Cats are one of the best run MiLB franchises and are closer than any other AAA team to the A’s currently. Anything else is going to be a downgrade, there really isn’t any way around that. Fresno has slightly nicer facilities but has a nearly insolvent ownership. Nashville is 2500 miles away, and Vegas (which is my odds on favorite to get stuck with the A’s) is the least desirable AAA franchise in the country.
And while I’m pissed at the Cats for bailing on the A’s, I can’t blame them. The Giants are the more lucrative partner these days, there’s no way around that.
So, the players do go with the parent organization, correct?
Theoretically if the A’s go with Fresno, because Sacramento goes with the SF Giants (which I don’t blame them, good move for them), then the Giants and A’s triple A players, would just switch uniforms, correct?
If this happens and there is every indication it will, I think it really hurts the A’s in the Bay Area, the Sacramento area has always been SF Giants country, but with the relationship between Sacramento and Oakland, lots of folks in that area had started to become A’s fans, as much as I believe the SF Giants want the A’s out of the Bay Area, I think this has more to do with the River Cats, then the SF Giants (not that they, wont relish the opportunity ), it just makes good business sense (better), on their part.
Man, the A’s can’t have San Jose (and the SF Giants have an affiliation there), they are about to lose Sacramento (which the Giants, will have an affiliation there) as well.
Sound like our team is quietly, being kick out of the Bay Area.
Even so, it is what it is – a minor league team, worth 45 Mil.( chump change in the pro sports team valuations) changing affliates is not a big deal – the giants owners group likely believes it is though. the A’s owners could likely care less about moving from Sacto and the Giants switching their triple A affiliate there.
Correct. If the A’s were to switch to Fresno (which they may or may not do as we don’t know for sure who ends up in Fresno as many other AAA affiliations are up this year too), then all the current RiverCats would simply be wearing Grizzlies uniforms next year and vice versa. But so far Fresno has been linked to several other MLB teams as a possible AAA franchise including the Dodgers. There always is one MLB team left out in the cold when these switches happen en masse at the AAA level. Last time it was the Mets getting stuck with Las Vegas. This time it may be the A’s.
I’m on one of their e-mail lists, and I just received something this morning from a ticket rep about this new club. Remember how it was mentioned as being open to all season ticket holders?
“Enjoy dinner with clients, family, or friends before returning to your seats to watch the game. In order to gain access to this area, fans must be 18-game
plan, 36-game plan, or full-season members in our Governors Club, Dugout Club, or 4Topps seats.”
4Topps seats are some new “premium” seating thing where swivel seats are grouped around a half-circle table, and they’ve added a row of these at the back of 112.
In case you’re not familiar with Raley Field’s layout, the purple and pink areas are their Dugout and Governors Club areas (not the most current image, but it serves the purpose):
This is about as exclusive a thing as they could do, something the average fan will never see the inside of.
Basically what the Raiders and A’s wanted the West Side Club to be but couldn’t due to the stadium’s layout.