The tarps are dead (upper deck)! Long live the tarps (Mount Davis)!

Tuesday off-days, rare during the baseball season, are pretty good days to make announcements. Dave Kaval made a big announcement this morning that can only win over fans. The failed scarcity experiment and objects of scorn known as the upper deck tarps are no more.

While the compression of the seating inventory helped make the venue more intimate at times, the optics of 12,000 seats of upper deck being tarped and cordoned off were embarrassing and could not be escaped. The policy was put into effect for the 2006, not long after Lew Wolff and John Fisher bought the team from Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann. That makes the tarps the one enduring visual symbol of the Wolff era, which officially ended last November.

The tarps atop Mount Davis will stay as the seats at the summit won’t be sold. When football season begins there will be a humdrum exercise in rotating between the A’s and Raiders tarps, covering seats that the Raiders wanted in 1995 but haven’t sold since 2013. The new baseball seating capacity will be 47,170 plus a thousand potential standing room admission tickets available for big crowd event games (Giants, Yankees, Red Sox, fireworks).

Tickets for the newly reopened sections (300-315, 319-334) will be $15 everywhere with half the proceeds for the upcoming 10-game homestead going to Oakland Promise, a charity and mentoring program that aims to have every Oakland high school student graduate with the necessary skills needed to finish college.

Say goodbye to the old seating chart:

Hello to the new (old) seating chart, whose URL is um, interesting:

Finally, we can’t bring back the Coliseum upper deck without that one incident (NSFW)…

During that first homestand with the upper deck reopened, the A’s will play the M’s on 4/20. It’s a night game. You know what to do. Note: the tickets do have seating assignments, so any thoughts that the upper deck is now some massive general admission section are at best unspoken and informal.

As for what the A’s should do with the tarps, I thought up some options. Vote on one. Now that I’m thinking about it, whatever happened to the tarps that covered 316-318?

18 thoughts on “The tarps are dead (upper deck)! Long live the tarps (Mount Davis)!

  1. They should have done this before opening night, since it’s something I’m sure they must have been thinking of before then, it would have added to an already great atmosphere. But, still positive news.

    • I’m all in favor of this, so don’t take this as a negative about Kaval, but I bet they intentionally timed this after opening day to take advantage of the additional coverage.

      With the NBA and NHL playoffs starting, the NFL draft right around the corner and it still being so early in the season, MLB and especially the A’s will take the back burner for a bit. Doing it now gets them a ton of free advertising at a time when they need it.

  2. As much as I hated the tarps, I really hope this doesn’t backfire and make our lack of attendance more apparent.

    Without question, Dave is steering the ship in the right direction but there is still some mending needed to restore the fans to its full potential.

    With that being said, burn those damn tarps.

    • My thinking on the tarps really took hold when they opened up the 3rd deck for the playoffs in 2012. I was EXCITED to take my daughters to watch a game from the 3rd deck.

      The game was electric and we had the best vantage point of all the yellow towels swirling overhead, yet below. The look in the eyes of my girls was more than electric.

      From that point on I have pretty much believed that if they wanted to tarp anything, it should be the football seats above the bleachers. I liked the idea of a more intimate feel of the ~34,000 people, definitely something less than 50,000. But the intimacy they sought, and I craved, is more the result of architecture and design than number of seats for sale 🙂

      At this point, taking the tarps of is another PR win. And that’s worth way more than any tickets they will sell up there or any staffing costs, etc.

      I am a fan of how Dave Kaval is going after this, even if most of the changes thus far are minor and the real test will be completing a stadium deal. He was on Channel 2 this morning and he is the exact kind of exuberant dude we fans deserve.

  3. Will fans who complained about the tarps now fill those seats or will we be left with an additional 10,000 empty seats to look at every night?

    • “Will fans who complained about the tarps now fill those seats or will we be left with an additional 10,000 empty seats to look at every night?”

      10,000 empty seats, and a lot of extra after game cleanup.

  4. Maybe the 49ers can re-purpose the tarps.

  5. this will increase attendance for the big draw games as mentioned above against the “draw” teams and during fireworks but i doubt it’ll effect attendance much for the other 50-60 games against your average big league team.

    i mean with all the good will that kaval has brought since he was hired it sure didn’t help the attendance during the first home stand last week.

    had the sellout on opening night as always but the a’s drew 11k, 13k, 13k the other three games vs the angels which is in line with what they drew the following games after opening night in previous seasons when the fan base pretty much dispised the a’s way of business and or ownership.

    • He is playing the long game. I don’t think we can judge the success or lack thereof based on a single home stand.

      These are moves to build goodwill ahead of trying to sell enough future tickets at a a new stadium. They will need everyone to be willing to fork over $$$$ to build a new stadium privately.

      It’s really quite genius, if simple. He has asked the questions, “What sucks about being an A’s fan?” He has heard the answers and taken action. He is basically removing excuses 🙂

      • you wonder if this will effect the way the a’s do business on the field too in regards to not trading whom some could view as the “core” of the big league team right now.

        gray in particular who has been rumored to be a player that could be dealt for the last season or two. another name who could be mentioned in the next year or two even though he won’t be a free agent until after the 2019 season is k.davis who at this time is probably the most marketable a’s players on their roster right now. possibly even manaea too?

        as of now gray is signed thru 2019, k.davis is signed thru 2019, and manaea is signed thru 2021.

        would the a’s try to lock any of them up to long term deals and tell a’s fans look these guys will be around when the new park opens lets say in 2020 or 2021 and possibly the first few years in the new park?

        be another bad look if the a’s were to trade them in the next year or two to acquire another batch of prospects even before a new park is built.

        any kind of positive momentum and feelings from the a’s fanbase could go away as fans would just look at potential moves like that and say nothing has changed in regards to how the team runs the franchise by not keeping their best, most well known and or well liked players around for the long term or past their years of team control.

      • Yeah, all I will say is that “PR solutions don’t address real problems, only perception.” Which is to say, I completely agree that keeping some players would be a great next step.

        So, we will see.

  6. If Dave and the A’s want the fans back, start looking for an attraction aka star player(s). People won’t come to CC to watch games unless there is something worth watching. Frisco did it right by signing BB. Now the A’s have to get one themselves. Removing the tarps will not improve attendance.

    • Yup–another 12k of empty seats is nothing to cheer about–Kaval is a good marketer- albeit one that works for Wolff/Fisher. Absent a reason to go to the coli (a good team to watch with a bit of star power) I will continue to observe from afar.

      I find those who think that Kaval is the golden ticket to a new stadium quite comical. Avaya stadium in San Jose happened because of LW being a very astute real estate developer and city of San Jose understanding how to make a deal happen. Let’s see if the city of Oakland can also make a deal happen by providing entitlements to some of their city owned land. Note, that this in itself is no easy slam dunk given the level of activism in Oakland around any city owned land deals.

      Bottom line- the economics have not changed significantly yet costs to build have gone way up as has the cost of any land—Avaya cost $100M- An A’s stadium is now upwards of close to $700M–that’s a lot of property to swap and entitle to make sure this can happen.

    • good luck trying to attract anywhere near the highest tier of free agents to sign with the a’s. at least not when they’re still playing at the coliseum where the player facilities are the worst in baseball and for the most part you’re playing in front of some of the smallest crowds in all of the league.

      not like the a’s haven’t tried to sign some higher tier free agents over the years. beltre, berkman, furcal and this past offseason they made possibly the richest offer to encarnacion yet he signed with cle while those other teams probably used the a’s for leverage with other orgs.

      maybe things change once the a’s get a new park but any “star” players they’ll have in the lineup pre new park they’ll have to develop them which really has been something the a’s org has done ever since they moved to oakland.

  7. This made me laugh when I saw it on FB. Kaval is just stalling and trying to make himself look better than Wolff who is despised by most A’s fans.

    12k more of empty seats? How about announcing a new stadium on the Coli site THEN do the untarping.

    Maybe people would fill some of those seats.

    Right now he needs to be working on one thing and one thing only. A Coliseum baseball only stadium on the current site once the Raiders leave in 2019.

    He would be better served to share with the Giants for 3 years 2019-2021 and 2022 have a brand new stadium with a development around the area underway.

    Building next door to the current Coliseum would stall the development piece big time.

    Let’s see what Kaval comes up with. He did a fine job in in San Jose for the Earthquakes.

    • FWIW, the A’s still hold an option San Jose site in their back pockets, if I am correct. If all the A’s “We love Oakland” campaigning still ends up with no new stadium in 5 years, particularly with the Raiders leaving, then MLB might cave on the territorial rights.

    • Wonder how he feels seeing them mostly empty- quality ballparks are about creating an intimate experience where you can feel the energy of the crowd- you aren’t going to get that with an empty third deck

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