Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Oakland: Less seats, more filling !

Most of the people I have spoken with do not like the new “seating arrangement”for this
upcoming season at the Oakland McAfee Coliseum.
Every place you look, every survey they take shows fans consternation.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezI know, I know, nothing can compare to PAC BELL,
SBC,AT&T Park in San Francisco. The Oakland A’S
of 2006 season will sell no more than 34,077 seats
per game. Right off the bat (sorry Marty)they will
be loosing some money since the A’S open against the New York Yankees, one of the few teams that
usually sell over 45,000 tickets.
Also when the Red Sox and Giants visit Oakland the A’S sell over 40,000 tickets with ease.
Simple math tells me that your home team and the
visiting team (which also gets a precentage of the
gate) make less money when they sell 35,000 than
45,000 seats. But we are going here for intimacy.
If people go crazy and the A’S sell every one of their 81 home games their attendance will be

Baseball is different business.I am sure if you owned a restaurant with 150 capacity you would rather have 148 people eating there everyday with all the noise, than 35 people eating in one area
of the restaurant but with great ambiance and
intimacy. But the A’S owner wants it this way and that is the way it will be.

Of course, this will make the A’S tickets more in demand in the Bay Area, specially the walk up
crowd. The A’S have the largest walk-up attendance
in the Major Leagues. You will not hear much complaint from the season ticket holders, as a matter of fact they might benefit from this new
smaller Coliseum,because of secondary ticket options. Would we see scalpers in April by Hegenberger Road ? Why not, we see scalpers
in Phoenix for Spring Training in March for
God’s sake. Yes, I know Phoenix Stadium has
8,776 capacity.

The people that buy the cheaper seats will have to “sweat”some more under this new system, but
I am not very sure the A’S are not going to
roll back and take the tarp off if things do not work out.

The embarrasing thing could be when the Twins or
Devil Rays come to town during the middle of
the week you still might have 20,000 empty seats,even under this new system,specially during night games middle of the week against such teams.

What is the old saying “You can dress a monkey with a nice suit,but still a monkey”. The Oakland
McCafee Coliseum was never Fenway Park or
Wrigley Field and this definetely doesn’t make it so
because the Oakland McAfee Coliseum has never
been an attractive baseball stadium.

Prior to the building of Mount Davis in centerfield, the Oakland Coliseum was a decent place to see
a game, although the closest seats to the field are still a long way from the action, but at least prior to Mount Davis it resembled more a baseball stadium.
The only other Major League park I have been with
seats this far from the field was the old Atlanta
Fulton-County Stadium, ex home of the Atlanta
Braves, today a very nice parking lot.

The A’S might try to sell advertising in the closed upper deck on the tarp and that is something that
would generate more revenue for the team. So that is a plus, more money is always good. But the fans pay money to see their team in a nice facility
to enjoy the game, they do not care about advertising inside the park,they get enough of that when they watch the games on television.

Of course if the A’S build a new ballpark more than likely it would have a capacity of around 35,000
(as it has been said) so this could also be a rehearsal for Oakland’s new ballpark.

I believe this is an experiment (unlike the DH that stayed) I would not be surprised if the A’S are in
the thick of a pennant race in August and September and they need to accomodate more people because there will be more interest to watch the A’S play. All they would have to do is
take the tarp of the seats in the upper deck area
or wherever there is a seat that is covered.

The truth here is that nobody knows what the heck is going to happen, only time will tell.

Less seats, more filling !



1 Anonymous { 01.30.06 at 1:45 pm }

You make sense at the end. It will indeed be interesting to see if the A’s keep the tarp off all year.

But to get to those comments, we have to wade through all your nasty little remarks about the Coliseum that only a Giants fan could make.

You used to work for the A’s. What happened? They wouldn’t pay your BART fare or something?

And it’s spelled LOSE, not LOOSE. Jeeeez!

2 Anonymous { 01.30.06 at 2:53 pm }

Thanks for the response.
However, I never worked for the A’S, got paid by the radio stations that carried the A’S games in
Spanish. I do work directly for the Giants, it
was just a better deal for me, this is America
land of the Free and yopu have to make
decisions for you and your family.
I am sure you understand.
I have done the Giants since 1994 but only ion their payroll for the past 3 years in Seattle
I have been doing the Mariners games but
get paid by KXLY Radio Network out of
Both of my sons are avid A’S fans, born and
raised in the East Bay in the days of Canseco and McGwire (remember, when they made the World Series?) Thanks for the spelling, no hablo mucho Inglés !
Take care.

3 Anonymous { 01.30.06 at 11:12 pm }

The architecture of the Coliseum is most unfriendly on the field — the large space between the playing field and the seats — it is really unfortunate that seating cannot be extended closer to the field — this would make lower deck options much more atttractive –as it is the second deck is the best seating option, but again, once you get between the dugouts and and foul poles, the circular plan layout of the park pushes you far off the field

Sacramento and Fresno actually have classier BASEBALL venues, and to me the challenge will always be on the Oakland fans to push hard for a baseball venue for this immensely entertaining franchise —does anyone know the land use possibilities for the old Oakland Army base or the Alameda Naval Station–what about the area around the West Oakland BART station?-

– I get to about 35 A’s games a year, and it is pretty weird to see 20000 people so widely dispersed throughout the park– I think the idea of management is well intended, just hope the stadium will work with these ideas.

I really hope this experiment will work for the ownership and the fans — what is scary is the realization that a very large portion of the annual gate comes from the 45 k plus turnouts for NYY, SFG, BOS, and interleague — lets just hope there is overall balance in the gameday average attendance.

This looks like a great year on the field, lets hope the team plays to packed houses

4 Anonymous { 01.30.06 at 11:50 pm }

one thing to remember about the new plan –when the third deck is open that means the third level concessions need to be open and there needs to be staff of all kinds there — when the third deck turnout is minimal there is a loss leader type of atmosphere

what is unclear is the whole park access from the BART concourse directly into the third level — at Fan Fest I couldn’t get a clear answer to this — are BART arriving fans going to have to go to ground level to get inside?

also lets hope that the new configuration will look right on TV –the stadium is so huge and so top heavy, it is important that the image going out across the country is right

5 Anonymous { 01.31.06 at 12:11 am }

the argument that the A’s were losing money by keeping the concession stands on the third deck open is a joke, just like the new seating plan is. except for a few stands in the inside of the stadium, the concession stands were regularly closed on the 3rd deck. they would do this, understandably, when attendance wasn’t that great, but they would even do this with around 20K fans. it’d make the walk for a beer way too far. it’s obvious the A’s don’t care about the more working class fans and are just trying to get money from professionals and corporate sponsors.
-Mike E.

6 Anonymous { 02.02.06 at 2:11 am }

“Baseball is different business.I am sure if you owned a restaurant with 150 capacity you would rather have 148 people eating there everyday with all the noise, than 35 people eating in one area
of the restaurant but with great ambiance and
intimacy. But the A’S owner wants it this way and that is the way it will be.”

That is an awfully bad analogy, don’t you think? Honestly, if the analogy DID make sense, and the owner was making more money off of the advertisments covering those unused 115 seats, would the owner care? Huge difference in business, let alone pricing, amount of people, etc. Too big of a disparity to take that statement anything more than laughable. Although I agree about it being an experiment, and one that may not last, the article has venom in it that is certainly uncalled for, if not a stretch to begin with. Makes for a difficult read. I can’t imagine there isn’t a better way for a professional writer to make his point…..

7 Anonymous { 02.02.06 at 2:14 am }

Speaking as a “working-class fan”, most of that class of people hasn’t done their share anyhow. If you can’t get the money from the fan base, you have to get it from somewhere. It’s called business.

8 Anonymous { 02.02.06 at 9:04 am }

what you call “business”, I call the “corporatization” of the game. like any other “business” the A’s want to enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers and working people.
-Mike E.

9 Anonymous { 02.02.06 at 10:50 am }

This is all about creating “artificial scarcity”. And it’s being done in other cities, too. Look at all the newer ballparks being built and you’ll see that they generally have capacities of around 40,000. Pittsburgh’s is actually 38K, if I recall.

I would hope that, while initially a 35K capacity stadium, that the new A’s stadium will be able to expand at a future date. However, being in mid-30’s hasn’t hurt the Red Sox or the Cubs all those years.

The A’s DO need to be careful about putting too much emphasis on creating “initimacy”. Everyone knows the REAL reason it’s being done, and to say otherwise, comes across as very disengenous. Especially at a time that many want to accuse them of “screwing the working-class fan.

I would imagine there are “working class” Giants fans who miss Candlestick. Funny that you don’t see or hear much of them.

10 Anonymous { 02.02.06 at 5:11 pm }

You’re right about the design flaws of the Coliseum, especially the huge foul areas. And for those who like to blame the Raiders and “Mt.Davis”, for our stadium problems, keep in mind that the foul areas and the poor sightlines were there when the A’s moved here in ’68.

…and that includes the glorious ’80’s, when the Coliseum was the “Greatest Place On Earth” for baseball. Face it, even had the Raiders never returned, we’d still need a new stadium today.


11 Anonymous { 02.02.06 at 9:18 pm }

In case you didn’t notice, the business aspect or “corporatization” of the game started when the very first official leagues formed, before the turn of the century. It’s been a business ever since. Before me, before you, before the A’s were in Oakland. “The A’s want to enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers and working people” is a ludicrous statement. To an extent, so does every politician, insurance agent, lawyer, businessman, sportswriter, T.V. Station, and basically any other product that is bought or sold. To say it the way you do, makes it sound like they have a vendetta and are determined to screw folks to earn money. Spin it any way you like, there is no conspiracy.

12 Anonymous { 02.03.06 at 1:04 am }

Look — the A’s really have to struggle for air time — the KNBR monster is a real adversary, and the TV package isn’t like Chicago or Boston, with their nationwide cable packages- —this franchise needs a solid fan base in the seats, occasional huge walk up games, and a highly competitive team to stay viable —

tarping the 3rd deck is a gamble — I sure hope the franchise is successful in it, I just can’t get used to the idea yet — there have been times when the 3rd deck was actually preferable to first deck

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