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Friday, October 05, 2012

SF Gate: A’s refuse to remove tarp, cite ‘intimate’ fan experience

Troubled Ass Relief Program: Fanny may sit elsewhere.

Most teams try to sell as many tickets as they can, especially during the playoffs. The Oakland Athletics have a different philosophy. A’s management said Friday they plan not to sell 20,878 of the Coliseum’s 55,945 seats next week for the A’s division showdown with the Detroit Tigers. Those seats account for 37 percent of the Coliseum’s baseball seating capacity and A’s management has sealed then off with tarps since 2006 due to low attendance.

But now the Oakland A’s are drawing sold-out crowds. So many fans showed up for the last game of the season Wednesday that A’s management warned people to stay away because there were no tickets left.

Fans are demanding that the team remove the tarps to let more people in - some have started a petition via a website called Removethetarps.com. Many have pelted A’s management with complaints.

On Friday A’s management explained to The Chronicle why they would not remove the tarps.

A smaller crowd, A’s managers said, would create a closer, more intimate environment for the American League Division Series.

“The fan experience is better without spreading fans out over more seats,” A’s managers wrote in an e-mail. “The energy in the park and the fan experience over the last week (when the seats were tarped) was incredible.”

Repoz Posted: October 05, 2012 at 10:51 PM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: oakland

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   1. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4256263)
Could be they just don't have enough staff.
   2. Tripon Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4256266)
They should hire them then. Or get the staff that works the Raiders game to help cover. Its a freaking football stadium for god sakes, open it up if there's enough interest.
   3. akrasian Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:10 PM (#4256279)
It takes a while to train the staff. What if a bunch of Raiders' fans show up while the staff is mostly untrained?
   4. BochysFingers Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4256282)
smaller crowd, A’s managers said, would create a closer, more intimate environment for the American League Division Series.

Yeah, that's the ticket. Or lack of available tickets.
   5. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4256284)
What an awful missed opportunity for Oakland.
   6. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4256288)
If you believe you're playing well because the tarps are out, or because the tarps aren't out, or because you wear women's underwear, then you are! And you should know that!
   7. tshipman Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4256290)
I thought the A's person was going to say that people were having sex under the tarp.

Why else would you put "intimate" in quotes?
   8. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4256291)
I bet you could have an intimate fan experience under the tarp.
   9. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:18 PM (#4256301)
Why else would you put "intimate" in quotes?

Wait, what are you intimating here?
   10. tshipman Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4256306)
Wait, what are you intimating here?


Someone is ####### under the tarp.
   11. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:22 PM (#4256309)
Wait, what are you ####### talking about?
   12. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4256315)
Oakland will wait until Game 7 of the World Series, and then right before the first pitch, pull back the tarps... to reveal zombie hordes of A's fans, doing the Bernie in every seat!
   13. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4256316)
What does this have to do with Vince Coleman?
   14. Srul Itza Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4256334)
IT'S A TARP!

   15. The Tarp That Ate Vince Coleman Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4256462)
Did somebody say my name? I've been waiting all my life to hear my name here.
   16. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4256490)
The Tarp That Ate Vince Coleman...COME ON DOWN!!!
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:19 AM (#4256511)
This is not an Onion article?
   18. Dan Evensen Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:46 AM (#4256531)
What an awful missed opportunity for Oakland.

My sentiments exactly. Here you've got a team that has never really drawn well, even when successful. You're in the postseason, and have an exciting young team to watch. Yet you'd still rather keep 1/3 of the seats under a tarp? What ever happened to taking advantage of your recent success to attract new fans? Why not milk all the fans who can't get in for every penny they're worth?

I refuse to believe that it's better economically for them to keep these seats empty. Looks to me like a bonehead ownership decision, pure and simple.
   19. Dan Evensen Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:47 AM (#4256532)
15. The Tarp That Ate Vince Coleman Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4256462)
Did somebody say my name? I've been waiting all my life to hear my name here.


>Looks at profile

Total Comments 50
Join Date May 04, 2004 04:44 AM


Wat...
   20. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:12 AM (#4256552)
Agree that its a huge missed opportunity and probably stupid. But not sure if commenters have full context-- deliberately or otherwise the stadiums been on a skeleton crew for a while now. Most concession stands closed, lower sections ripe for moving down as there aren't enough ticket checkers... it's seriously like Major League over there. They've clearly been doing Aramarks economy lite package, not sure if they can upgrade on short notice. And given the ownership, not sure they even want to.

   21. Portia Stanke Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:13 AM (#4256553)
What does this have to do with Vince Coleman?


Someone is ####### under the tarp.


The Tarp That Ate Vince Coleman


The 1985 World Series makes so much more sense now that I have read you Primates' lurid, prurient thoughts.
   22. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:29 AM (#4256555)
Join Date May 04, 2004 04:44 AM

Exactly a month late. Or 479 months early.
   23. KingKaufman Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:11 AM (#4256568)
What an awful missed opportunity for Oakland.


Why not milk all the fans who can't get in for every penny they're worth?


Read the article again. Pay attention to the quotes by Paul Siri near the end.
   24. KT's Pot Arb Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:40 AM (#4256571)
Oakland should tarp more seats and quadruple ticket prices. The sorry excuse of a fan base didn't even show up for the last third of the season when the As were fighting to hold on to a playoff berth, now hey want accommodations and cheap playoff tickets?

Siri has it all wrong, Oakland has been pushing the team out the door for years.
   25. Bhaakon Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:47 AM (#4256574)
I'm surprised that the MLBPA isn't raising a stink. The pool of the players' postseason shares is funded by a percentage of the gate, so this decision has a tremendous affect on how much money the players will pocket. It's one thing if A's management wants to shoot itself in the foot, quite another to do it to the players.
   26. Swedish Chef Posted: October 06, 2012 at 05:11 AM (#4256577)
Poor Paul Siri, Steven Ipod and David Walkman can relate to what he is going through now.

Oakland should tarp more seats and quadruple ticket prices. The sorry excuse of a fan base didn't even show up for the last third of the season when the As were fighting to hold on to a playoff berth, now hey want accommodations and cheap playoff tickets?

I can only assume that you have held a marketing position with the A's for the last twenty years. That theory would explain a lot. They're driving away the fans not through incompetence, but out of spite.
   27. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: October 06, 2012 at 07:42 AM (#4256593)
7. tshipman Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4256290)
I thought the A's person was going to say that people were having sex under the tarp.

In the city across the bay they're not shy enough for tarps.
   28. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 06, 2012 at 07:44 AM (#4256594)
Could be they just don't have enough staff.

Then their position that the tarps come off for the World Series doesn't make sense.

I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective
   29. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 06, 2012 at 07:48 AM (#4256598)
A strange decision. Surely they can use the Raider people for the extra concessions and security? Can't they at least open up a couple of more sections?

Ah well. Go A's!
   30. bobm Posted: October 06, 2012 at 08:58 AM (#4256623)
I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective

I know most baseball games go 9 innings, but I love any game that ends up in extra innings, esp when this one goes to the 11th.
   31. depletion Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:04 AM (#4256627)
At this rate, pretty soon there will be no there there. For the 2012 World Series...NO SEATS, TV ONLY. I agree that this is a move out of the Slapshot school of management, but why would Oakland have a successful team if the owner hated attendence?
   32. Swoboda is freedom Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4256629)
In the city across the bay they're not shy enough for tarps.

I guess they didn't leave their tarp in San Francisco.
   33. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4256636)
Someone is ####### under the tarp.

I thought the guy was content doing it in the Yankee Stadium bathroom.
   34. 'Spos Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4256644)
Surely if they need it, there's a tarp fund?
   35. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4256648)
Poor Paul Siri, Steven Ipod and David Walkman can relate to what he is going through now.


Bah. Save your pity for poor Kumquat Hitlerpenis
   36. joyjoykid Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4256660)
I attended game 1 & 5 of 2002 Division Series at the Coliseum,
which garnered 32,000 & 34,000 respectively according to b-r.
Back when without the tarp, the fans were scattered all over the section
and the stadium didn't look any different from an ordinary weekend game.
It was a bit let-down (game result too).

But fireworks will work.
   37. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4256672)
I attended game 1 & 5 of 2002 Division Series at the Coliseum,
which garnered 32,000 & 34,000 respectively according to b-r.
On the other hand, the A's averaged nearly 45,500 in the 2000 ALDS, I believe for that series they had it open everywhere except Mt. Davis. The next year they must've opened Mt. Davis, because they drew more than 55K for ALDS Game 3. (All of whom got to see the Jeter Flip Play, so not all bad!) but then down to 43K for the next game.

Really what this has taught me is that A's playoff attendance patterns are all kinds of goofy.
   38. Bored Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4256715)
They did the same thing in 2006 which was the first year of the tarps and the new ownership. Didn't remove them for the ALCS and if I remember correctly Wolff wasn't even going to remove them for the World Series if they had advanced. I will say the seats on top of Mt. Davis are worthless for baseball so I have no problem keeping those covered. I sat up there for the 20th straight win game and you have a better view of San Francisco than the game.
   39. PreservedFish Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4256742)
I bet they're afraid that there isn't actually demand. Take it from this Oakland resident that the team did not make it into the city's general consciousness until the very last series of the year.
   40. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4256748)
San Jose should offer to build them an intimate 25,000-seat stadium. No luxury boxes, which detract from the communal eel.
   41. McCoy Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4256754)
I don't like sharing my eel with the community.
   42. cmd600 Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4256761)
20 and 39 have it right. Last week the A's had a sub 20k crowd (ok, against Seattle), 21k for the first game against Texas, and still couldn't sell out the game where they tied up the Rangers. They're not selling 55k tickets on short notice, even for the playoffs.
   43. sardonic Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4256794)
I'd agree with 20, 39 and 42. I was able to get 4 seats for Tuesday's home game during the ninth inning of the last Texas game around first base on the field level. For $55 each. Just clicking around there were tons of tickets at that time.

Granted, they've sold out games 3 and 4 so far, but there are even tickets available for game 5 right this very moment.

Basically, I just don't think the demand is there, sad as it is.
   44. Bored Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4256808)
There are still tickets available in Detroit for today's game. Will there be tarps at Comerica tonight?
   45. McCoy Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4256821)
Orioles first game is completely sold out and it was that after a few hours after going on sale. I bought a ticket to tomorrow's game for $105. The ticket has a face value of $35.0

How well covered from the elements are you in the top sections? I'm in section 356. I think I'm going to need a tarp.
   46. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4256823)
Join Date May 04, 2004 04:44 AM

Exactly a month late. Or 479 months early.


Or right on time if using a 0-based month system like JavaScript.

</geek>
   47. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4256878)
There are still tickets available in Detroit for today's game. Will there be tarps at Comerica tonight?


Only over potentially incinerated police cars.
   48. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4256895)
Why don't they just move the game to Miller Park?
   49. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4256897)
Or right on time if using a 0-based month system like JavaScript.

Not .NET, though.
   50. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 06, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4256984)
Do they block all access to the upper deck, or can fans run up to retrieve a foul ball or have a quick "intimate" moment under the tarp?
   51. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 06, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4256991)
Do they block all access to the upper deck, or can fans run up to retrieve a foul ball or have a quick "intimate" moment under the tarp?
Looking at their seating chart, they do sell three sections in home plate--those directly behind home plate. (The "3D" seating chart shows this much better.) Whether or not you can wander around up there or if they have security preventing that, I couldn't say.

EDIT: To ask, are the seats literally tarped? I know they untarp them for the Raiders' games, of course, do they put the tarps back every time?
   52. PreservedFish Posted: October 06, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4256999)
Do they block all access to the upper deck, or can fans run up to retrieve a foul ball or have a quick "intimate" moment under the tarp?


It's easy to get to them. Fans are dissuaded from entering those areas only by plastic chains.

Whether or not you can wander around up there or if they have security preventing that, I couldn't say.


In order to get to those seats behind home, you actually are forced to walk by the entrances a number of tarped sections. There's no purpose to wandering the area behind those seats, which is just a lot of cement and closed off concession stands. You could get to the tarped seats in an instant but I imagine you'd be spotted pretty quickly. Having never done it, I don't know how tight the tarp is or how much fun you could have under it.

Those upper deck seats behind home are actually the best tickets to get - during the regular season they are $14 and it includes a $6 credit for food/beer.
   53. boteman digs the circuit clout Posted: October 06, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4257015)
I'd agree with 20, 39 and 42. I was able to get 4 seats for Tuesday's home game during the ninth inning of the last Texas game around first base on the field level. For $55 each. Just clicking around there were tons of tickets at that time.

I agree with 20, 39, 42, and 43. Not only was it authentic frontier gibberish, it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.

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