The Oakland A’s are in the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Coincidentally, 2006 was the last time the A’s made all 55,945 of the Oakland Coliseum’s seats available to fans. Since then, 20,878 seats have been covered by a tarp during A’s games. Just because the A’s are winning again doesn’t mean the team is ready to uncover the seats and invite fans back. The tarps will remain, despite the increased demand for seats. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
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 executives 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.”
There are a ton of reasons to leave the tarp down. If the fans didn’t want the A’s when they were fat losers, then why should the team give in to them now that they’re skinny and hot and winning? Packing the lower portion of the stadium does make a better experience. Opening the upper deck would give fans the chance to purchase cheaper seats and leave more expensive seats open. Those are just the dumb reasons I could think of off the top of my head.
There is one reason to remove the tarp – give the fans a chance to see their team in the playoffs in person. Since owner Lew Wolff has wanted to move the team to San Jose since buying the team in 2006, that doesn’t really matter. Let’s just hope that no one tells Wolff nobody is going to attend games in San Jose either if the team isn’t winning.