36,067 fans packed O.co Coliseum last Wednesday to watch the A’s complete their improbable comeback against the Rangers. Anybody in the ballpark will tell you it was the loudest they’ve heard that stadium during an A’s game in years.
Now imagine what it would sound like if 55,000 screaming fans packed the Coliseum Tuesday night when the A’s host their first playoff game since 2006.
The fans want those ugly tarps that cover most of the upper deck sections to be removed. They want to have a chance to watch their beloved A’s. But so far, the A’s have said they won’t remove the tarps for any of the ALDS games against the Tigers, even if the A’s force a Game 5 on Thursday night.
Last Friday, A’s executives wrote in an email to the Chron’s Carolyn Jones that:
“the fan experience is better without spreading fans out over more seats. The energy in the park and the fan experience over the last week (when the seats were trapped) was incredible.”
In her article, Jones wrote A’s management told her the A’s would only remove the tarps if the A’s made it to the World Series.
Now, according to the Merc, a team source said they will remove the tarps if the A’s find a way to get past the Tigers. If the A’s somehow make it to the American League Championship Series, the A’s will oblige their fans and open up the upper deck.
But it may be too late. The A’s are in a huge hole that only four teams have come back from since the Wild Card was implemented. If the Merc’s source is legitimate and the A’s really did say they would remove the tarps, it may just be a goodwill gesture to the A’s fans.
The Chron’s Susan Slusser just posted some news on her Twitter account shooting down the Merc’s story.
Whatever excuse A’s management wants to use, they know there is a demand and they are choosing to ignore it.
Before last Wednesday’s game against the Rangers, the A’s sent word to the media to pass along a message for them:
Yep. They actually discouraged fans from showing up. They told their fans there are no tickets for you, so don’t bother showing up.
For six months, they couldn’t get people to show up unless they put on a fireworks show. Now that people want to show up, they are telling them to stay home.
The A’s have had five days to figure this out. The moment Grant Balfour recorded the final out on Wednesday, team and stadium officials should have been hard at work getting the upper deck ready for the week. They should have hired ushers, told vendors to be ready and printed the tickets.
Instead, they told their fans that less is more. I don’t root for the A’s, but I’m pulling for them to win the next three games just to see if the A’s management makes good on its word to open up the upper deck.