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Tarp-gate And An Excessive Resistance To A Sea Of Green

Today's double-header begins at 2:05pm PDT. The game-thread for game one will be posted a little before 2:00pm.

Wednesday's game, in which many fans tried to walk-up and buy tickets only be turned away by a 34,000+ "sellout," brought Tarp-gate back to the forefront of conversation. Here's my beef (or, if you're a vegetarian, my tofu): Why tarps, instead of a sea of green seats? Here's what I mean...The A's could have:

  • Not sold any season tickets for the 3rd deck, and moved the Brianin317's down to the 2nd deck, just as they in fact did.
  • Had their "intimate environment" for those 16,000 crowds, just as they in fact did.
  • Hired vendors according to a "3rd deck is closed" configuration, just as they in fact did.
  • Let the aesthetic "uniform look" of the 3rd deck be a deck of green seats. Big f'ing difference. It doesn't look "empty," it looks like a multi-purpose stadium for which only two decks comprise the "baseball stadium," but "that other deck" is used for concerts, football, etc.
  • Sold 3rd deck seats, and hired vendors accordingly, for the series against the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, the Fireworks games, and any playoff games.
  • Had no issue of any expense to remove and reinstall tarps
  • Drawn more fans, had no "vendor need" surprises, test-run their "intimate stadium" on a 60-game basis, and been able to "rock the house" with 45,000+ for games they knew could draw 45,000+.
From a revenue standpoint, yes, the A's wanted to sell more season-tickets, and discourage walk-ups, but here's the problem with that argument. Not only did the A's offset a lot of their gains by losing 10,000 fans for games they could have sold out the 3rd deck, but attending fans, in contrast with season-ticket no-shows, spend money on concessions and souvenirs. And attending fans, in contrast with season-ticket no-shows, create an atmosphere of excitement.

But the A's chose not to go that route, and all for what? The ability to make the stadium look less empty by aesthetically covering up an empty deck with something that looks nicer and less like an empty deck? 127 fans scattered among 10,000 seats looks empty. Zero fans in a deck that is not part of the baseball configuration does not look empty so much as it looks like the green trim running along the stadium.

For this we can't experience the magic, anymore, of 45,000+ fans rocking the stadium? For this, fans have to be turned away from experiencing A's baseball, and maybe getting hooked, because we knew you were coming but we don't want you, so go away, we're full except for an entire deck of the stadium?

Apparently, the prospect of a "sea of green" is that bad. See you at 2:00pm for a double-dip.