Posters on Athletics Nation are reporting that the View level (euphemism for upper deck) will not be sold next season. I've confirmed that as of now, this only affects season ticket sales. There is no set policy with regard to regular single-game tickets, but if the A's choose not to sell the View level at all, there are serious ramifications:
- The upper deck held around 12,000. That should knock capacity down to 34-35,000
- No more View level promotions like "BART Double Play Wednesdays" or "Pepsi can weeknights"
- No need to staff the upper-upper concourse behind sections 310-325.
- Far fewer walkup seats for every date
There is the risk of backlash. Fans may not respond well to the disappearance of cheap walkup seats in the View level. The walkup situation has become something of an institution, and if A's marketing doesn't properly inform fans of this change, they may find fans either confused by the new ticket offerings or even turned away for certain games. The task for the A's is to handle this with as much diplomacy as possible. There are plenty of fans that think the seats in sections 315-320 are perfectly fine (including me). How do the A's convince them that those seats aren't good?
The upshot of all of this is to find out if the season ticket base can expand. If it does, the A's will have a good subscription base from which they can start marketing a new ballpark. If not, it becomes a reason to leave Oakland, since the lack of season ticket sales will "prove" that Oakland is not a ripe market. It's not fair to Oakland, since the Coliseum is not the same as a new ballpark, but Wolff needs some data upon which he can create a business case for a new ballpark, and that makes us guinea pigs.