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30 July 2007

2nd poll results

12 days ago I asked the question, "How would the Piccinini group have been different?" Responses were fewer than the previous poll question, but the results for this one are nevertheless interesting.

  • Downtown Oakland ballpark - 18 (28%)
  • New Coliseum lot ballpark - 10 (15%)
  • Stayed in Coliseum indefinitely - 9 (14%)
  • Moved elsewhere in Bay Area - 11 (17%)
  • Moved out of Bay Area - 15 (23%)
No definitive answer here, and there's no accounting for motivation. Unlike the last poll, I can group the answers. So I did just that, with the first three options thrown into a "Stayed in Oakland" group, the final two a "Left Oakland" group. In doing so, the tally looks like this:

  • Stayed in Oakland - 37 (59%)
  • Left Oakland - 26 (41%)
Some might say that staying in the Coliseum indefinitely wasn't a realistic option, but I wanted to put it out there anyway to gauge interest. "Stayed in Oakland" would've won regardless of the third option's inclusion.

The voting trend during the week proved pivotal. Results were fairly even for the first 4-5 days, but gradually tilted towards "Stayed in Oakland" during midweek.

This week's poll question is pretty simple: "How big should Cisco Field be?"

21 comments:

anthony dominguez said...

I voted 40K, but ideally Cisco Field should be at least 38K. To this day I still can't understand why the A's would limit a new venue to 32K. A 32K seat ballpark would have actually made a lot of sense if the A's were building in downtown San Jose (concerns over traffic, noise and good ole NIMBY'ism)...but at Pac Commons/Fremont?! Look, when the Giants were playing at Candlestick, they were drawing roughly 15K per game; roughly the same as the A's now during the week. Yet we all know that AT&T stands at 42K and is PACKED regularly. My point...the A's shouldn't cut themselves short based on their current attendance at the decrepit Coliseum. Trust me, a 38-40K seat Cisco Field would be PACKED on a regular basis (as long, of course, as the A's fielded competitive, playoff calibre teams).

anon-a-mouse said...

I'd like to see Cisco be 38K, but I think it will actually be ~35K. I have a feeling MLB will encourage Wolfe to make it a little larger than the 32-33K he's been mentioning.

SexFlavoredPez said...

I voted for 35K for this reason; Lew has a point. New ballparks open and for three years it's packed. Then, after everyone in the area has had enough visits for it to no longer be a 'new thng' they stop coming. Look at Colorado and Baltimore for perfect examples. PacBell...or whatever the hell it's called now...is a poor comparison Mr. Dominguez. The Giants moved into an urban setting with relatively easy access, the A's are moving to the suburbs. I dont expect to see the same thing happen in Cisco as we see in SBC. I think 32K is a bit small for the first few years but Lew is taking (and rightfully so) a long term look at it. After the first 5 seasons there will be plenty of empty seats, just as you see now in Oakland. ML can correct me if I'm wrong here but I think I remember it being mentioned that with the tarp covering the upper deck there are only 34K seats for basbeall in Oakland right now. Unless I'm seriously underestimating the amount of Santa Clara county fans I don't think the A's attendance problems will improve much at all after the first few seasons. As such, a smaller stadium makes more sence. Especially since the construction costs are lower.

gojohn10 said...

The stadium capacity issue is really the only aspect of this proposed stadium project that I really dislike. I've regularly heard the 32K-35K number thrown out with the 32K number becoming all too common recently. On the poll, I voted 38K (rather that 40K+) only because I understand the A's need to create demand by seat scarcity. However, I fear the average family is going to be priced out of this stadium (mine included). I suppose I could live with a capacity of 35K, but 32K is really unacceptable. I just hope there are contingency plans to expand Cisco field capacity as the fan base grows.

gojohn10 said...

SLP-

If the A's attendance isn't going to to improve much after the first few seasons then the A's are going to have a major problem on their hands. A brand new park with McAfee-like attendance figures is a disaster even if the proportion of corporate ticket sales are higher. I don't think that is going to be the case though and I don't think the A's think it will be either, otherwise they they would be talking about actual relocation (>30 miles from Oakland) rather than a new ballpark on the east side of the bay. The A's may never again rival the Giants popularity, but I would be surprised if by 2015 they aren't too far behind.

Marine Layer said...

The stated capacity is currently 34,077 seats + 1,000 standing room.

gojohn10 said...

Oops, I meant SFP as a response to SexFlavoredPez, not SLP.

Also in response to ML posting the stated capacity... that makes me happy although I'd prefer a few more standing room only seats.

Jeff P. said...

I have to agree with the consensus so far. 32K is just to small. I can live with 38K, but even then I think it's to small. I voted for 38K in hopes that the powers that be monitor sites such as this and are willing to revamp their thinking. If tickets become to difficult to attain a lot of families will become content with sitting things out in front of their tv in my opinion.

If you read this site Lew, give us family guys a break here. It's hard enough to buy tickets as it is, but buying five in a reduced capacity park is a hurdle we may not be able to overcome.

Jeff P. said...

One other thing related to this topic. Although it may not be fair to make a comparison between the two teams and their parks, haven't the Red Sox built themselves into a corner? They were the smallest venue before the A's tarped the third deck. As it is now they are constantly struggling to add capacity. Do the A's really want to box themselves in before the first pitch has been thrown?

SexFlavoredPez said...

gojohn,

I hope, very much so, that I'm wrong and you are correct. I know the A's are hoping the same thing. I've only lived in the Bay Area for 10 years now and for 10 years I've been appalled by the huge lack of media attention on a more entertianing, talented and sucessful franchise. I understand the Giants have been here since the late 50's but they haven't WON anything in their time here. In a bigger baseball market (with a population more passionate about baseball) this just simply wouldn't happen. I guess it's under this current trend that I'm basing my opnions. I've been to too many games in Oakland on a weeknight and there's hardly 10K people there. To me, thinking a new ballpark with make a longterm difference is kind of silly based on the current fan base. I don't care what they announce the attendnace as, it's never been anywhere near close to accurate. Again, I could be seriously underestimating the south bay fan base but I doubt it.

Don't get me wrong, I'll be one of the first people buying up a ticket for Cisco Field but I just have a sneaky feeling that it wont make the long term difference that the A's and Fremont are hoping for.

FC said...

I'd like to see the A's bump up the seating capacity to 35K but no more. As gojohn10 pointed out, the larger capacity will allow for a larger supply of tickets thus making it more affordable to the average fan. Having said that though, I don't think the A's should look at anything above 35K

The Giants are now starting to see a decline in their attendance. This despite:

* A large fan base
* A beautiful ballpark
* Very good access to the park
* Mr. Bonds
* The All-star game
* A 50,000 watt PR machine in KNBR.

Granted the fact that the Giants are out of the playoff hunt certainly has had an effect on their attendance. But unless you're the Yankees or Red Sox, you cannot build a ballpark with the expectation of being in the playoffs every year. The A's need to understand their market, and their place in that market.

Marine Layer said...

FWIW New Busch Stadium's seating capacity is 43,975. They also sell ~3,000 standing room admissions as well. Even with that, it's 4,000 less than Old Busch.

SexFlavoredPez said...

fc,

Don't forget the second upper deck. Those seats should still be close to the field, ala SBC or closer if , and be relatively cheap. I would think somewhere in the $20 - $26 range. I think the big thing that would keep families from affording tickets would be the scalable pricing that alot of clubs do now. Since there are fewer seats games against the Angels, Yankees, Red Sox, Twins, Giants and all weekend games would be priced differently then say a weeknight game against the Royals. Usually the difference runs about 10-15% higher. So long as families don't mind coming out on a Monday night to watch the Royals, Orioles or DRays there will be affordable ticket options.

anthony dominguez said...

SFP,
Pac Bell, SBC, AT&T Park is a poor comparison to Cisco because it's in an "urban setting with relatively easy access?" If this was the case, Lew Wolff would have fought tooth and nail to get a ballpark built in downtown San Jose; easily accessible to VTA light-rail, Caltrain, Capitol Corridor, ACE, future BART and High-Speed rail. Anyhow, perhaps a better comparison to Cisco Field is Angels Stadium in Anaheim. A nice suburban ballpark that is regularly PACKED with Angels fans (as much as I hate to admit it, the Angels constantly put out good teams every year). FC made some good points as to why AT&T Park has been PACKED since its opening; but the main reason should come to an end after this year...BARRY BONDS.

FC said...

sfp,

I don't think the A's will be able to go the scalable pricing route. Even with the new ballpark, I don't think demand will be large enough for it to be a success. As a season ticket holder, I would prefer that they stay with their present pricing schedule.

FC said...

Tony,

I think the Giants should continue to see good attendance figures for at least a few more years (assuming they stay competitive). I know quite a few Giants fans who are season ticketholders. I was quite surprised when a number of them told me they renewed their ST just so that they could get tickets to the All Star game. Give Peter Magowan credit for lobbying MLB for this years ASG. The game was suppose to be played in an American League park, but Mcgowan knew he would need an incentive to have his STH renew their expiring ticket contracts.

If the team does not stay competitive, my guess is that attendance will significantly drop off in a couple of years.

SexFlavoredPez said...

fc,

Those pricing teirs are not for STH. This pricing would be only for single game ticket purchases and maybe the partial plans as well, depending on the games and/or package you pick. Are you trying to say that in a 32,000 seat stadium tickets for a Yankees, Red Sox, or Angels series - or even a weekend series against anyone - would not have high enough demand to warrant premium ticket prices? The scalable pricing will come and it will start to squeeze the family guys who want to take the kids out to the ballpark.

I don't see how anyone could support the Giants in the first place but I think people will still go for many seasons after Barry leaves. I really enjoy going to Giants games and I HATE the Giants. People go there because it's a place to have a good time. Baseball is almost an afterthought. The only time anyone pays any attention in that park is when Barry's at the plate. It's a destination, a place to mingle and eat good food. The entertainment provided just happens to be baseball.

anthony dominguez said...

SFP,
Excellent point regarding Giants games. Back in the old days, our family would often go to games at Candlestick; blankets, hot chocolate, the whole nine yards. There weren't many of us there either; 5-10 empty seats between us and the nearest fan. But those who were in attendance at the Stick were true fans, watching the game and yelling their support for the Giants. Fast forward to the current ballpark and the place is PACKED, with people using cell phones, laptops, socializing, sipping merlot, talking tech..not to many actually engaged in the ballgame. I don't think many of those who were in attendance at Candlestick can be found at AT&T. You're right SFP; going to a game at AT&T is probably akin to going to the symphony or Fishermans Wharf. This all brings up on interesting thought; will this same dynamic play out at the new Cisco Field?

SexFlavoredPez said...

Mr Dominguez,

I think it's inevitable that it'll happen in Fremont as well. The older, corporate crowd will gentrify things quite a bit but I hope the A's don't lose their blue collar identity. Games in Oakland aren't much better as far as die hard fans go anyway. Those stinkin dot races get the crowd more excited then the game itself. As much as I don't like to admit it, the casual fan adds much to the success (as far as ticket sales go) of a franchise. I don't mind the SBC crowd so much but I also enjoy being able to talk to the folks around me about baseball. It deffinately adds to the enjoyment of the game day experience. With that said, if the casual, corporate fans bring more attention and money to the A's brand then that can only mean good things for the on field talent. I'm all for that :)

FC said...

SFP,

Premium ticket pricing may work while the park is in its honeymoon period, but after that (say 3-5 years) I'm not certain it would work.

You have to remember that the A's are in a market where they will always play second fiddle to the Giants. They don't have the run of the town, like the Warriors do. As such, they have to find ways to make their product as attractive as possible, whether it be on or off the field.

I was quite surprised to see where none of this year's games against the Red Sox were close to being sellouts. Same with the games against the Cardinals or Angels. Mind you these were all games which were played in April, May and June, while the team was still in contention.

Wolff is moving south in hopes of tapping into the corporations down in SV. That is probably what will drive ticket sales. IMO, there just isn't enough support from the average fan to support premium pricing for individual games.

Dean M. said...

38k will allow the A's to exceed 3 million in attendance (FWIW)