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21 March 2008

Commence cross-promotion.... NOW!!!!

Now that the A's are in Japan and the reborn San Jose Earthquakes are wrapping up their own nice preseason run, it's apparently time to start marketing both Wolff/Fisher (et al) franchises together. A new 8-game A's-Quakes plan is available, in which fans would take in 5 predetermined A's games and 3 predetermined Quakes games on the 2008 calendar. Interestingly, all 3 Quakes home games are to be played at McAfee Coliseum - the 3 Coliseum dates on the current schedule. The plan looks like this for the A's:
  • 4/19 - A's vs. Kansas City (Travis Buck Bobblehead)
  • 5/3 - A's vs. Texas (1968 A's Hat)
  • 6/6 - A's vs. LA Angels (Kurt Suzuki Bobblehead)
  • 6/21 - A's vs. Florida (Beerfest)
  • 7/11 - A's vs. LA Angels (Fireworks)

The Quakes part looks like this:

  • 4/12 - Earthquakes vs. Chicago Fire (Opening Night)
  • 6/14 - Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy
  • 8/3 - Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy (in Oakland)
There is an element of introducing the Quakes to the greater Bay Area, something that's a bit difficult to do at Spartan Stadium. They're certainly targeting the Latin community who may be interested in both sports, if not both franchises. A simpler explanation is simply numbers. The Quakes' main home for the next two years is the expanded and renovated Buck Shaw Stadium, on the SCU campus. Buck Shaw only holds 11,500, which may be fine for many of the lower profile games, but not for either opening night or the two games against the Quakes' natural and hated rival, the LA Galaxy. Not to mention ex-Quake Landon Donovan and aging superstar David Beckham, whose commitments to the English national team may limit his appearances.

The schedule is pretty well spaced out, probably to entice families. Prices are $160 for a single 8-pack at Plaza Level, $215 at Field Level Endzone/Outfield. At the Coliseum, the field is set up to run north-south with the touch line (sideline) running parallel with the baseball third base line. This is being done to eliminate the need to do the costly and field-damaging football configuration.

12 comments:

Mike said...

It's bad enough having football tear up the field starting in August now we'll have ridiculous soccer games cutting chunks from the grass even earlier. All hail the Oakland Coliseum, now a three sport facility. Anyone who wants the A's to play here is nuts. bring on Fremont. I'll bet the Raiders have something to say about this too when it's all said and done.

Georob said...

At the risk of splitting hairs, it's actually slightly Northeast to Southwest if they run along the third base line. (At least that's what Google Earth says)

Who remembers the Oakland Stompers of the NASL during the 80's? I believe they ran the field in a West/East configuration from home base to the bleachers. This was also how the Raiders used to configure their field for pre-season games in the 70's and 80's.
They might have also done some regular season games that way before the baseball season ended, especially during the 72-74 World Series run. Finally, the Oakland Invaders of the USFL did the West/East configuration during the 80's.

That said, I'm surprised the Quakes wouldn't do the same thing, but you can't deny that running along the third base line provides far better visibility, which brings home the whole issue of poor sightlines at the Coliseum.

As for destroying the field during the summer, I've often wondered what damage all those Bill Graham "Days On The Green" concerts used to do, and I don't remember the A's complaining about that. I think they used to lay down big sheets of plywood to protect parts of the grass, but we're talking tens of thousands of crazed teenagers.

But who cares, right? Half the people who read this blog weren't even born yet :)

Jeffrey said...

Destroying the grass... it is kind of hard for the A's to complain about that in this case as it is their sister franchise that they are putting in the coliseum that is tearing up the grass.

anon-a-mouse said...

mike - I had a similar first reaction. Soccer is a big yawn-fest and sharing the field with a doomed-to-fail franchise is a slap in the face. But it is only three games spread out over several months, so hopefully it won't do too much damage.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the snobbery is so ironic.
- The Earthquakes are doomed to fail...so they were resurrected in just two years because the league knows what a competent owner (Wolff!) can do. Even the Cleveland Browns took longer.
- "Yawn-fest" accurately describes thirty minutes of actual play spanning four hours. Constant knocking of cleats and wiping of brows, now that's some real action.
- The slap in the face here is the elitist crap coming from fans of a team that's always playing underdog. You bitch about the wine and cheese crowd at Pac Bell but then contribute the same haughty bullshit when it comes to other teams/sports.

Jeffrey said...

Snobish? Maybe a little.

But as far as doomed to fail... how many Earthquakes teams have there been over the years? History is not on the side of a successful venture when it comes to a soccer team in the Bay Area. Competent ownership aside, I don't take that statement as any more than a pointing out of the historical truth.

I am rooting for the team to be around for a long time, because my girls love soccer. I do, however, find soccer to be boring, maybe that will change as I watch some games with my daughters.

Georob said...

I'm not the first one to have asked this, but you have to wonder why, with the millions of kids playing soccer after school and on weekends, that pro soccer hasn't been able to capitalize on those same families to build a fan base?

Some have said that it's because soccer is too "European" for Americans outside of large urban areas. Others think it's also not as macho as football, NASCAR, and other sports.

But one idea I have is that soccer in the US, particularly the kind played by suburban school-age kids on weekends; is more social than sport. Kids want to play because their friends are playing, and parents want their kids playing because the kids of their adult friends are playing. And in many schools, if you're not in the "soccer crowd" you're out of the loop. Consequently, the game becomes secondary except for the few that really excel in it or truly love the sport.

Once the kids become teenagers and get involved in activities away from their parents, the neighborhood soccer social network disappears, as does any interest in the sport.

Jeffrey said...

rob,

Couldn't the same be said for little league, pop warner, rec league basketball, ballet, gymnastics, girl scouts, boy scouts, etc. Aren't all sports social opportunities for little children and parents?

Anonymous said...

Soccer may yet have its day in the US. When I was a kid the only time we played soccer was when the PE coached forced it on us. It's just now reaching a point where adults are taking an interest in the sport and introducing it to their kids. Who knows, it may well have finally reached a significant amount of critical mass in this country which will allow it to succeed.

As for me....I'd rather go see a dentist than watch a soccer game. The difference being that I actually pay to see a dentist. I'm sure as hell not going to pay to watch soccer.

Tony D. said...

For once, I'm actually going to agree with Rob on this one. Yes, soccer with kids is more social than sport; hence why millions across the US play every weekend. Case in point: my 20 month old daughter can run and kick her plastic ball at ease, and I do plan on signing her up for youth soccer when she gets older. Yet she can't throw a football, baseball, bat, or make a three-pointer. Since soccer at the younger ages doesn't require the skills of baseball, football, or basketball, it's great for learning teamwork and developing overall physical fitness. There's also less equipment, and less chance of injury, playing youth soccer than the other sports. I played soccer for 4 years as a youth, but now I'm an avid fan of the NFL, MLB and NBA. Back to the kids, some will stick with the game and develope excellent skills on the soccer field. As for the pros, I can definetely watch the Mexican and European leagues. I've tried watching MLS, but it seems a lot slower and less exciting than the afformentioned. Will this change? Only time can tell.

Anonymous said...

Are you guys living in the Bay Area or the deep south? I've seen these same weak arguments a hundred times, but I don't expect them from allegedly progressive and open-minded people.

The issue with MLS is not that people don't like soccer, but that Americans are told only to like the best leagues. You'll wallow in misery for 162 games watching a horrible team if it means that you're affiliated with the World Series winner via scheduling. That apparently makes sense in America.

People here will sit and tolerate a league ruined by salary disparity while players turn to weasels in front of congress. That's on days when they aren't riding the bench with sneeze-induced injuries. This is all acceptable, though, because we're in 'Merica. If we call something our "pastime," then we're forced to love it forever.

You can keep touting the superiority of your favorite sport while degrading another, but that obviously doesn't affect reality. In the end, both can easily coexist in a country of 300 million people. Similarly, they can coexist for a couple seasons in the Coliseum.

MLS doesn't have to convert baseball fans like you, just soccer fans that follow other leagues. You're free to keep regurgitating what Jim Rome tells you to. I guess it gives you guidance in formulating opinions.

I've personally quit watching baseball for the reasons to which I've alluded, but I'm not going to bash people that stick with it out of love. It's the generic jerks who live by the word of ESPN and other popular culture outlets with whom I have a problem. Don't quit baseball, just quit the ignorant bigotry.

Anonymous said...

That's great news. Oakland now has a soccer franchise!