26 August 2008

Part 2 of Wolff-AN Interview

Wolff addressed the generally underreported fact that in building AT&T Park, the Giants moved closer to the A's and into a more accessible location.

Blez: I’m going to get to the tarp and the Coliseum a little later, but how do you sell a team that is in rebuilding mode to a market that at times can be ambivalent? The Coliseum wasn’t even selling out when the A’s were the class of the AL a few seasons back. Does it take a World Series victory or even two to motivate these fans again? Or is this just a dead market?

Wolff: I do think that the proximity between us and the Giants hurts. They’ve actually moved closer to us. The six years prior to the year 2000, the Giants outdrew us by around a half a million on average per year. In 2000 they opened the new ballpark and the attendance has jumped and pretty much has stayed there. The difference is now about a million and a half although I haven’t checked it this year. That (the new venue) has something to do with it. Maybe not 100 percent.
There's more in the interview. It's pretty clear that the Giants have been successfully siphoning away A's fans from all over the Bay Area since their new digs opened. They've also made it possible for say, a Giant fan who moved from SF to the East Bay, to maintain his allegiance without making it difficult to attend games. Had the Giants stayed at the 'Stick, that fan may have either stayed home more often or chosen the A's as a local alternative. Now there's less reason to do so.

Now the A's are looking to an area that's less accessible for most of the Bay Area. I'm still curious as to what the transportation and parking will look like, given that they still feel that 15-20% of the fanbase will arrive via ways other than driving.


Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure that moving to PacBell allowed them to switch a bunch of A's fans over to the Giants. I think it did allow them to bring in a bunch of those folks who previously rooted for both teams more or less equally. In other words, the people who bought those silly half and half hats. That's why their numbers shot up and stayed there, while the A's have slid over the same time period. Fortunately, those fans aren't likely to be very loyal, so the A's should be able to swing enough back over if they have an equally magnetic stadium.

Jesse said...

I cant wait until the A's have have a new stadium and their own TV station. Thats going to be huge. My question is, do we have a chance at having a radio presence similar to what the Giants have? Is that even important in the 21st century?

Jesse said...

Anonymous, do you think there are enough fans in the bay for the A's to draw 32K per game and the Giants to draw 3 million? I do! There have been plenty of years this decade where the A's and Giants averaged over 5 million combined. I think Cisco will help extract those extra half million fans.

Tony D. said...

"The six years prior to the year 2000, the Giants outdrew us by around a half a million on average per year." Three reasons why: Barry Bonds, subpar Oakland teams and the rise of Mt. Davis! The Giants couldn't touch the A's in the late 80's/early 90's. Build it Mr. Wolff and they (we) will come!

Anonymous said...

I am all for FREMONT even with all its detractors and access problems.
Though I know the The 49ers have the best site for a stadium in the entire Bay Area in The City of Santa Clara. Have you seen the access up Great America Parkway. With the train and light rail right there it is going to be awesome.

Also w/ The Santa Clara Convention Center across the street and instant fans w/ INTEL, YAHOO, APPLIED MATERIALS, ETC... W/ in blocks. It is to bad the Giant's territorial rights can't be moved a bit up the road. Especially since the Giant's moved closer into the A's base. If Rumor are true and The 49ers are attempting to purchase the Great America amusement park it would be smart to see to Stadiums on the 200 plus acre site.

It would be a dream come true situation to have America's National past time on Great America.

The Santa Clara site makes total sense. Light Rail at the site, train at the site, Great America parkway w/ 8 lanes that are connected to two freeways.


Anonymous said...

Still amazing to me that Wolff would be so foolish to propose a baseball park with so little convenient public transit options. Simply foolish.

Anonymous said...

Jesse - I do too. They can easily draw well with an attractive stadium and a good team. Those will also help drive more viewers/listeners, which will allow the A's to get better media deals.