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.