SBD/September 18, 2013/Franchises

A's See Strong Postseason Ticket Sales, But Wolff Upset With Regular-Season Crowds

A's attendance is up this year, but the team is asking for more fan support
The A's yesterday put ALDS tickets on sale for the third deck of O.co Coliseum -- a section usually covered with tarps -- due to high demand for postseason games. Opening the section will increase capacity from the usual 35,067 to more than 47,000. However, the upper deck section above center field, dubbed "Mt. Davis," will remain closed. The A's had planned to open the third deck had they reached the ALCS last year, but were eliminated in the ALDS. A's Exec Dir of Ticket Sales & Operations Steve Fanelli said, "We went on sale (Tuesday morning) for the ALDS and demand was strong right out of the gate." He added the upper deck will remain open through the playoffs "as long as demand stays strong" (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer). In S.F., John Shea noted the A's yesterday in two hours "sold out the Coliseum's lower two levels" for the ALDS. The A's last week built their first-place lead to 6 1/2 games, but drew 14,629 for Monday's homestand opener and 18,771 yesterday. A's Owner Lew Wolff said, "I appreciate the fans that have come to root for us as we try for the playoffs, but I am disappointed that with all the team has done that we are not enjoying close to sellouts." A's RF Josh Reddick: "It's our last homestand, and we're in first place. We want to see all the support this city could bring. There are a lot of green seats, so it's not fun, especially at the end of the year" (SFGATE.com, 9/17).

BAD SITUATION: USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale notes the A's opening ALDS game "was sold out in 10 minutes," but "where is everyone on many of the 81 nights of the regular season?" Wolff said, "There is something wrong here. You would think that with our lead, people would want to come out, count down the magic numbers, and all that stuff. Even if you're not a loyal fan, you would think this time of year, where the teams are in the standings and where every games means something, people would come out." He continued, "It's depressing. I really expected the crowds to be huge this week. I had a player come up to me and say, 'I feel sorry you, Mr. Wolff.' I told him, 'Just keep pitching. And whatever you do, don't look into the stands.'" Nightengale notes the A's season-ticket base is around 7,000, but they "have never drawn 3 million fans and last drew more than 2.5 million fans" in '91. They will draw their "most fans this season since 2007, partly thanks to the $2 ticket night on Wednesdays, but won't hit 2 million in attendance." Wolff said, "Percentage-wise, we're doing much better." He added that the A's and Rays -- who are last in MLB in attendance -- "realize they have to move ... if they are going to attract fans" (USA TODAY, 9/18).

LEAKY PIPES: CSNBAYAREA.com's Joe Stiglich reports an O.co Coliseum bathroom yesterday "flooded in the home dugout in the middle of the game, just the latest chapter in the sewage saga that has played out at the A's home ballpark this season." A's P Jerry Blevins said, "Another O.co Coliseum flub there." He added there was a "pretty good coating" of sewage on the dugout floor (CSNBAYAREA.com, 9/18).
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