Monday, May 27, 2013

Two Reasons I Don't Mind O.Co

Everyone hates the Coliseum. I don't like the Coliseum, but I like it better than a new stadium. And I'll give you two reasons, in two words. You can read the long version, or you can stop here.

Word 1: Marlins.

Word 2: Astros.

1. The Marlins' new stadium/tragedy/apocalyptic nightmare has been well documented and I'm not going there. Their attendance for the last 3 home games? 15,52013,996 and 13,231. These are games against the Phillies, too, and I'm guessing at least half of these *announced* attendance figures were Phillies fans who frequently attend games at "Citizen's Bank South."

It's not like this new stadium (just built in 2012) brought a good team, either. The team is currently the worst team in baseball at 13-37. That's right: after 50 games, they've only won 13 times. Can you imagine being a fan? Why would you go and bolster their attendance? I tried to make a seat purchase to figure out a comparable ticket price but for the life of me I couldn't understand which seats were comparable to mine at the Coliseum. I think they're slightly more, though. I will note that you can purchase a ticket for $410, which is more than I have spent on anything I can remember this calendar year. So you pay more to watch a crappier team. A much crappier team. I bitch about the A's but at no point in my 25+ years of fandom can I remember a start that bad. (Where's the stat-a-matician when you need him?) Even the Astro's are better.

2. Which brings me to the Astros. It's not an exaggeration to say they're better, it's a fact. It's not like they're much better: they're 14-36, which makes their winning percentage looks like a pretty good batting average at .280. Their slogan, "It's a Whole New Ballgame" is correct: it is a whole new ballgame in the American League West: They're totally appreciated, especially by the A's who are undefeated against them this year.

I was able to figure out comparable tickets on the Astro's site. If you want to pay $25-45 (and I never pay over 30 unless it's a Big Game and still get great seats), you get to sit in the 3rd deck or way out in bleacher land or on the lower outfield land. See picture.

Announced attendance at the last 3 games? 19,366, 18591 and 15907. Higher than the A's, sure, and totally unbelievable. Just peek in one time on TV. This park was built in 2000.

Dave Zirin's Bad Sports tells you all you need to know about why new stadiums are bad deals for cities, and it's pretty clear that Oakland is the king of Bad Deals. These two arguments are just fuel for the fire. I also wrote this nifty little piece (it may be changed by the time you read it, since that's the nature of a wiki) on Mount Davis: more evidence that Oakland has no idea what they're doing when it comes to new stuff and sports. I am not an apologist: I hate the Coliseum. It sucks. Getting in and out is awful, the concession stands seem to have been built to create traffic, Mount Davis is an abomination, sharing with a football team is egregious, and really, what's to like about the stadium itself? But here's what's to like about staying: tickets are probably the cheapest in the Majors (someone else has to do the legwork) which means that fans like me CAN go and cheer on a team that is actually contending. Oakland isn't eating money for a new stadium shilled to us by people like Lew Woolf- if he's shady now, why do we think he'll be any in the deal for a new stadium? The Coliseum is right by BART and lots of non-parking lot parking, so we don't even have to pay the exorbitant fee for the parking lot. Just remember: Astros and Marlins. 13 wins. 


thb said...

So, tix prices are fascinating. How can Citi, a horrible ballpark though new, to see a horrible Mets team, be so expensive? And, cities clearly pay too much for the parks.

The A's ownership is looking for a real estate deal, and that ain't gonna happen in Oakland for a long while. In meantime, they make money (as THB guesses, so are Marlins and Astros). The key: low payrolls.