Attendance used to be the driving revenue streams for teams a couple of decades ago. There was no comparison between being at the game and watching it on television. While times have changed parallel to the technological advancement of television and teams now receive the majority of their revenue from television networks there still is no comparison to being at the game live. This was most evident during the ALDS at the Coliseum this season. This postseason was particularly special mainly due to last season and the run to the AL West crown.
Last year the A’s were near the bottom in attendance. It wasn’t until the final month of the 2012 season that a fever returned around the Bay Area and the A’s were once again a team fans could be proud of. The last series of the regular season was a frenzy to say the least. Fans packed the two available decks and the Coliseum was once again rocking for an extended length for the first time in a long time. That energy transferred into the postseason, but the tarps continued to stay on much to the fan base’s chagrin.
This season partial owner (yet the face of the ownership group) Lew Wolff explained why the tarps were left on. To the disbelief of many Wolff explained that the demand was not reasonable enough for the team to take the tarps off. With the Coliseum selling out over the final series to over capacity how could the demand not be there?
Regardless of that incident the A’s made the wise and praised decision to take off the tarps this year. With attendance averaging around 37,000 (normal capacity was just North of 34,500) in last seasons ALDS this seasons ALDS blew that out of the water with the tarps off. The A’s averaged around 48,000 fans a game. 11,000 more fans on average a game. The feel, the atmosphere, the sounds; it was different than last season. It was confident, it was proud; it was an Athletics fan base that finally found their way back home.
After the disappointment of the ALDS and the recovery period has now passed it is time to look forward to another, potentially even more, promising season in 2014. Television is a nice way to watch a game, get quick updates, and see live replays and the like. However, being at the game live is unlike any other experience. A’s fans proved that this year in the ALDS. 48,000 fans proved that each home game. There is strength in numbers.