It’s no secret that the Oakland A’s are battling attendance. They’ve been struggling in that division for years. 2022 is a complete completely different monster for the A’s, although. After two sequence on the street to open the season, the A’s got here again dwelling to a modest crowd of 17,503. That quantity dropped drastically for Game 2 of the sequence, when attendance fell almost 80 % to 3,748. Game 3 wasn’t any higher, as attendance dropped even additional to simply 2,703. The A’s did see an uptick in attendance once more 4 days later for the ultimate sport of their sequence in opposition to division rival Texas, though that sport (11,083 followers in attendance) nonetheless couldn’t match attendance on the A’s dwelling opener.
National media has taken discover. Everywhere you look there are rumors circulating as to how attendance might have gotten this unhealthy. Are A’s followers lastly carried out with the perpetual state of rebuilding that the staff has gone by means of for the reason that late 2000’s? Are followers turned away by all of the feral cats operating round RingCentral Coliseum? Maybe the followers simply aren’t interested by a staff that has little interest in staying in Oakland? Why would followers wish to go to video games in spite of everything of their greatest gamers had been traded away AND ticket costs and parking simply went up? There’s a large number of explanation why A’s followers aren’t going to video games, and a lot of the blame for this lack of attendance will be positioned on the staff’s entrance workplace and its unwillingness to hearken to followers. Perhaps if the A’s lowered ticket costs, shelled out some first rate cash on free brokers, and really tried to achieve the postseason after ending 5 video games out of a playoff spot one yr in the past, followers would help their staff.
That’s what the entrance workplace ought to do. Do you recognize what they completely mustn’t do? Try to persuade their followers that each staff is present process comparable attendance issues, but that’s precisely what Team President Dave Kaval tried to do final night time.
This tweet was the primary of what could be many tweets criticizing the Giants’ lack of attendance final night time, throughout the first sport of the Bay Bridge sequence. Kaval would wind up retweeting A’s followers and their footage exhibiting empty seats at Oracle Park. He would criticize the San Francisco media for pushing the narrative that the A’s are battling attendance with out mentioning how poorly the Giants have been doing. All of those could be nice factors…if any of them had been true. In actuality, the Giants didn’t actually have an attendance drawback final night time. According to Baseball Reference, final night time’s sport in opposition to the Giants had an attendance of 32,898. That’s about 78.5 % of max occupancy (41,915).
Those 32,898 followers in attendance final night time are greater than any four-game stretch the A’s have had all season. Furthermore, the Giants haven’t had a single dwelling sport this yr with attendance decrease than 20,000. Their lowest on the season was April 11, the primary sport of a sequence in opposition to the Padres. There had been 23,279 followers there. That’s greater than the A’s had their complete opening sequence in opposition to Baltimore.
The Giants are eleventh in MLB in common dwelling attendance this yr. In 2021, they had been twelfth and averaged nearly 12,000 fewer followers per dwelling sport. Obviously, this yr’s numbers will lower as we get into the center of the season, however that is nonetheless a superb begin for the Giants. At the 20-game mark final season, the Giants drew 19,000 followers whole for his or her sequence with the Miami Marlins. Of course, the Giants had zero expectations to be good final yr, in order that in all probability performed an element within the lack of attendance, however primarily based on final yr’s numbers, the Giants are literally significantly better off now than they had been a yr in the past. The identical can’t be mentioned in regards to the Athletics.
There’s all the time the prospect that the numbers are being fudged and the Giants aren’t really bringing in that many followers. The footage that Kaval was retweeting will surely push that narrative, however they’re additionally taken out of context. For instance, check out this image that Kaval retweeted:
The stands are sparse, however positively not what you’d see at an A’s sport this yr. Also, this image was taken in between the primary and second inning of final night time’s sport. As somebody who grew up within the Bay Area and went to a variety of Giants and A’s video games of their youth, I can let you know that for night time video games on weekdays, followers often don’t begin exhibiting up till a bit later. Furthermore, because it was taken in between innings, there was no motion happening. That’s the right time for followers to stand up out of their seats and stroll across the ballpark in search of associates or standing in line for concessions. There had been almost certainly dozens of individuals in attendance who had been occupying these seats simply moments earlier than that image was taken.
No matter which method you slice it, the A’s are the staff with the most important attendance drawback in MLB proper now. They’re averaging 7,942 followers per dwelling sport, simply barely greater than half of the subsequent closest staff, the Pittsburgh Pirates (13,118). The blame must be pinned on the entrance workplace, and as a lot as they’d prefer to imagine that each different MLB staff is struggling attendance-wise, that’s simply not true. Congrats Kaval, you made your mattress whenever you traded away Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, and Sean Manaea. Now lie in it. Stop attempting to push false narratives about your rivals which are no less than attempting to discipline a aggressive staff in 2022.