The Oakland Athletics are fighting for first place in the American League West, but judging by the attendance during the club’s Tuesday night game at the Oakland Coliseum, one might think they’re trapped in the last-place cellar.
That’s because despite the removal of attendance restrictions that were previously in place due to the pandemic, fewer than 5,000 baseball fans watched the A’s lose to the struggling Rangers, 5-4.
That’s incredible. That paltry number resembles attendance at minor-league games more than it does the big leagues.
Attendance at the Coliseum has been an issue for the A’s for years — it’s the most rundown park in Major League Baseball, offering few of the amenities and none of the ambiance that many modern baseball fans are looking for.
And even hardcore A’s fans have been shaken over the last decade by constant rumors of relocation for the franchise. Just recently, team president Dave Kaval was in Las Vegas scouting potential locations as he awaits the city’s vote on the Athletics’ Howard Terminal mixed-use project, which includes a $1 billion ballpark.
Furthermore, the A’s habit of letting their best players leave in free agency — a practice that goes back decades — has made some fans swear the franchise off completely.
Fewer than 5,000 fans is simply an embarrassment, however, regardless of circumstance. Where’s the promotions team? Doesn’t the franchise have any bright ideas to get fans in the park? Anything? It’s a testament to the professionalism of the A’s players that they can perform so well with such little support.
But hey, at least the fans that do attend are loud. Ideally, they can cheer the A’s on in a new Oakland ballpark within a half decade or so from now. Until then, perhaps the Athletics could brainstorm and come up with some ideas to increase interest. I mean, it’s at least worth a shot.