OAKLAND – Oakland A’s co-owner Lew Wolff sounded off Tuesday on his team’s sparse home attendance this season.
In an interview with USA Today, Wolff described the regular-season turnouts at the Coliseum as “depressing,” particularly considering the A’s are on the verge of clinching a second straight American League West division title.
“There is something wrong here,” Wolff was quoted. “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 game means something, people would come out.”
According to espn.com, the A's entered Tuesday ranked 24th out of 30 major league teams in home attendance with an average turnout of 22,210. This despite the fact they hold the second-best record in the American League at 88-62.
However, the A’s put postseason tickets on sale Tuesday and fans are snapping them up fast. Based on demand, the team announced it would remove the tarps and sell third-deck seats for a potential AL Divisional Series. Tickets for the first two decks sold out for three potential ALDS home games in about two hours.
But Wolff wondered why more fans aren’t showing up now. In reference to the crowd of 14,629 that showed up for Monday’s homestand opener against the Los Angeles Angels, Wolff said:
“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 for you, Mr. Wolff.’ I told him, ‘Just keep pitching. And whatever you do, don’t look into the stands.’”
Paid attendance was announced at 18,771 on Tuesday night.
Attendance problems are nothing new in Oakland, of course, which is one reason Wolff has been trying for years to move his team to San Jose. The Coliseum is outdated, and a sewage problem earlier this season drew bad press nationally.
But it’s also fair to note that Wolff’s public desire to relocate to the South Bay has done little to win over the fan base in and around Oakland.