Bay Area fans who watched the opening game of the Giants/A's annual exhibition series on Sunday may have heard the Athletics' COO, Chris Giles, speaking with A's broadcasters about some new additions to the rapidly deteriorating Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Over-sized and outdated, the Coliseum has long been regarded as the worst facility in both the NFL and MLB. Just this past December, Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus was asked by a reporter from the Denver Post how he felt about what could possibly be his last game in Oakland. McManus answered:
"Oh, it's horrible ... The locker room is obviously built to be a baseball locker room, which doesn’t sit well with the amount of guys we have. But that’s history, and it’s part of some of the great things that have happened there. And you get used to it."
Former Raiders offensive lineman, Jared Veldheer, also a teammate of McManus, added his own memories of the nostalgic aromas of the Coliseum:
"It was like sewage, garlic fries and cigarettes."
Yeah, yeah. We know. The Coliseum is a dump... but this is about what the Oakland A's front office is doing to attract fans! The new seating options, which have been popping up all over the league over the past few years, offer fans an opportunity to experience the game in new and improved ways.
MLB.com detailed the upcoming (and now arrived) premium membership seating options A's fans would be offered for the 2019 season. The new sections are aptly named "The Terrace," "The Lounge Seats," and "The Coppola Theater Boxes."
This new section is slated to feature "terraced half-moon tables at Section 121." Located behind the dugout, fans who settle into the Terrace will enjoy an up-close view of the A's game, while sitting down to dinner and drinks, in a "social atmosphere."
The Lounge Seats
Residing in Section 113, the Lounge Seats boast "32 pairs of living room-style seats, offering a plush, modern experience on the first base line." Fans can imagine relaxing and enjoying a nice Friday night game, having fun and cozying in with friends in the Lounge Seats.
The Coppola Theater Boxes
Come immerse yourself in the luxurious feel of the Coppola Theater Boxes, featuring the "wine wonderland experience of Francis Ford Coppola Winery" of Sonoma County. Get in touch with your sophisticated side, with the option of a four- or six-person box, located in Sections 116-118.
You can check any one of these options on this form to express your interest in these premium membership options, and there are also "Premium Hospitality Seating" options listed under the Budweiser Hero Deck and Golden Road Landing, both of which are new for 2019.
These premium fan sections join additions from past years, including: The Treehouse, Shibe Park Tavern, and Championship Plaza.
MLB franchises are responding to the fact that winning teams aren't always enough – or even necessary, in some cases – to attract fans to the park. Selling the "fan experience" has become the hot trend front offices are racing to implement in order to maximize fan turnout and support.
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum may still be considered a dump by many, but the Athletics' organization, spearheaded by COO Chris Giles, is going that extra mile and more to ensure they can offer fans an alternative to the drab, boring old flip-down and cramped seating of yesteryear.
A's Access Premium Seating [MLB.com]