As noted earlier, the Oakland A’s have taken steps to reduce capacity at MacAfee Coliseum. So far, those who aren’t paying for tickets are pleased with the changes, writes the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser.
The crowd count will be smaller tonight than in most home openers because the A’s covered the upper deck with green tarps in an effort to create a cozier setting and bigger demand for tickets.
The tarp’s debut came in Saturday’s exhibition, though the impression was somewhat minimized by the crowd of 14,662. This evening, Opening Night will be a sellout, and the capacity is 34,077.
“I think there will be more of a baseball atmosphere,” said pitcher Barry Zito, tonight’s starter.
“It’s so fan-friendly,” outfielder Nick Swisher said. “It looks nice, it’s a great idea. From last year, I know there were a lot of problems in the upper deck, and I don’t know how good those seats could even be. This brings the fans close to the field, and we’ll be able to interact more with them.”
The green tarps do not hold any advertising. Instead, they list the years of the organization’s titles and Oakland’s retired numbers.
“I think they did a great job,” manager Ken Macha said. “It kind of highlights the world championships and gives the history of the team of the Hall of Fame guys. The most important thing is that the fans feel comfortable with it or are happy.”