A’s fans have been waiting for today since the devastating defeat in last season’s American League Division Series. Because – although Oakland’s “magic number” to clinch the AL West, and a postseason appearance, is seven – today, marks another chance, another opportunity, at claiming the title that has swiftly eluded the team since 1989.
Many fans hopped online and claimed their postseason seats at 10A.M. when the A’s released the link to ALDS tickets and others jumped for joy when the A’s announced that “Due to strong demand, additional View Level seating is now available for #Athletics ALDS games.” at 12:44P.M. on the team’s Twitter account.
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This came as a splendid surprise to many fans because, last season, as the team made the playoffs for the first time since 2006, the A’s constantly repeated their stance on keeping the tarps on the 10,000 seats of the 3rd level of the Coliseum (not including the 11,000 or so in the “Mount Davis” seats located in center field) unless the team made the World Series.
Now, with the A’s putting a lot of faith on fans filling the seats, after clamoring for the tarps to be removed in the first place, it’s up to the fans to fill the seats for the final five home games of the regular season. The A’s have had a fair share of sellouts this season but those games have been mostly for Coliseum give-aways and Fireworks nights.
The A’s have averaged 22,210 fans this season, which is about 2,000 more than last, but there have been some nights where the green of the seats has shined through at the Coli, and on television, including last night against the Angels, when there was a miniscule 14,000 plus in attendance. Josh Reddick, on Twitter, even seemed to question the fan support in a tweet sent out around the time the A’s made their tarp announcement, which hit the wrong nerves of some A’s fans (for the record, the game was a Monday night 7P.M. game against the lowly Angels, so a small crowd was to be expected.)
With the average being good enough for 24th in the MLB – as weird as this may sound – you wouldn’t know it if you didn’t see it. A’s fans and rowdiness are synonymous, with their “Let’s Go Oakland” chants in all innings of the game, banging drums, Balfour-raging and vuvuzelas blaring.
Even with the atmosphere at the Coli being like no other, in my personal opinion, one can only hope that the fans come out in droves and sell out these possible playoff games and show the rest of the league how passionate Oakland fans are.