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In the Stadium Game, the A's Want to Play Small Ball

Major League Baseball's Oakland A's are having trouble selling season tickets. According to this article, they lead the majors in walk-up ticket sales. It's just one of the reasons they want a new, much smaller, ballpark.

The A's managing general partner is looking for a park so intimate it would make SBC Park or even Fenway Park look almost spacious. It would have about 35,000 seats, Wolff said last week, and that would make it the smallest big-league park.

..."If we had a new ballpark, I think the A's would be extremely successful," Alioto said. "I think the fans would come out. One of the things we have in Oakland is too many seats. There's no urgency to buy tickets.''

That's why Dick Bohling, 52, of Walnut Creek, didn't renew his 20-game ticket plan this year. "The reason is that good tickets are available at game time for most games,'' he said. "Instead of trying to decide in February which dates to sign up for, I can go at the last minute on convenient dates and buy nearly comparable seats. I still go to as many games, but I can better choose according to my schedule.''

From the club's perspective, when it sells a season ticket, it lowers the amount of risk the team is subjected to. If a person buys a full season ticket, that person' seat is sold for 81 games that season and the team has that revenue in hand. Per game, the season ticket is sold at a discounted price relative to the price of a walk-up ticket, but the team is giving the fan a discount in exchange for taking on a little risk (the risk that the team may be so crappy that the fan will not want to attend many games).

HT to Mark Stratton