Bargain price doesn’t mean bargain experience

By Julian Foley Special To The Daily Planet
Monday October 09, 2000

Pacific Bell Park isn’t the only stadium in town with a Bay view.  

From the third tier bleachers in the outfield of the Network Associates Coliseum, Oakland A’s fans can marvel at the evening sun glinting off the water and the shadowy lines of the San Mateo Bridge in the distance.  

The only thing not visible from up here is the outfield.  

But that matters little to fans who, for the bargain price of $10, gained admittance to the second playoff game of their beloved hometown baseball team.  

Overshadowed by the hype around San Francisco’s new stadium and the pre-season posturing of the Raiders, the A’s have quietly helped baseball remain a sport for the masses.  

Carol Lind, a 78-year-old Lafayette resident, has been coming to A’s games since 1969.  

“Why not?” she said. “Just get on BART and come early.”  

Back when she first started coming, a seat cost $2 or $3 and BART wasn’t yet running.  

Higher up from where Lind sits, a group of men pound out an inspiring rhythm on two drums.  

Little boys in shiny A’s jackets shake their booties to the beat.  

Although their enthusiasm wanes with the A’s fortunes, the drummers remain optimistic. “Of course they are going to win,” said Luiz Ruiz, a backhoe operator from Oakland. 

“I bet $20 on them.” 

The only people not welcome up here are fans of the opponent du jour – the New York Yankees. With so many empty seats, they’re easy to spot.  

“It looks like we gotta big house,” Deedee Baldwin screamed at Yankees fans cheering for their team’s three-run inning, “but we ain’t got room for you here.”  

Baldwin is a Giants fan, normally, but can’t get tickets across the Bay. So she came to root against the Yankees more than anything else. 

“I’m tired of them winning,” she said.  

At $10 a pop, A’s playoff seats are the best deal going.  

They were still on sale for Wednesday night’s game well after the first pitch had been thrown, despite an official sell-out crowd.  

On the other hand, bargain basement tickets to see the Giants face off with the Mets might have been available for $15, but not once the scalpers bought them up.  

During regular season the A’s charge $5 each for the stadium’s seemingly unlimited bleacher seats, compared with $8.50 for a Giants game.  

By comparison, the a bleacher seat at a Raider game runs a cool $41.  

But there is a catch to the cheap A’s tickets: draft beer costs $7 a glass during the playoffs, and for that price, you don’t even get a commemora