By Chris Licata
The World Series is big, and if the Oakland Athletics win the American League Championship Series it’s about to get even bigger.
During the regular season McAfee Coliseum in Oakland holds a little under 36,000 screaming A’s fans. However, in the event that Oakland is able to rally from their current two-game deficit and win the pennant, the A’s will open up the usually closed upper tier section – allowing 11,406 more fans into the ballpark.
The upper tier is open from late-August until January when the Oakland Raiders of the NFL call the stadium home, but all spring and summer long during baseball season A’s management keeps it closed. According to a January 2006 San Francisco Chronicle interview with A’s leading investor Lewis Wolf, it is simply not cost-effective to open the seating section.
“The cost of opening up the third deck to security just isn’t good,” Wolf said in the interview. “It doesn’t look good. I think we will accommodate our fans. We’ll still have the proportionate lower-priced seats.”
The protocol for such an event begins with the Athletics organization and ends in New York City with Major League Baseball. According to an A’s ticket representative who wished to remain anonymous, the A’s made a formal request to the commissioner’s office to open the upper tier. Michael Teevan, Media Relations Coordinator for MLB’s commissioner’s office confirmed the request and its subsequent approval.
The Athletics steamrolled over the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series, winning three straight to earn a series sweep and spot in the ALCS. However, in two games in Oakland the Detroit Tigers have jumped out to an early 2-0 lead by beating Oakland 5-1 and 8-5 respectively. Game three is scheduled for Friday night at 5:19 pacific time as the A’s try to rebound at Comerica Park in Detroit.
Oakland hasn’t been in a World Series since 1990 when they were swept by the Cincinnati Reds. The team hasn’t won the fall classic since 1989 when they swept their in-state rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers.