Oakland Fan Pledge Background FAQ
What is Oakland Fan Pledge? Oakland Fan Pledge (OFP) is a fan-led initiative where those who support keeping the A's in Oakland can pledge to buy tickets at a hypothetical new stadium within the city. For more information about the A's fans who started this project, visit the About Us page.
What will be done with my pledge information? The most direct action taken with your pledge will be adding it to the List of Pledges page on the OFP website. Your pledge will include only your name (first & last name initial), city of residence, number of seats pledged and seating level tier. The overall database of pledges will be maintained by OFP and updated regularly via our website, with a running total (total pledges & money pledged) on the homepage. If current or future ownership of the A’s organization commits to pursuing a new baseball stadium in Oakland, OFP will present our full Pledge List to the team with each pledge identified as part of our inaugural 2013 pledge drive.
Why do you need my email address? The primary reason is so that you can be contacted by the A's if the stadium is built. Additionally, OFP plans to keep pledge members updated via email when pledge milestones are achieved, along with relevant news regarding OFP’s efforts and stadium planning activities in Oakland. These updates will be kept to a minimum and you can opt out at any time. Your email address will not be shared with any other parties.
How did you determine ticket prices for my pledge? See our Methodology page for an explanation.
Is Oakland Fan Pledge affiliated with the A’s or any other organizations? OFP is not affiliated with the City of Oakland or the A’s, nor do we guarantee that our pledge site will ever be formally recognized by the A’s now or in the future. While we strongly support the work being done by other grassroots groups and fans to keep the A’s in Oakland, we are not formally involved with any other organizations.
A's Fans, Ownership & Stadium Planning FAQ
The A’s are currently playing in Oakland and season tickets are readily available; why would fans commit to a future purchase when they can buy tickets to see the A’s now? Many long-time A’s fans are already season ticket holders at the A’s current home, the O.Co Coliseum, and we hope all of them will pledge to buy tickets at a new home for the A’s through this site. However, we feel that a number of factors are suppressing the full potential of those who would buy tickets to see the A’s play at a new baseball-only facility in Oakland.
All A’s fans support the team on the field, but unfortunately the game day experience is not up to the standards of other teams in Major League Baseball. The central cause is the simple fact that the Coliseum is nearly 50 years old, and second to only Fenway Park in Boston (built in 1912) in age of unrenovated stadiums in the American League. While we love the history of the Coliseum, we know its time for a new home.
Further discouraging fans from supporting the team at its current home is the uncertainty about the future of the franchise in Oakland. Current owners have publicly stated for over the last four years they have no interest in building a stadium for the A’s in Oakland. The lack of progress towards a new stadium has also limited the A’s ability to sign many players to long-term contracts, resulting in continuous turnover of the A’s roster and further deterring fans from making the significant investment of season tickets.
The San Francisco Giants draw many more fans than the A's; doesn't the Bay Area just have more Giants fans? Since AT&T Park opened in 2000, the Giants have attracted significantly more fans to their stadium. However, if one looks at how many fans the Giants drew to Candlestick Park, a stadium very similar to the Oakland Coliseum in terms of location and age, before moving to their new downtown waterfront stadium, a clearer comparison between the drawing power of the A's and Giants emerges:
- Between 1970 and 1999, the Giants drew an average of 1,337,313 fans per season to Candlestick Park.
- Between 1970 and 1999, the A's drew an average of 1,369,690 fans per season to the Oakland Coliseum.
From 1970-1999, the Oakland A's drew more fans than the San Francisco Giants. Since the Giants have moved into their new downtown ballpark, their annual attendance has increased over 250%, exceeding 3 million fans in 2012. Over the last four years, during which current A's ownership has stated they have no interest in keeping the A's long term in Oakland, the A's have averaged less than 1.5 million fans per season.
What about a new stadium in San Jose, wouldn't that work? San Jose has proven itself to be big league city in regards to its professional sports teams, as the San Jose Sharks (NHL) and San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) consistently draw fans and enjoy strong corporate support. We at Oakland Fan Pledge do not doubt that the A's would enjoy similar support at a new baseball stadium in San Jose, and likely thrive. However, the goal of our effort is not to discredit San Jose, but rather discount the myth that A's fans in the East Bay no longer support the team. We would argue that if you took the 50 year old Coliseum and placed it anywhere in San Jose, combined with an ownership group telling local fans they wanted to move away as soon as possible, the fan turnout in San Jose, like Oakland, would be similarly suppressed. If the A's had a ownership group who supported the team's long-term future in Oakland and pursued building a stadium, we believe the A's would have attendance in Oakland comparable to what the Giants enjoy at AT&T Park.
What difference will this make? The A’s current owners are fully committed to moving the team to San Jose. Current A’s owners have gone on record saying their pursuit of San Jose will go on “indefinitely,” and that they will not revisit any stadium options in Oakland. While a number of factors have brought the A’s current ownership group to this conclusion, we believe one factor being dismissed is the support of fans who want the A’s to stay in Oakland. For those of us who grew up going to games at the Coliseum and experienced the passion that is a stadium full of A’s fans, its clear that Oakland is a fitting and robust home for the team. If the A’s leave Oakland, a core point of pride for the city and the greater East Bay region will be lost forever. OFP is aimed at allowing A’s fans who want the team to stay in Oakland to have their voice heard, and to have their name put on record before its too late. While other factors may override simple efforts to show fan support, we hope that OFP will encourage current or future A’s owners to assess the potential for a new baseball-only stadium in Oakland and recognize the continued viability of Oakland as home to the A’s.
Who is going to build this stadium, if the current ownership has gone on record saying they will only build a new stadium for the A’s in San Jose? As of right now, under the rules of Major League Baseball the A’s are not allowed to move to San Jose, which falls under the territorial rights of the San Francisco Giants. MLB has been working for over four years to find a resolution to this dispute between the current A’s owners and the Giants, yet none has been reached. Meanwhile, the A’s have suffered both on the field and off due to a lack of certainty about the future of the team and its stadium. If territorial rights are upheld, current ownership has three alternatives: sell the team to new owners, move the team to an entirely new market outside the Bay Area, or elect to keep the team in Oakland. Two of those three alternatives provide the opportunity to pursue a new baseball-only stadium in Oakland, and OFP aims to show that there are many A’s fans ready, willing and able to support the team by buying tickets and filling that stadium.
What about Oakland officials? The A’s have needed a new stadium for over a decade, but nothing has happened; shouldn’t the city be held responsible? We believe local elected officials in Oakland play a critical role in keeping the A’s in Oakland, and many A’s fans have been disappointed in past efforts supporting our local sports teams and planning for their future. Like any city, Oakland has a number of local issues it's addressing on a regular basis. Within those efforts, we see a need for more vocal and clear support of our teams, including the A's, before they are gone. We believe the city must commit to a single specific baseball stadium site and clarify its role regarding planning aspects and responsibilities towards building a new sports facility. We are encouraged by recent planning efforts underway through the City of Oakland and the Coliseum Joint Powers Authority (JPA) in support of a new home for the A’s. At a recent public meeting, Oakland’s City Administrator Fred Blackwell went on record saying the city is ready to work with A’s owners in identifying a site for a stadium. Unfortunately, the A’s current ownership no longer appears open to any communication with Oakland officials, further hindering stadium efforts in the A’s current territory. OFP hopes that by demonstrating strong local fan support, City of Oakland officials will be further encouraged to identify, and demonstrate the viability of a stadium site for the A’s in Oakland and present it to MLB, as well as current or future A’s owners.
What is currently being done to prepare for building a new baseball-only stadium in Oakland, should the opportunity arise? Presently there are two sites under consideration for a new stadium for the A’s, both of which are in various states of planning. The "Coliseum City" concept is for a large sports and entertainment complex at the current O.Co Coliseum / Oracle Arena site, involving multiple sports venues as well as retail, office and hotel space. The plan is currently undergoing site planning, design work and environmental review through the City of Oakland and Coliseum JPA. The other potential site is along the waterfront, directly to the north of Jack London Square, at Howard Terminal. A group of local business men have put together an entity called Oakland Waterfront Ballpark LLC and have an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with the Port of Oakland to undertake necessary studies to prepare the land for a ballpark. Combined with its proximity to downtown Oakland, we believe Howard Terminal site could be the ideal location for a new home for the A’s.
What else can I do to support this effort?
- Visit our “Take More Action” page to see additional ideas for supporting the A’s staying in Oakland
- Tell every A’s fan you know who wants the team to stay in Oakland to make a pledge on our site
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook
- Get in touch with us with any ideas you have for other actions A’s fans can take to support the A’s staying in Oakland