Athletics' Low Attendance During Playoff Push Reinforces Wolff's Relocation Plea

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Athletics' Low Attendance During Playoff Push Reinforces Wolff's Relocation Plea
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
A's fans dispute the team's relocation while spotty attendance continues.

Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff has made his intentions clear. He wants out of Oakland. After many losing seasons in the Oakland Coliseum, you can't really blame him. 

But this year is seemingly different, isn't it?

For the first time since 2006, the Athletics are producing the firepower and excitement that past years have lacked—and I don't mean the fireworks nights. Bob Melvin's 2012 lineup consists of eight different Athletics to have homered in double-digit figures this season. The 2006 playoff-contending Athletics only had six.

Needless to say, the 2012 Athletics are belting souvenirs into the bleachers early and often with few hands to catch them. But fans dig the long ball, right?

Wrong. 

According to BaseballReference.com, the 2006 Athletics averaged 24,403 fans per game, opposing the 2012 season of 20,225—the second lowest drawing in MLB to the also contending Tampa Bay Rays

The Athletics have hit a total of 158 team home runs thus far in 2012 with a month remaining, compared to the 2006 A's total of 175—many coming off the bats of Frank Thomas and Nick Swisher. Remember them?

The excitement hasn't ended with the home runs, though. The Athletics' midseason upheaval into wild-card discussions has been riddled with walk-off victories (13,) giving fans added incentive to take a trip to the ball park. 

The Coliseum does sell games out, but is usually at the mercy of opposing fans that often override Athletics fans with "Let's go so-and-so" cheers. I'd look up a statistic, but there are no categories for home field disadvantage. 

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Owner Lew Wolff has the wheels turning for a new stadium.

Maybe it's the economy. Maybe fans just don't want to endorse Wolff's product while he draws up blueprints for greener pastures. Or maybe couches have reached a whole new level of comfort. 

The lean turnouts for the potentially postseason-bound Athletics speaks volumes to the team's front office.

Overall, it is a business, and money talks louder than the empty stadiums of winning teams. 

 

Stadium attendance records courtesy of http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/OAK/attend.shtml

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