What the Oakland A's Need to Do

Divya ParmarSenior Analyst IJune 27, 2008

The Oakland A's are one of two two teams in the Bay Area, but they don't get the fan support or attention that their cross-bay rival, the San Francisco Giants, does. This is even though the A's are a much, much better team, and have had much more success in recent years.

There are reasons for this. There are things the A's must do to boost fan support and media attention. There are three reasons for this that I simplified to the three B's: broadcasts, ballpark, and big-time stars.

First of all, there are the A's broadcasts on local TV and radio. The A's keep switching radio stations, and absolutely no one can find the A's games on the radio. The A's need to find a big time radio station to air their games consistently. This station will provide stability to their broadcasts. An ideal scenario would be the creation of a East Bay based sports talk radio station that could serve the A's just like KNBR serves the Giants. The station would give the A's fans a voice and presence on the radio, as well as providing a platform for marketing the A's. The A's need to set up interviews on KNBR for their players to keep the A's in the media. That will remind fans that the A's actually exist, because the A's usually get zero coverage on KNBR, the only sports talk radio station in the Bay Area. Also, A's games are often not on TV, which hurts the A's fan base. The A's need a consistent media situation. The A's are invisible in the media, and that prevents building of the fan base.

Second of all, the A's definitely need a new ballpark as soon as possible. Their projects in both Fremont and Oakland have been consistly slowed down, and obstacles like ecological reports and financing stand in the way. The A's need a nice downtown Oakland ballpark, or even a ballpark right on the edge of the Bay or Lake Merritt near Oakland. A nice, beautiful ballpark would draw the casual fan, and provide a valuable boost to attendance. A great ballpark would provide revenue that can used in many different ways.

Thirdly, the A's must sign some big name free agents, as well as keeping all their current players. Trading big names crushes fans who adore and were emotionally invested in the players. Constantly changing players may bring in prospects, but casual fans don't know any of the players, and there is no big time star that draws fans to the ballpark. The A's need to keep their well established players, as well as bringing in a star player that people will go to the ballpark to see.

There you have it, my perspective from the Bay Area. This is how the A's can make their franchise better.