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News » Bay Area teams don't deserve fans


Bay Area teams don't deserve fans


Bay Area teams don't deserve fans
I n a time when money is tight, jobs are scarce and people are losing their homes, tickets for sporting events continue to soar.


The face value of a ticket to Super Bowl XLIII this year is $1,000. Anyone remember what it cost to see the 49ers play in Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium 25 years ago? Would you believe $60?

Now it costs $75 just to watch the 49ers play a regular season game at decrepit Candlestick. Add another $30 for parking in a dirt lot. Some Raiders tickets are even higher.

Who is shelling out good coin to watch these horrific products?

Well, based on both teams' last home games, apparently fewer people than you think. The fans are firing back. They're not showing up.

It was speculated that there were 15,000 empty seats at the last 49ers home game. The Raiders had a little more than 40,000 in attendance and were blacked out on television.

Raider fans are notorious around the NFL for being crazed lunatics who would boo their own mother if she was on the other team and got hurt.

But when they stop showing up, that means they've stopped caring. If I'm the 49ers or Raiders, that should be a red flag. Empty stadiums are an embarrassment.

Of course, five years of pathetic Football will teach fans to put their hard-earned money to better use. The 49ers have completely lost their identity from their heyday. The Raiders well, there's still Al Davis.

Fans grow tired of hearing the words "potential" and "hope." In an era of parity and free agency, there are no excuses for a franchise in the NFL not to rebound within three years.

The problem in the Bay Area is it's not just these two dormant franchises that have left a dark cloud hanging over the Bay Bridge.

The Giants have lost 90 or more games three straight years. AT&T Park, as gorgeous as it is, has seen attendance dip the last two years. Sure, the novelty of a beautiful new yard has worn off after eight years.

Barry Bonds is no longer hitting tainted home runs into the bay. Fans grow tired of seeing boring baseball. The Giants haven't even sniffed the playoffs in five years.

Yet, a second-level seat will run you $63.24. Parking? Another $30. I know. I have the ticket. It was a gift.

What's bothersome is prices at other baseball venues across the nation don't compare. For $28, I got virtually the same seat at the Washington Nationals brand new ballpark this past year.

In Philadelphia, I paid $10 to park. Didn't the Phillies just win the World Series? In Minneapolis, $30 gets you a great seat to watch the Twins.

The A's are reasonably priced. But they still play in front of more empty seats than fans on a regular basis. The A's are a different story. Even when winning divisions, they couldn't draw.

A new stadium down Interstate 880 isn't going to change things. The Bay Area doesn't deserve the A's.

The Warriors are headed for a lottery pick for the 14th time in 15 years. While the crowds are supportive and loud, the team is not filling the arena. Then again, you could say that about a lot of NBA venues.

And the NHL might be the worst for ticket prices. A sport that few people care about is gouging its fans. But it's the only sport in the Bay Area that has a contender.

The Sharks are clearly the best value for your buck. And there are affordable seats at the top of the bowl. Sure, it's easier to fill 17,000 seats when you're winning than putting 70,000 into a stadium when you're losing.

And the Sharks have shown a commitment to winning. You don't have to understand the sport to enjoy it. Winning takes care of that. Whether you can afford it is another story.

It could be worse. Just ask the city of Seattle.

But empty seats speak volumes.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 1, 2008

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