June 25, 2010

Bay Area Baseball vs. Bono

Source: SFGate


Sunday, May 30, 2010

The A's struggle for attendance, and yet there will be no Bay Area games on the Father's Day or Fourth of July weekends.
Want to get baseball tickets for dad for Father's Day weekend? Can't. Both the Giants and A's are out of town.

What about Fourth of July weekend? Ditto.
Apparently, it wasn't necessary to provide an option of major-league baseball in the Bay Area on two of the most family friendly weekends of the year.

MLB usually does a nice job ensuring one team always is home, making sure there's a big-league game nearby. For the A's in particular, having one of these weekends at home might have brought a valuable attendance boost. And to make matters worse, on the weekend between Father's Day and Fourth of July, when the A's are home, so are the Giants, against one of the biggest draws in sports.

June 25-27, the A's conclude their interleague schedule with three games against the Pirates, including a Turn Back the Clock Night in which the teams will wear duds from a more successful era in both Oakland and Pittsburgh, the '70s. That means those precious, horizontally striped pillbox caps for the Pirates.

Should be colorful. Should be festive.

However, the same weekend, the Giants host the Red Sox.

That Giants series had to be on a weekend to accommodate a Saturday Fox telecast. But shouldn't MLB be throwing the struggling-at-the-gate A's a bone? If CommissionerBud Selig champions interleague play and claims it's a huge attendance boost, why not see to it that the Giants are elsewhere when scheduling an NL team in Oakland on such a prime weekend?

Whom to blame for this string of weekends? None other than U2. Bono and the boys scheduled a June 16 concert at the Coliseum, along with shows at several other major-league parks - as part of the 360 Degrees tour - and U2 demands a 10-day window to set up and take down, far longer than other bands require.

"You can't block out 10 days at all these parks - the length of a three-city trip - and not have it impact the rest of the schedule," said MLB's Katy Feeney, whose job is to put together a jigsaw puzzle of 30 teams playing unbalanced, 162-game schedules. "We do try in two-team markets to avoid conflicts, but we can't always totally avoid them.

"Sometimes special requests and the ripple effect - and maybe not even from the teams involved - will impact that."

Scheduling is tough enough without U2 reserving time in Oakland and other baseball towns, but it was a logistical nightmare this year.

"We knew there would be some issues to accommodate that 10-day window," saidDavid Rinetti, the A's vice president of stadium operations. "I'm told it's the most extravagant presentation they'll ever have at the Coliseum - more than 100 semi-trucks."
That's not the end of it. Bono is on the disabled list (back surgery), and the tour was postponed until next year. Feeney must do it all over again.

E-mail John Shea at jshea@sfchronicle.com.
This article appeared on page B - 6 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment