For years the Oakland Athletics have been using tarps to close off sections of the O.co Coliseum stands to reduce capacity. Now, it looks like the Raiders, the stadium’s other tenant, are set to follow suit.
According to The Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle, the Raiders will use tarps to cover over about 11,000 seats at the Coliseum for next season. Although the Raiders were only blacked out in their home market once last season, the team continually had trouble drawing the 85 percent capacity crowd needed to declare a sellout. The venue’s new capacity will be 53,250 (down from 64,200), the smallest in the NFL by about 8,000 seats.
Ironically, it looks like Mount Davis — named for former owner Al Davis — will be the biggest casualty of the reduced capacity. Mount Davis is the name given to a third-deck level of seating in what is center field during the stadium’s baseball configuration. Long viewed as an eyesore since the Coliseum’s renovation in 1996, the section is obstructed-view for baseball games and haven’t been sold in years during A’s games.
Although the move will certainly help the Raiders avoid local TV blackouts, it also might hurt a little bit should the team make the playoffs. Even if the Raiders do make the postseason, the team is not allowed to reopen the tarped-off sections of seats.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/O.co Coliseum