It seems like the A’s are just chock full of big announcements this week. Yesterday’s release detailing new security procedures at the Coliseum beginning Thursday touched off a firestorm of social media madness as fans voiced their approval or displeasure about the use of walk-through metal detectors. While the dust from that is still settling, the A’s decided to top that hoopla by notifying fans the third deck has been opened for the playoffs due to high demand. At this rate, I’m dying to hear what they’re going to announce tomorrow.
After years of badgering from fans, it looks like Lew & Co. finally wised up and opened the third deck up for the playoffs, with the exception of the 1000% grade monstrosity known as Mt. Davis. It makes perfect sense. There is always a huge demand for playoff tickets, and last season plenty of people were turned away. There’s been playoff games with close to 50,000 people in the stands, and there’s no reason to believe the A’s can’t approach or surpass that number this year. Casual and bandwagon fans love playoff teams, and they’ll pay big money to see them play.
When the announcement was made earlier today my Twitter feed blew up with the joyous celebration that is typically reserved for big wins. Some people hailed it as a victory for the fans, others as a no-brainer business decision. Everybody was happy.
Unfortunately, yesterday’s announcement shows there’s still something to be upset about. When I first caught wind of the new security procedures I was skeptical that it was being done in response to a league-wide mandate. Besides the extremely odd timing, I had not heard of any such mandate at all this season, and a quick search of MLB.com and other random team websites turned up nil. It didn’t take long for the truth to come out. I think I speak for everybody on the planet when I say I don’t like to be lied to, regardless of the circumstances.
Besides bold-faced lying to everybody, the A’s are recommending people get to games early to make sure they have enough time to get in the stadium. Perhaps I’m just a bit too sensitive, but using the word “recommend” in this situation pisses me right off. For years, I’ve recommended to the team that they open all the gates and properly staff entrances so the wait times would be reduced. Naturally, that idea fell on deaf ears.
Apparently taking in a ball game is akin to boarding a flight now. To have them “recommend” to me that I need to show up earlier, when I already dedicate a large amount of time (and money) to what amounts to an entertainment endeavor, is a bit obtuse in my opinion. I go to ball games to forget about all the bullshit plaguing the world outside, not to get a small reminder of it.
Regardless how early people show up, it’s going to make getting into the stadium, an already convoluted procedure, even more difficult. The main culprits for delays are the underpowered staff at many gates (particularly gates MM and LL) and the refusal to use all available gates as entrances. On nights with 10,000 people in the stands you may have to wait in line for up to 10 minutes. Imagine how much worse that will get when they add another wrinkle to the process. Or better yet, think about trying to get in during a bobble head day now.
This whole ordeal just smacks of needless scaremongering. There have been no major metal weapon attacks inside any MLB ball parks that I’ve heard about. If anything, the league should do more to ensure the safety of fans outside of the stadium and in the general vicinity.
At this point you may assume that I’m upset because I won’t be able to sneak in alcohol any more. The only problem with that assessment is I never bring alcohol inside because I don’t own a flask and I never bring a backpack or anything to hide it in. Besides, do you think I’m not smart enough to figure out that plastic flasks would still be undetectable?
I honestly don’t give a shit about alcohol. I get my drink on at home, like a smart person. This will have no direct impact on routine except costing me more time.
Perhaps it’s just my liberal brain at work here, but things like this make me wonder why a private business needs to be more invasive when it’s not necessarily needed. As a logical person, I see the need for ensuring patron safety, and I haven’t been as vehemently against this as some others have. Trust me, I see this issue from both sides. I just lament how people are so willing to let their privacy and dignity be compromised under the veiled guise of safety and security. Furthermore, I’ve always been a bit disturbed by the sight of scanners and other equipment since it gives me the indication the location is not safe. I’m not alone in that line of thinking either.
At the end of the day, I understand the need for security and safety but like everything in life, there is a balance to be struck to keep everybody happy. Maybe the A’s make another announcement tomorrow that will.