For centuries people have considered whether a tree falling in the forest makes a sound if no one is around to hear it. It seems the new debate will be whether the Oakland Athletics can really win games if no one is around Oakland Coliseum to see them.
The announced attendance of the A's Tuesday night game against the Baltimore Orioles was 3,748, their lowest figure since a crowd of 3,180 attended a 6-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox in 1980. Excluding games with pandemic restrictions, the A's 2-1 win over Baltimore was the lowest-attended MLB game since the Miami Marlins drew only 5,297 fans to an August 2019 game.
Tuesday's game comes a day after the A's beat the Orioles 5-1 in their least-attended home opener minus COVID-19 restrictions in at least 30 years. That crowd count was 17,503, more than triple Tuesday's.
The dilapidated Oakland Coliseum is likely playing a significant role in the A's attendance dip. It's been open for 56 years and has housed the A's for 54 of them, making it the MLB's fourth oldest ballpark. The A's have beenbut have seen projects in Fremont and San Jose fizzle out while its newest project, one set for the Howard Terminal site at the Port of Oakland, has largely remained in limbo after four years.
Despite the lack of home support, the A's are off to a 7-5 start and are tied with the Los Angeles Angels for the American League West lead. Not bad for a team that ranks 29th in payroll at $58 million.
Oakland will play its next five games at home, so perhaps the team's hot start will bring somewhat of an attendance improvement.