Originally published on SBReport.net on Feb. 7, 2013
As it became apparent to many Raider fans on Wednesday, the Raiders have announced their plans of "eliminating" roughly 11,000 seats at O.Co Coliseum for the upcoming 2013 NFL season.
Raiders Chief Executive Amy Trask met with local media on Wednesday afternoon to help brief the media on the new plan.
"For the 2013 season, what are we doing," Trask started. "We are eliminating the third deck eastside: sections 335 to 355. 300 to 303, those 3 and a half sections, and 331 to 334, those three and a half sections."
The elimination and relocation of these sections are bringing down the capacity from roughly 64,200 to 53,200.
In addition to relocating many season ticket holders, the Raiders are also lowering prices of tickets.
"We are doing a concomitant pricing and the reason for so doing is really two-fold," Trask explained. "We are relocating, or have relocated all of the 2012 season ticket holders who were in the seats that are being eliminated to this side of the stadium and it did not seem to us to be appropriate to unilaterally relocate people into higher priced seats."
With this, people being relocated will in theory obtain better season ticket seats at a better price. Trask explained that Raiders ticket personnel are working with customers to relocate them to a seat that best matches their previous sight line.
Trask and the Raiders front office believe that the move will also help create more of a family atmosphere at games since families will have more money to buy more tickets to bring the whole family.
"It's an ongoing commitment on our part to create a vibrant, vibrant gameday environment with a community of season ticket holders," Trask said. "We'd like to sellout our entire stadium on a season ticket basis and continue our efforts to create a family-friendly environment. Of course, another reason is we want to continue to provide the entire region on television live locally, it's not a revenue-based decision."
With the new capacity of approximately 53,200 seats, after considering all of the premium seats in club seats and suites, the Raiders will now only need to sell roughly 42,300 tickets to have the game shown on live television locally. With the adopted 85-percent rule last year, the Raiders needed to sell roughly 56,200 tickets and were able to sellout all but one regular game and one preseason game.
Trask explained that every NFL team must deliver a "manifest" to the league that gets "locked in" which the Raiders included their plan to eliminate the aforementioned seats. This means that this seat "elimination" will remain in place for the entire season. This means that the Raiders will not be able to fill the extra seats even if their is a demand for them.
"That's a league rule. If you eliminate seats, elimination means elimination," Trask said. "My understanding is that the rule pertains to the playoffs as well."
Though the prices of tickets are dropping, it does not appear that the pricing of parking will drop.
"That's a city/county decision and that will be up to the city and county," Trask said of the parking fee.
Besides discussing the new seating situation, Trask also touched on the Raiders future stadium situation as their current lease at the O.Co Coliseum ends at the end of the 2013 season.
Trask reiterated that the Raiders efforts remain focused on keeping the team on their current soil next to Interstate 880. Trask said that it is "their hope, their desire to get a new stadium on that site" but also acknowledged the need for a new building.
Trask also acknowledged that the team did have talks with the San Francisco 49er's about sharing their new Santa Clara stadium, but mentioned that they haven't had any talks recently. She also reiterated again that their efforts are completely focused on staying in Oakland when a question about Los Angeles came up.
While Trask didn't think it would be appropriate to mention what was being discussed while in talks with the City of Oakland and Alameda County, she did describe the conversations as "serious, everybody working together, collaboratively and cooperatively to see if we can find the solution that we're all looking for."