Do Oakland residents really want a new A’s park?
Did you see that three out of four Oakland residents are supporting the Oakland A’s ownership’s efforts to build a new baseball park somewhere in the city? There should always be some skepticism of opinion polls especially when a pro-stadium group such as the Chamber of Commerce’s annual pulse of Oakland is asking a private firm to conduct a survey. For the record, the survey of 500 people found 74 percent of Oakland supported the A’s ownership’s desire for a new park, 16 percent opposed while 10 percent had no opinion. The FM3 public research firm conducted the polling between October 7th and 14th right after the season and the American League wild card game, a contest that featured the A’s losing to the New York Yankees. The most troubling part of the poll though could be the age group that offers the most support for a stadium.
The two most ballpark support groups were those between the ages of 50 and 64 and those who make more than $120,000 a year. Baseball as an industry needs to get support from younger fans. In 2016, Smith and Street’s Sports Business Journal and Magna Global released a survey which claimed the average baseball fan was 57 years old. That is a troubling as the NFL’s average fan was 50, the NHL’s average fan age was 49, the NBA’s average fan was 42 and Major League Soccer had the youngest fan at 40. Boxing came in at 49. Major League Baseball likes well-heeled customers but needs fans also at the lowest end of the financial spectrum. Oakland A’s ownership is concentrating on putting together a stadium proposal at Howard Terminal and is still interested in the Oakland Coliseum complex. Oakland is losing the NFL Raiders to Las Vegas and NBA Warriors to San Francisco. A’s ownership has struggled to land a new stadium.