By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 at 3:57 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders announced Wednesday they will reduce capacity at O.co Coliseum by nearly 10,000 to 53,200 in 2013 and relocate approximately 4,850 fans from the east side high-rise structure known as “Mt. Davis.’’
Raiders CEO Amy Trask described the decision as a “tool’’ to insure games remain on local television as well as promote more of a community atmosphere.
Fans who paid $260 per season ticket on the east side structure will be moved to the west side third deck and their tickets will cost $250 this season _ or $10 per game including preseason games.
Fans near the 50-yard line in the third deck who were paying $610 per ticket will have their ticket prices cut to $250.
The Raiders had just one television blackout in eight regular-season games in 2012 with help from the NFL’s `85 percent’’ rule, which allowed them to declare a sellout (and give the NFL a bigger cut of the ticket sales) if 85 percent of their non-suite tickets were sold by Thursday.
The average regular-season attendance for the Raiders in 2012 was 54,217.
Trask said closing of the east structure would be made in lieu of the 85 percent rule. The club is also planning to eliminate other “tools’’ to achieve sellouts such as 2-for-1 ticket giveaways sponsored by companies such as Compass Media and Hawaiian Airlines.
The A’s have tarped off sections of the third deck since 2006, reducing capacity for baseball to the 34,000 range. The Jacksonville Jaguars have reduced capacity by approximately 10,000 in the same manner.
According to Trask, NFL rules state that once a club closes off a section, it cannot be re-opened for any games regardless of ticket demand _ even in the case of the postseason.
Trask said the Raiders are continuing to focus their energy for a new stadium on the current site and have been in talks with the city and county, with the next round of discussions coming next week.