Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Standing Room Maybe

From the "game information box" in's recap of today's A's-Sox affair:
Game Information

Stadium: Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan
Attendance: 44,735 (131.3% full)
Game Time: 2:51
Weather: indoors
Umpires: Home Plate - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Rick Reed

No word on whether the A's and Red Sox gave 110%.


thekindlingwood said...

Why are we opening the regular season in Japan? At some point during the second game of this two gamer in Toyko, Phillips mentioned that all the diehards at the bars on Yawkey way couldn't buy beers while they watched the game until 8am because of blue laws. This is just one more problem with starting the season in Japan. Not to sound like a protectionist, but while I understand that MLB is trying to grow the sport internationally, isn't there a danger that they're allienating the existing fan base. Because the sport has never been more popular, is Selig taking us for granted?

Now, I admit, I'm hooked. They're not losing me. Here in Washington, I'll drag my weary self out of bed no matter when they schedule the game. The problem is that there are plenty of fans who don't possess my addictive personality and can't justify loosing sleep or getting to work late. And that's just the East Coast fans. It's basically impossible for the rest of America to watch the game. It's going to be a tough enough season for the A's fans as it is, but waking up at 3am for the season opener just adds insult to injury. Bottom line: I want to drink beers, not cups of coffee, during the season opener. Is it too much to ask? MLB has been playing exhibition games in Japan for years. That's great. I just think making the regular season game less assessible to the existing fan base does a disservice to those fans, particularly in the Bay Area who now have two fewer games to attend.

Unknown said...

I don't mind the season opening in Japan. I understand the need to grow the game and don't think any fans will stop paying attention to MLB because of it. I have more beef with the fact that they start the real season and then play some more exhibition games. That's just silly.

Anonymous said...

Seeing something like 131% attendance may seem odd, but it is utterly explainable.

You see, the Tokyo Dome has employed a new technology known as virtual seating. Should more people attend than the stadium has physical capacity for, the stadium can swap attendees in and out using near-line storage subsystems. Advanced algorithims are used so that fans of one team or the other are swapped out at appropriate times -- say, when their team is getting shelled -- and swapped back in just in time to see a game-changing homer.

Care must be taken, however, when employing such a system. The software must be tuned appropriately, or you'll end up with Bosox fans being swapped out just as Manny comes up to bat. This could lead to consumer dissatisfaction.