The Oakland Raiders are taking a Page out of the Jaguars’ Playbook to Lower Capacity

Raiders Stadium

The Oakland Raiders are planning on using tarps to block off a large section of their stadium in hopes to reduce seating and “sell out” more home games in the 2013 season. The team hopes that this strategy that was most recently used by the Jacksonville Jaguars will help them eliminate blackout games.

Jaguars Stadium
Jaguars Tarp off Section of their Stadium

The Raiders are not the only Oakland team to implement this strategy. In 2006 the Oakland A’s used tarps to eliminate 20,000 seats that were normally empty during games. The only downside in the NFL is that once the tarps are on, they have to stay on, the WHOLE season. So when the A’s miraculously made the playoffs, they ran into a similar problem. When the A’s faced off against Detroit in the Divisions Series, 20,000 seats were covered up. Sorry Raiders fans, but it is very unlikely that your team will face this same problem in 2013 after a dismal 4-12 season this year.

Placing the tarps over the 300 section, nicknamed Mount Davis, could still be a beneficial move for the Raiders. Eliminating around 11,000 seats and bringing the max seating down to 53,200 would help eliminate blackout games. The Raiders averaged a league worst attendance of 54,216, which is unimpressive at best with other teams boasting attendance numbers over 80,000 a game.

When games are not sold out 72 hours before kickoff, local televisions will blackout the game and show something else. This has been a problem that has frustrated Raiders fans for years now, and TV contracts can make a team big money. So by decreasing the amount of seats available, the team hopes to decrease the number of blackout games. One other thing working in the team’s favor is that in 2013 the NFL will allow teams to lift blackouts if they sell 85 percent of their tickets.

Hopefully, the tarps will help the Raiders sell out more games. The Mount Davis section was one of the reasons the team moved back to Oakland from Los Angeles in 1996, but they might want to think of re-locating once again. Unless the team does not mind the eyesore of the tarps, they should think about building a new, smaller stadium.