Oakland Raiders to drop capacity at O.co Coliseum


Selling tickets hasn't been easy for the Raiders since they moved back to Oakland in 1995. Now they're making a move to lessen the threat of television blackouts.

In what the organization is calling a "capacity adjustment," the Raiders are planning to block off 28 sections of the upper deck at O.co Coliseum, according to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. This will include sections 335 through 355, derisively known by locals as Mount Davis.

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The Coliseum's capacity for Raiders games will drop from 64,200 to 53,200, making it the facility with the fewest seats in the NFL. Soldier Field in Chicago previously owned the smallest-capacity title at 61,500.

"Our hope, our desire, is a new stadium at that site," Raiders CEO Amy Trask said. "This is the tool we're using this year to create that vibrant community of season-ticket holders."

That's a fancy way of saying the Raiders are sick of holding their breath week after week. The team already made a substantial effort to curb TV blackouts this past season by taking advantage of the NFL's new 85 percent threshold rule. That allowed the Raiders to televise all but one home game in 2012.

Of course, the Raiders' best solution for pumping life back into their stadium and fan base is to put a decent product on the field. Oakland hasn't qualified for the playoffs since the 2002 season. If you build a team, they will come.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.