The Raiders are taking a page out of the Jaguars’ playbook, not on the field but in the stands.
In what is being termed a “capacity adjustment,” the Raiders are planning to block off many upper-deck seats, CSNBayArea.com reports. The move is reminiscent of the tarps the Jaguars have put up in their stadium, blocking off thousands of seats that they’re unable to sell.
Although it is not yet known how many seats the Raiders will block off, it will likely give the Raiders the NFL’s lowest seating capacity. The Raiders already had the second-lowest capacity at 63,132, higher only than the Bears, who can seat 61,500 at Soldier Field.
The Raiders are expected to close “Mount Davis,” the upper deck addition that was part of the deal that got the Raiders to move back to Oakland from Los Angeles in 1996. That addition, which blocked the view of the Oakland hills that was long considered one of the nicest features of the Oakland Coliseum, has long been controversial, and the “Mount Davis” nickname was a shot at the late Raiders owner Al Davis.
The Raiders have frequently struggled to sell tickets in Oakland, and most of their home games have been blacked out. In 2012 they had only one blackout, thanks in part to the new NFL rule that allowed teams to lift blackouts while selling only 85 percent of their tickets.