A's fans cry foul over canceled parking promotion

Oakland A's fans could be in for a bitter surprise when they show up for Tuesday's home game against the Seattle Mariners.

The A's "Free Parking Tuesday" promotion was abruptly cancelled because the Golden State Warriors' NBA playoff game at Oracle Arena next door now falls on the same night.

A's fans, who were tailgating in the parking lot before Monday night's game say already, the family fun can eat into a family budget.

"Pretty expensive. It adds up real quick, just the cost of the tickets, parking," said Hoang Pham of San Ramon who was attending with his wife, two children and coworkers.

"I think we have five to six cars here today so it's over $100 just for parking itself," said Jessica Rada of Newark who was attending with Pham and their colleagues.

To cut costs, the coworkers carpooled.

Parking usually runs about $20 per vehicle, which is why the Oakland A's "Free Parking Tuesday" promotions have proved to be so popular.

Now, some fans are crying foul.

"Little bit like a bait and switch," said lifelong A's fan Gary Silverman of Concord. He said he couldn't believe it when he found out that the Tuesday free parking was suddenly cancelled.

"We actually purchased tickets for Tuesday knowing that it was free parking and then a couple days before hand.to take that away, not very fair," Silverman said.

The A's say it wasn't until last Friday, they learned about the Warriors' NBA playoff game at Oracle Arena on the same night.

A's fans are out of luck. Silverman says what's more, he received an email Monday afternoon from the A's informing fans that the price for parking has been hiked up to forty dollars, double the normal rate. The email did not explicitly state that the free parking promotion was cancelled for A's fans.

KTVU contacted the team and spoke with the A's Director of Corporate Communications Catherine Aker who apologized to fans, but says the situation is out of the team's control because the City of Oakland and the property management company AEG control the parking rates for the complex.

"Because of the dual event with the Warriors postseason game, parking is $40, the cost of parking for the arena event. This is standard procedure and occurs for all arena events. We found out about the dual event on Friday evening when the second round of the NBA playoffs was determined. We alerted fans at that time and throughout the weekend via dedicated emails, media press releases, social media and during our broadcasts. We alerted fans of the possibility of a change in free parking as soon as we were aware this was an option. We apologize for the inconvenience and encourage fans to take BART or Capitol Corridor. Fans can also contact our ticket department to talk to one of our team members with any ticketing concerns," Aker said in a statement to KTVU.

Silverman points out that there is no fine print on the A's website explaining the rules, and that some sites such as Gamehedge.com still had the free parking promotion posted for the May 3rd game. He says it's a matter of principle and while some fans might be able to pay the forty dollars to park, it isn't fair that others might get turned away Tuesday, if they don't have the cash and show up expecting the free parking as promised.

"I think they ought to honor it, you know, find a way to let people in for the A's game or however they want to do it. Maybe that's a hassle too, but if you're advertising something is going to be free, then it should be free," Silverman said.

After KTVU contacted the team, the A's issued a second email Tuesday night. It urges fans to take BART as an alternative and says any ticketholder with concerns should contact the ticket office.