The Raiders' greed has just made them a quick $50 and cost them five good fans.
On a night when I could have taken my son and a few of the neighborhood kids to catch Fernando Valenzuela and the Dodgers in a pennant race with Pete Rose and the Reds, for $3 a head general admission, we ended up instead at the last Raider game any of us will ever attend.
The Raiders' ticket information phone didn't answer all day , but being naive enough to think some sense of decency might prevail, I told the kids I didn't think general admission tickets could possibly cost more than five or six bucks. After all, how could they charge full freight for a clunky preseason game where the stars would take only a few cameo turns while the coaches culled through all the rookie prospects?
The fun began when we parked a mile away from the Coliseum for $10. Then we found out that the Raiders don't even have general admission seats. All they have is $10 "reserved seats" (just another name for expensive cheap seats). Then we got to our $50 worth of seats, at the peristyle end about a half-mile east of the end zone. No one in his right mind had ever reserved these seats.
Then, to make matters worse, we found it cost $2 for a small Coke and $3 for slightly less-small Coke.
This whole chilling experience was then enhanced by the LAPD, who have apparently launched some ill-advised new high-visibility program to ensure that you don't enjoy even one minute of the actual game. From the kickoff onward, the police made Gestapo-like patrols up and down the aisles, making everyone nervous as hell wondering what was going on, even though nothing was going on except a bunch of cops trying to make people nervous enough to do something to justify the cops being there in the first place .
I'll never convince the kids (or want to) to go to another Raider game, and that's sad because this was the first and only time some of them had ever been to the Coliseum.
Goodby Raiders. Goodby gougers. I hope more and more fans get smart and decide to boycott your games from now on. A team that has men with guns watching you every second while it virtually steals every penny from little kids, doesn't deserve the great fans it has.
A Raider spokesman said, that on the day in question, ticket phones were staffed until 2:30 p.m., at which time ticket offices opened. The spokesman also pointed out that all NFL teams charge regular-season prices for exhibition games and that concession prices are set by the Coliseum Commission. As to the police patrols, the Raider spokesman, Irv Kaze said: "There has been a real effort to improve security at the Coliseum. And I would bet that 99 out of 100 customers would say they are glad to see the extra policemen there."