The San Francisco Giants and Florida Marlins played last night at AT&T Park in front of their 19th consecutive sellout crowd in 2011. The Giants rank third in the league in average attendance and that is only because AT&T Park's capacity is less than the parks that the Phillies and Yankees play.
The Marlins series is the first test this season to see if winning the World Series translates into selling seats on a weekday series against an opponent not exactly high on everyone's list to see.
If the Giants can sellout the series, it goes a long way in proving that the Giants' championship star power is here to stay.
On the other side of the Bay, the Oakland A's are lagging in attendance. They are second to last in the league (to the last place Marlins, by the way), drawing an average attendance of 17,852 compared to the Giants who are drawing 41,821.
In order to fix the problem, the A's have been trying for years to build a new stadium. One obvious location is San Jose, the largest city in the South Bay.
San Jose currently has only two major professional teams - the Sharks and the Earthquakes. Neither are the big three sports of baseball, football, basketball.
It would appear natural to everyone for San Jose to build a downtown stadium and for the A's to move to San Jose.
That is, it would appear natural to everyone except the Giants.
In 1992, when A's were power franchise after winning the Battle of the Bay World Series in 1989, the Giants were on the verge of moving to Florida, after a ballot initiative to build a new stadium failed.
The A's owner at the time, Wally Haas, made an agreement with the Giants to give them exclusive right to the South Bay, including San Jose, so that the Giants could look there for a new stadium.
In the end, a group headed by Peter Magowan bought the team and kept the team in San Francisco. AT&T Park opened in 2000 and baseball in downtown San Francisco prospered. Since then, the Giants have drawn 3 million fans every year except 2008-2009, where they drew 2.8 million.
The A's, on the other hand, in the same period have barely gone past 2 million in some of the playoff years, and last year only drew 1.4 million.
This has led to a disparity in the MLB's revenue sharing system, where Giants are a revenue positive team, while the A's are a revenue negative team.
This all leads back to the question of why the Giants' sellout streak matter to MLB and the A's.
If the Giants sellout the Marlins series and continue to sellout the park throughout the year, commissioner Bud Selig and MLB will not want to do anything to stop Giants' success by letting the A's move the San Jose.
According to a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, San Jose has already begun to do their due diligence in building the framework for a stadium proposal. However, MLB has not made it clear whether or not they will even hold a vote on the issue.
The Giants have already voiced their opposition, claiming the territorial rights they won in 1992.
It's ironic that the A's who were so accommodating to the Giants' struggles after their 1989 World Series win, are not receiving the same kindness from the Giants after their 2010 World Series win.
One can only think that the Giants don't want to repeat the same mistake that the A's made.