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Piped-In Crowd Noise a Work in Progress at Coliseum for Athletics

Wednesday's first use of piped-in crowd noise during an eight-inning A's intrasquad game in the Oakland Coliseum was less than a rousing success, manager Bob Melvin suggesting it was more than just background noise.

The Oakland A’s experiment with pumping crowd noise into the Coliseum during games apparently needs some work.

For the first time Wednesday, recorded crowd noise was used during the A’s eight-inning game late in the afternoon.

For Oakland manager Bob Melvin, it seems like the A’s have a way to go before it’s going to work the way it’s envisioned.

“It got your attention,” Melvin said. “I think you want something that doesn’t get your attention. I think we’re going back and forth, maybe even with music.”

Before Wednesday, it was all music, all the time and while some players liked it, some said they’d miss the noise that a crowd would bring. And that still appears to be the plan.

The A’s have four more days, starting Thursday, to get it worked out before a Monday night exhibition game against the Giants in the Coliseum, then another four days after that before the season opener July 24 in the Coliseum against the Angels.

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The plan is to incorporate sounds of not just fans talking and yelling, vendors hawking hot dogs and pizza, chants of “Let’s Go Oakland,” and the drummers in right field.

“It is our intention to incorporate the real unique sounds of the Coliseum into the experience of fans,” Kaval said Tuesday.

There is always music to fall back on if they can’t make it work. Melvin said jokingly that it would be fine by him to have The Three Tenors come through the speakers, “but I’m guessing that probably won’t go over.”

Major League Baseball is encouraging the use of crowd noise. The A’s, like all 30 big league teams, have recordings of crowd noise going back years, MLB is supplying clubs with recorded ballpark sounds going back further still. So, it seems like, eventually, supplemental crowd noise will be part of baseball in fan-less ballparks in 2020.

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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