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San Francisco Giants Change Start Time to Weeknight Home Games for 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 24: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was created using a Panoramic feature on an iPhone camera.) A general view of the field between the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers during Game One of the Major League Baseball World Series at AT&T Park on October 24, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 24: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was created using a Panoramic feature on an iPhone camera.) A general view of the field between the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers during Game One of the Major League Baseball World Series at AT&T Park on October 24, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Since the opening of AT&T Park in 2000, the San Francisco Giants always started their weeknight games at 7:15 p.m. But starting in 2019, you’ll have to get to the ballpark on the shores of McCovey Cove a bit earlier.

In a letter to San Francisco Giants season ticket holders earlier this week, Larry Baer said weeknight games will now start at 6:45 p.m., 30 minutes earlier.

Here’s what the letter read in part:

"“We’ve moved weeknight game times (Monday through Thursday) to 6:45 p.m. to better serve fans and families during the work week. Stay tuned for more details in coming weeks.”"

Friday night games will still start at 7:15 p.m.

Despite their second-straight losing season, the Giants drew 3.2 million fans, good for fourth in the major leagues. They averaged about 39,000 fans a game.

With a typical game lasting about 2.5 hours, families with young children would typically leave games early to get home at a decent hour. With the 30-minute earlier start time, if the games ended by 9:15 p.m., fans could get home around 10 p.m., depending on where they live.

This might convince families who might otherwise skip the game altogether to get out to the ballpark without fear of a late night.

One drawback might be fighting San Francisco traffic to get to the game on time. If someone gets off work at 5 p.m., he or she may have to fight through gridlock, pick up family or friends, and then head to the ballpark. It’s hard to do by 6:45 p.m, especially if someone lives in the East Bay and has to cross the Bay Bridge. This can be difficult with the ever-increasing traffic congestion in the Bay Area and may deter a fan from coming to the game on a weeknight.

The earlier weeknight start time is just one part of Baer’s plan to make the fan experience better.

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Here is more from Baer’s letter:

"From the field to the concession stand to the front office, through every level of the organization, we’re committed to winning and delivering the best possible experience to our fans. You have been there year in and year out, riding the highs and lows alongside us. We thank you for sharing your thoughts, ideas and, yes, frustration in your letters and phone calls and in focus groups. We have listened carefully, and we know that we need to continue to evolve in all aspects of our organization.One of those aspects is how we serve the needs of our fans in an ever-changing marketplace. As such, we’re excited to present enhanced benefits and experiences specifically for our season ticket members. These exclusive season ticket benefits include a new ticket exchange program that allows for more flexibility with managing tickets and a 20% discount on all food, beverage and merchandise purchases at concession stands…"

The Giants are not the only National League West team to start their weeknight games in the 6 ‘o clock hour. Both the Diamondbacks and Rockies start their games at 6:40 p.m.

Time will tell if the earlier start time will have an impact on weeknight attendance. The one sure-fire way to boost the crowd size is to put together a winning team, which the Giants haven’t done since 2016.

Next.

So yes, the kids will get 30 minutes extra sleep time on school nights. And that will be good for parents who have work the next morning too.

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