It's root, root, root for the home team. But which one?

As part of a Bay Area scheduling quirk this season, the Giants and A's will play three more overlapping home dates this weekend. The Colorado Rockies visit AT&T Park starting Friday while the New York Yankees arrive at O.Co Coliseum.

In all, there will be 10 times this season in which the Giants and A's play at home on the same day, a scenario both teams prefer to avoid. By comparison, the Dodgers and Angels play conflicting home dates just once.

While this weekend may be a boon for Bay Area baseball fans -- who have their choice of which first-place team to go see -- Major League Baseball schedule-makers try to avoid setting up competing draws in the same market.

And when there's conflict?

"I think there are positives to it,'' Steve Fanelli, the A's executive director of ticket sales and operations, said Thursday. "You look at this weekend and you're going to have 80,000-plus fans (per night) in the Bay Area watching baseball. That's great for the game in that aspect, and it's great for the area to have than many options."

The A's smallest crowd of the season, 10,120, happened to come against the Chicago White Sox on May 12, a night when Tim Lincecum was across the bridge striking out 11 in a 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. But Fanelli said early-season Monday nights annually produce Oakland's lowest attendance figure, whether AT&T Park is in session or not.


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"I don't think having the Giants play across the bay impacts that number,'' Fanelli said. It's not something we look at and dread when it happens. It's just something that happens from time to time when they put the schedule together.

Overall, the A's hold up fine even when the Giants are playing. A three-game series against the Tigers, for example, produced crowds of (35,067 on Memorial Day), 21,549 (Tuesday) and 15,590 (Wednesday.)

Katy Feeney, MLB's senior vice president of scheduling and club relations, said MLB tries hard to steer clear of what they call "conflict days" in two-team markets. But that's only one factor. The matrix gets complex with 2,430 games on a big-league schedule that must account for interleague play, division schedules and requests from individual clubs regarding their home/road preferences.

As part of the schedule-making process, a club fills out a questionnaire listing such factors as preferred home holidays, which dates a stadium is scheduled for other events (such as concerts) and which baseball anniversaries should be commemorated in the home park.

"The Giants like to open on the road and the A's like to open at home,'' Feeney said, citing one example. "In some of the other markets, we alternate the home openers, especially in the colder markets like Chicago and New York, where those teams don't always like to open at home because of the weather."

Feeney said that the league tries hard to keep "conflict days" to under 10. This year, the A's and Giants play 10 such games. The Mets-Yankees play seven, as do the Nationals-Orioles. The Cubs-White Sox overlap four times while the Dodgers-Angels share a home date just once.

The Giants' attendance seems impervious to any factors, let alone a conflicting date in Oakland. Including Thursday, the Giants have sold out 281 consecutive regular-season home games, the longest active streak in the majors.

"We do try to avoid overlapping games for mutual benefit, but for some reason this year we have more than in the past,'' Staci Slaughter, a Giants senior vice president, said. "Fortunately, both teams are playing well so it has been a non-issue this season."