"The Spot" is a youth center in Oakland's Chinatown.
Nothing brings people together quite like a sporting event.
Whether it is a game of hoops, a game of pigskin or the "old ball game," thousands of people regularly attend for the sports entertainment aspect. However, another important element of a sporting event is that it provides people with a "friendly atmosphere" and a feeling of belonging to a community.
With the 2012 NBA season winding down and Opening Day of the 2012 Major League Baseball taking place today, fans have a unique opportunity to both support all of Oakland's professional sports teams, as well as, youth empowerment programs in Oakland.
One of those programs is at "The Spot" - a youth center which opened last year at 299 13th St. in Oakland's Chinatown district. The center is a project of the Chinatown Youth Center Initiative intended to provide resources, programs and services for youth ages 14 - 24 to develop and showcase their talents, meet new friends and get ready for the future.
According to Michael Lok, the fundraising committee chair for The Spot, the center will host several fundraising games in partnership with the Golden State Warriors, the Oakland Athletics and the Oakland Raiders, this year. This comes after a rough first year, which included the center being flooded.
"The Spot earns a percentage from each ticket sold," Lok said. "Beyond the dollar amount raised, these games are also good for building community and sports fans to get to support their teams and 'The Spot' at the same time."
The Spot will be hosting one fundraising game with the Warriors this Saturday, April 7; three games with the A's on April 21, July 8 and Aug. 19; and plan to host at least one Raiders game, this upcoming season.
"There's no agenda on our part," Lok said. "For those that aren't from the community, this is a way to introduce them to us and to support us in the future. We try to talk to folks and thank everyone for coming out."
Last year, 50 people attended an A's game and 90 people attended a Raiders game hosted by The Spot. So far, approximately 43 tickets have been sold for the Warriors game and 30 tickets have been sold for the A's April 21 game.
"It's a pretty loose environment," Lok said in regards to what people can expect when attending a game with the youth center. "We get a good mix of people. We are just trying to get support from people that already go to games."
For more information on making monetary donations and or supporting The Spot by providing equipment, time and/or services, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit thespotoakland.org. To purchase tickets for any of the A's game: RSVP to Michael Lok (email@example.com) by email to order your tickets. The final ticket submissions need to be two weeks before each game day.
If You Go
Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets, Saturday, April 7 - 7:30 p.m. -- Upper level Club 200 at $30 per seat
Oakland A's vs. Cleveland Indians, Saturday, April 21 - 6:05 p.m.
Oakland A's vs. Seattle Mariners, Sunday, July 8 - 1:05 p.m.
Oakland A's vs. Cleveland Indians, Sunday, Aug. 19 - 1:05 p.m.
Tickets to all of the A's games are Lower Box seats at $25 per ticket (normally priced at least $30 per ticket).