Two days before the team’s first game at Candlestick Park, the Raiders were cautiously optimistic that ticket sales would improve. “Our advance sale still isn’t much,” said assistant general manager Bud Hastings, “but it is up about 50 percent over other games. I don’t know whether to credit this to the move or the fact that we’re playing Los Angeles.” Noting that the team needed to sell about 20,000 tickets per game to break even, he added, “We have about 15,000 seats between the goal posts on one side of the field. If we play at Candlestick next season and attendance improves, we can move in the temporary bleachers on the other side and handle 25,000 between the goal posts.”
The team hoped they could draw about 15,000 each for the three remaining games with one unidentified team spokesperson saying, “That certainly would indicate we’ve made the right move and, naturally, would make our owners wonder why we didn’t do it before.”
While the ownership was hoping that the rain wouldn’t diminish attendance, the personnel department was gearing up for the finish of the draft scheduled for the 5th. In the meantime, department director Wes Fry and his group were looking at some of the redshirt picks made by the Minneapolis people the year before, including center Fred Hageman from Kansas, tackle Tony Polychronis from Utah, and especially, halfback Pervis Atkins out of New Mexico State.
Atkins was a local, having played his high school ball at Oakland Tech. After a stint in the US Marines, he went to junior college before heading to Las Cruces. At 6’1” and 190 pounds and sporting a 9.6 time in the 100-yard dash, he was thought to be a prime prospect. With the Aggies he had led the nation in rushing, punt returns, and scoring.
Said Fry: “I think we’ll have a good crack at Atkins. He assured me he wouldn’t sign until he weighs the offers and from the way he talked, I think he would be interested in coming here. Of course, we won’t talk to him about a contract until he completes his eligibility in the Sun Bowl.”
Hayward Daily Review