Down in Front!

Brooke Family

NatsPark features a gentle slope or angle in the seating areas. Attacks of vertigo due to a steep set of stairs to and from seats are less likely than at many other major sporting arenas.

On the other hand, fans walking up and down those nicely spaced steps block the view of fans in their seats. I've heard a lot more calls of "down in front" this year.

So many of us were pleased to see the scoreboard running an announcement asking patrons to refrain from walking in the aisles during at bats.

The excellent Nats320 blog touched upon this as part of a longer post on May 2.

Basketball patrons are quite used to ushers stopping them at the top of a section while the ball is in play. Same thing at hockey games. And many baseball stadiums have a "keep out of the aisles during at bats" policy as well. Looks like NatsPark has one too. Now, if they would only enforce it. I'd hate to miss a close play at home because someone was too busy trying to get down the steps and or around his seatmates during the action.

By Brooke Family  |  May 2, 2008; 4:43 PM ET  | Category:  Brooke Family , Seating/Sight Lines
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SF's AT&T Park's ushers hold you until the at-bat is over.

Not sure if I liked that rigid enforcement, but I do hope the unspoken rule becomes more ingrained by the end of the season.

Posted by: Cole | May 2, 2008 4:57 PM

What's next - ushers to keep people from getting OUT of their seats during an at-bat? Then what will Brooke do when the little kid needs an immediate potty break?

Posted by: BillyBob | May 2, 2008 5:25 PM

Conversely, when I stand when there are two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Rauch is going for the save, please do not tap me on the shoulder and tell me to sit down. Seriously. I'm trying to cheer here.

Posted by: Lindemann | May 2, 2008 5:43 PM

I would say that worse than the fans walking up and down the aisles while there is action going, is the constant parade of beer men. Especially when they stop right in front of you to watch Zimmerman bat and you can't see a thing! I wouldn't tell them to not be a fan, but could they crouch down at least?

Posted by: Brian | May 2, 2008 6:43 PM

Well, this goes to show ya that people haven't figured out how to be a baseball fan here in Washington. Here are some 'unwritten' rules.

1. If you want to leave your seat, try and do so between innings.

2. If you must leave your seat in the middle of an inning, do so between at bats.

3. The converse is true for returning to your seat.

4. Keep in mind when you stand up, others behind you can't see. Don't be selfish. They paid too. This includes family potty breaks that take 5 minutes to get together and clear out - all while standing. That's what inbetween innings are for.

As for moving in the aisles, that's an age old problem. I have been known to crouch if I get caught inbetween.

This isn't a football game. We're supposed to be nice to fellow fans - even in this city!

Posted by: DanD187 | May 3, 2008 8:19 AM

My season tickets are in Row E of Sec 419. There are season ticket holders in Row D as well, but it appears that the first three rows are for individual game ticket buyers. (I have never seen the same people in the seats in any of the games I've gone to.) I don't understand why season ticket buyers (who form a little "community" and are polite and considerate to each other) didn't get the best seats in the section. It seems like the people in the front have friends who bought tickets in back of us, and they are constantly standing up and yelling at each other. I don't think we need Nazi-ushers, but it does seem like it would be less disturbing if season ticket holders were seated together, and in the better seats.

Posted by: Ed Ramras | May 4, 2008 10:39 AM

I heard that the Nationals had reserved some of the seats in the front rows of a section for people who buy a full season ticket package. But if they didn't sell, then the are being sold as individual game tickets.

Posted by: Brian | May 4, 2008 11:55 AM

I was nearly arrested at a game at Tropicana Field for doing just that, not blocking the view of other fans. Yes, NOT blocking the view of other fans. Rays/Yankees, 1999, the first entrance into the lower bowl on the third base side nearest home plate. The usher told me I had to move, I told her I was going to wait until the at bat was over so I didn't disturb the people around me, which is the rule and they announce it before the game (the signs at the time however, said "No Standing" though some ushers were ordered to not let fans interfere with the game).

She then started yelling at me, demanding my ticket which I showed her (but did not hand to her). She then called the police. Not security, but the St. Pete Police who threatened to arrest me for standing in the walkway as it was a fire hazard. I politely told the officer that if there was a fire or other emergency, I was well within my capabilities to move. I had two sodas for me and my dad, neither of us were drinking. Finally, the out is made and people that were sitting nearby confronted the cop about his lack of sensibilities. I received applause from those I didn't interfere with their view of the game, and after the game, had many fans thank me (word got around the section).

Later in the season, ushers were holding those little STOP signs in the lower bowl.

What a great time, those Naimoli-owned, Steinbrenner-esque Devil Rays.

Posted by: Jarrod | May 5, 2008 11:51 AM

Has anyone else been told, as I have, that I cant stand at my seat BETWEEN innings (unless I'm leaving, entering, or getting out of someone's way)?

Posted by: Meridian | May 12, 2008 6:16 PM

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