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In February, Nationals cut off group sales to Philly fans

Keith Czaban, self-described chief entertainment officer of the travel company PhillyTailgate.com, bought 1,500 tickets for this year's opening day from the Nationals this year, and he packed 28 buses full of Philly fans down to Nationals Park on Monday.

He would have brought more people -- but, he said, the Nationals wouldn't let him. The Nationals stopped group sales to people who lived in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware at some point in mid-February, Czaban said.

"I know I tried to get more, and I wasn't able to," Czaban said. "They were cognizant of a potential issue."

The Nationals have taken heat from fans since Phillies supporters overran Nationals Park on Monday. This new detail at least makes clear the Nationals realized it could be a problem. The Nationals began taking deposits on group sales -- 25 is the threshold -- in November and started selling them Jan. 4.

From a financial standpoint, Czaban understood the Nationals' practices.

"I don't think you or I or anybody can really blame them for doing it," Czaban said. "In January, I don't know how much business sense it makes to say, 'We're not selling to you because you're from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.' They still paid for them. They didn't give me any for free. They still have to pay Strasburg's contract."

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 7, 2010; 12:07 PM ET
 
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Next: Jason Marquis against the Phillies

Comments

We don't need your money, Phillies fans! Nats fans would have gladly bought those tickets if we had a chance, so don't act like they'd have gone unsold otherwise. Nats fans have always bought tickets for opening day. We will pay Strasburg's contract ourselves. We don't need your help.

Posted by: cassander | April 7, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Adam- Great reporting! We appreciate it.

Posted by: Tom8 | April 7, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Feb. was to little to late StanK. This is just one company who bought group tickets. I'm sure there are several others, which resulted in thousands of tickets that DC based Nats fans, like myself, were not able to purchase, even though they tried.

This Titanic has officially hit the iceberg, way to captian the ship StanK, and again, you suck.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 7, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to Adam for continuing to look into this issue. And Keith Czaban's comments are sane and appropriate. What this does show is StanK is afflicted with the same case of trenchmouth that the Vatican, Toyota, and many politicians have.

Posted by: samantha7 | April 7, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Cassander, Nats fans _did_ have the same chance to buy Opening Day tickets as the Phillies' fans did. Anyone could have organized a group and bought tickets before the individual tickets went on sale. Anyone could have gone on stubhub to buy tickets. Anyone could have waited in line to buy the 400 tickets that go on sale only on the day of the game. You can't blame the Phillies' fans for being resourceful and getting tickets. The only thing you can blame them for (at least the large majority I observed) is the low-class behavior they displayed throughout their visit.

Posted by: sharon17 | April 7, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

To be honest I am surprised they stopped the selling like that. So I will give the Nats FO some props but February is a little late unless the numbers they had suggested they wouldn't be overrun by Philly fans, if they stopped in Feb.
The two things I would be curious about is the total number of group sales in Penn. compared to the Metro region. Then if Philly fans pretty much gobbled up the individual tickets within 7 minutes on going on sale.

Posted by: hleeo3 | April 7, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

My sob story isn't any sobbier than anyone else's, but just in case SK is reading I'd like for him to evaluate whether what they did made good "business sense."

I petitioned and lobbied for a team in late 90's and early 2000's. 4 tickets first row in RFK 2005-2007, 4 second row Nats park in 2008. By 2009 my group was done b/c of performance relative to cost, so it was a mini-package time.

Well I tried to get singles to the OD game for my previous group, and of course nothing remained, even in groups as small as 2 together. I purchased one for myself. NATS LOST opportunity to reaquaint actual nationals fans with the ballpark experience in lieu of taking the quick/early bucks from Philly.

Well I got a call on Monday that Nats Town had basically morphed into South Philly. Go to a game by myself and be subjected to all that crap? No way, instead I relunctantly let my $40 ticket go to waste. NATS LOST an opportunity to get my concessions $ and lure me to future games, yes potentially even to a Reds game.

I'm so sick and tired of this BS, and I'm a die-hard fan. What is worse is the prevailing apathy that exists in part because of the short-sighted "business sense" this outfit continues to apply. And here's some advice, maybe don't rely on a Philadelphia ticket scalper to inform how you decide to treat a fledgling fan base.

Rob in Vienna

Posted by: robertchapman1 | April 7, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm part of two Nats season ticket packages so the appearance of all the Phillies fans was just an annoying reminder of the old days at the Cap Centre when the Flyers hit town. However, there is a fragile, if not broken, relationship between the Nats ownership group and the fans of the D.C. area so the insensitivity to the consequences of what happened is rather appalling. Ted Leonsis is singled out as one of the best owners in any sport because he listens to and works hard for fans to come through his turnstiles. The Nats under the Lerner/Kasten leadership have failed to acknowledge and appreciate that whatever the number of baseball die-hards they have, it's not enough to support the franchise. I don't care for all the ownership bashing that always goes on but in this instance, an apologetic humble mea culpa to the D.C. area baseball fans is in order. Why give fans public excuses to stay away from Nats Park?

Posted by: McKinley2 | April 7, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

...oh and SK is so fond of touting their aspirations for best fan experience, how about forgoing some ticket sales to what they know in advance will be a bunch of louts, in favor of actually improving the fan experience for Nationals fans?

I know it may be naive to expect them to turn away a little $, but I honestly believe that will be more than made up in the long-term as fans actually enjoy themselves.

Posted by: robertchapman1 | April 7, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"Cassander, Nats fans _did_ have the same chance to buy Opening Day tickets as the Phillies' fans did. Anyone could have organized a group and bought tickets before the individual tickets went on sale. Anyone could have gone on stubhub to buy tickets. Anyone could have waited in line to buy the 400 tickets that go on sale only on the day of the game. You can't blame the Phillies' fans for being resourceful and getting tickets. The only thing you can blame them for (at least the large majority I observed) is the low-class behavior they displayed throughout their visit."
___________________________________________

Your argument is Hogwash, except for the last part. Why would Nats fans feel the need to organize a group when they're going to their home park? And if they did why aren't we hearing about groups that were solicited to.

Posted by: JDB1 | April 7, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@JDB1-If the DC fans had any reason to expect anything near a capacity crowd on opening day, and still thought there'd be plenty of good seats available as singles, then the naivete is ours as much as Kasten's.
In towns with full ballparks, people know this stuff.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

So the two guys interviewed by the Post bought up 5% of the stadium before individual tickets went on sale. I'd love to know the total number sold by the group sales office.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 7, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Although it may be instructive to recall Kasten's success in Atlanta did NOT translate into regular sellout crowds, as it would have almost anywhere else. I always wondered why that was. Hmmmmm...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Catching up on all the comments, Section 222's take on what Kasten SHOULD have said was spot on. Remember the firestorm following the Steelers fans' invasion of Fedex and the banning of signs at Fedex last year? It's going to be up to Adam and maybe Sportsbog guy to keep the Lerners' and Kasten's feet to the flames on this one, since no one else on air or in print cares.
Commenters focusing on crowd control are absolutely right too. Ushers and security as far as I could see did absolutely nothing to control the drunken yahoos. After last out, watched from my upper deck perch a couple of Philadelphians in the front row of RF seats dismantling cup holders and throwing them (along with other debris)on the field. One security person finally showed up, more than five minutes after idiotic behavior started. Ushers, who presumably (I hope) had called security, stood by impassively, watching, as damage ensued. StanK wants to sell tix to busloads of soccer, er, baseball hooligans, fine, but beef up your security preence and make arrests at the same time of our "celebrated guests" (per Nats' PA announcer).

On baseball matters, why the presumption that the Harris/Tavares combo in RF will at least give us good defense? RF is Harris's worst position--he has looked bad in the Bosox exhibition and yesterday--and Tavares had played maybe one game in RF before this season. I'm not crazy about either Cory Hart or Fukudome, but EdDc's (think he's the one) constant harping on Lerners' unwillingness to trade for a ballplayer making more than MLB minimum seems to explain Nats' lack of interest there. Presumably Upton is not making much & therefore is of interest to us (as well as every other MLC club)?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | April 7, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I attended the game on Monday and was as disheartened as much as everyone about both the result and the invasion. But look, what are the Nats supposed to do, not sell tickets? Last year Stan had to beg Philly fans to come because we Nats fans weren't buying tickets to the home opener!

Everyone points to the Caps as the prime example of the best front office in the area. While I agree, I know that three years ago, no one was saying this. In fact, Washington Post columnists were encouraging fans to burn their season tickets! Why? Because the team was losing and had the audacity to rebuild from top to bottom.

I'm not so much defending the Lerners and Stan as I am stating the obvious: Winning teams draw crowds, losing teams don't. We've played the Phillies several times since 2005 and only after they won the World Series did these "invasions" become more commonplace. Philadelphia has a much more organized and hard-core fan base--not just for the Phillies but all their teams.

Washington is a win now market. If you aren't winning, no one cares. Anyone attend any Wizards games this year? I didn't think so.

Posted by: rodeorob | April 7, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Look, it's been said before many times, but the only thing that will get the Nats FO attention is if fans stop going to the games in large numbers. So when the Pirates, Reds, etc are in town either don't buy a ticket or don't use the one you have. The Nats so-called management have made no effort to market the team to existing and potential NATS fans - have you seen the list of radio affiliates? Absolutely pathetic and they have no affiliates in huge sections of potential fan base. Return their lack of caring with your own - its the only way.

Posted by: bendersx6 | April 7, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Cap,

We're really bashing the acquisitions in 2010? Marquis, CMW, Kennedy, Pudge, Capps, Bruney, etc? Not to mention Strasburg and Storen! I think it became clear the Dukes just wans't going to fit into the attitude they're growing in that locker room. Depsite their struggles, the combo in RF still adds up to addition by subtraction. The FO may still have work to do in the fan experience but they did some fine work in the on-field product for 2010.

Posted by: outsider6 | April 7, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Nice reporting, Adam. Now ask the appropriate person in the Nats organization exactly how many local bar owners and businesses they contacted back in December-January to try to get them to put together group packages for Opening Day? My suspicion would be that they made a lot of calls, but got few if any bites from the locals. Meanwhile, the Phillie groups were beating down their door for group tickets.

Those people complaining that local fans should get priority for opening day tix need to understand how things work in the real world of MLB. Opening day tix don't go to fans who go to 3 or 4 games a year, max. They go to season ticket holders and people with connections. Those connections can be anything from political/business/money connections to a local bar owner who decides to take the risk and buy a batch of group tickets early on and then put together a package where his patrons can buy their ticket from him and get extras like a happy hour or bus ride to the stadium. In real MLB towns, those connections and deals are built over the course of decades. In DC the local community has been behind the curve all along on figuring out how to do this. Meanwhile, the Philly operators were smart and got what they could when they could. They didn't have anything specially handed to them by the Nats, they just seized the opportunity while the DC business community slept on it.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't care who they market group sales to. The problem is they were calling fan groups in Philly BEFORE individual tix were available. Hence, all the stories of local fans who could not get tix to opening day. Absolutely disgraceful. That opening day was a total embarassment.

If Kasten wants to stop this controversy, he needs to apologize and announce right now that individual game tix will go on sale at the same time as group sales for '11.

It does give you some inkling of why Atlanta had so many empty seats for all those playoff games. That used to irritate the hell out of me. We didn't even have a team and they wouldn't go to play off games.

Posted by: Avar | April 7, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

what also irked me was the scoreboard welcoming all these philly groups. I know that is part of the group sales deal, but come on....it was bad enough being surrounded by them all...

Posted by: Sec131 | April 7, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Nationals fans SHOULD NOT HAVE TO ORGANIZE A GROUP TO GET TICKETS TO OPENING DAY IN THEIR OWN STADIUM.

That is all.

Posted by: enstage | April 7, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Also, good reporting Adam. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: enstage | April 7, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Reposting, in the spirit of reporting out the story:

------------------------
oh my god, enough already. do you realize people in Philadelphia are laughing at you? my buddy from philly goes to georgetown and he got to that $5 ticket window at 8AM. Which was two hours after we started driving down from philly, even though we had no idea if we'd even get tickets.

but you know what? it was a beautiful day and we all took off work and we were going to have a great time in DC whether we had tickets or not. But luckily for us, my friend had no trouble getting the 4 tickets we needed and he told me the ENTIRE line was phillies fan.

where do you get off complaining about your ownership selling tickets elsewhere, when the 400 seats they reserved for you to buy cheap on game day went ENTIRELY to phillies fans.

WE DROVE FOUR HOURS to beat you guys to line that was in your own backyard on opening day.

stop whining. you may have a terrible team, but at least they show up and work hard; you don't even deserve them your fanbase is so pathetic

Posted by: pennquakers | April 7, 2010 12:52 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I have been to every opening day since the team came back. Frankly I don't understand why people seem convinced that the team wouldn't have been able to sell plenty of tickets without opting for Philly groups over DC residents first.

I appreciate that we stink, and attendance has declined since the initial buzz wore off. But this was opening day, and we have always sold well on opening day. Surely they could have sold thousands more tickets to Nats fans had they tried. But that's just it- they didn't even try.

So why not just use three steps?

1. Tickets on sale to the general public for opening day, little fanfare
2. Advertising push "Hey Nats fans, get your tickets to opening day before they're gone!"
3. "Hey Phillies fans, we have some tickets left. You guys want them?"

Would it have killed the Lerners to think of DC residents first?

Posted by: bryc3 | April 7, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Outsider6,

I'm not bashing the dismissal of Dukes or the other moves made in the offseason, I'm just saying that when Harris/Tavares are manning RF we clearly are not only losing a lot of pop offensively, but not necessarily gaining anything defensively. Don't know how Morse will hold up defensively in RF, but I agree that with him in the lineup and Desmond batting 2nd, this looks a little more like a major league lineup.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | April 7, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice if Adam spoke to someone with ticket selling experience. Is there usually this kind of push for group ticket sales for Opening Day that far in advance? Do teams set a limit on group sales for Opening Day, knowing they're likely to get a lot of one-time buyer action and therefore could bring in more people who might end up buying other tickets down the line? Do teams track out of town purchases and set limits on them? Do teams normally separate Opening Day from group sales or do most group sales/season ticket packages include Opening Day as a logical incentive?

It still feels to me like the Nats went for the upfront money and were willing to allow the kind of non-home opener experience we saw on Monday. Good for short-term cash flow, bad for long-term growth.

BTW, Kasten did some good things in Atlanta, but I'm pretty sure John Schuerholz was the guy in charge of baseball operations. He was the main reason for the growth of the Braves as a baseball team.

Posted by: baltova1 | April 7, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@Anyone could have organized a group and bought tickets before the individual tickets went on sale. Anyone could have gone on stubhub to buy tickets.

Sharon, with all due respect this is asinine. Why would local residents need group sales, and why would anyone voluntarily pay the service charges and markup at StubHub?

I'm putting my money where my mouth is: I'm done. Stan took Opening Day away from us to make a little extra money that won't pay for competent relief pitching or a right fielder, and until he owns up to it and (at the very least) apologizes for this travesty, I will no longer:

*Pay $8 for a small beer,
*Be told there are no more $10 seats left when I can see four sections of them completely devoid of people,
*Be unable to call and check on my wife and kid between innings because the charismatically-challenged Clint is yelling something at an ear-splitting decibel level,
*Have Teddy teach us all that perpetually losing can be cute and fun,
*Spend the game standing behind center field because the suites have pushed the real fans' seats into the ionosphere
*Be bombarded with ads and musical cliches instead of a ballgame organ...

I'm done. I'll watch on TV. Thanks,Stan. Thanks, Lerners. This is on you. Enjoy your money.

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | April 7, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes, they should. That's what happens when a team starts winning--there's more demand for the tickets, and they sell faster. The Phillies are nearby, and they're really good, so they have more fans for now. There is more demand for Phillies road tickets than Nats home games.
**************
Nationals fans SHOULD NOT HAVE TO ORGANIZE A GROUP TO GET TICKETS TO OPENING DAY IN THEIR OWN STADIUM.
That is all.
Posted by: enstage | April 7, 2010 1:08 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

JDB1 - You seem to think that Nats fans are somehow more entitled to purchase home tickets than other fans. What is the box office supposed to do, ask buyers to sign a Nats loyalty oath before selling them tickets?

If the Phillies fans were able to figure out that they could buy group tickets before individual tickets went on sale, then there's no reason Nats fans couldn't have done the same thing. The box office didn't make a secret announcement to folks living in Pennsylvania, and there were other options for buying tickets other than group sales.

Most hard-core baseball fans know that you typically need to be on the ball to get tickets for Opening Day (or when the Red Sox are in town, etc.). The fact is that many Phillies fans were simply more resourceful than many Nats fans. I ended up buying my tickets through stubhub because I really wanted to go to Opening Day. If you want something bad enough, you find a way to make it happen and that's exactly what the Phillies' fans did. Too bad so many of them had to act like buffoons while they were here.

Posted by: sharon17 | April 7, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Great reporting.

And everybody: You can't blame Nats fans for failing to fill the park if they were never given a chance to buy tickets. Of course it would never occur to people to organize big groups for opening day; the assumption is always those tickets are tough to get.

Unless the Nationals can show AT LEAST a comparable effort to market group sales in the DC area specifically for Opening Day to the effort they made in Philadelphia, this one is on them.

It seems like when they finally realized it, it was too late. But the fact they did realize it in February is all the more reason Stan K should take a more conciliatory line in public. It is ridiculous and terrible PR for him to be stonewalling this.

Don't let up the heat!

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 7, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

A bottom 5 payroll every year gets you a Harris/Tavares platoon in RF.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 7, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"So why not just use three steps?

1. Tickets on sale to the general public for opening day, little fanfare
2. Advertising push "Hey Nats fans, get your tickets to opening day before they're gone!"
3. "Hey Phillies fans, we have some tickets left. You guys want them?"

Isn't that exactly what Kasten did last year? And you guys loved it, right?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"It would never occur to people" HERE. People in baseball towns know this [stuff].

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Never once during the game did an usher bother to ask me to show my ticket to prove I was sitting in the section where I was headed. Not once. Anyone else have the same experience? I'm so mad I bought part of a season plan again I can't see straight.

Posted by: AlexVa1 | April 7, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

What I want to know from Stan is how many group sales were made to Philly groups before he cut of the one group we know they cut off. There were well over 50 buses in just the W Lot....The empty lots around DOT were converted to Buss Parking that was about 30 buses....so how about the other lots.....Just how many group sales to Philly were made Stan. Is that too much information for you to give us?

Posted by: JayBeee | April 7, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@Sec3mysofa: "People in baseball towns"? I grew up in New York City and went to college in Boston.

I have been a baseball fan for probably longer than you have been alive, and follow the business of the game closely.

For home-town folks, opening day is generally NOT a day for group sales. The team knows it can fill the place with STH's and individual tickets and tends to concentrate group sales efforts for other days with lower demand.

If it is true that the team spent months marketing group sales to Philly people and then had so few individual tickets left that they were only on sale for seven minutes, that is a very stupid business move.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 7, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Last year, I was able to buy good opening day single tickets just fine, and we still sold out the park via single tickets. The Nationals knew that and should have kept plenty of seats around for single seat buyers. They gave us no warning anything was different this year. It has never been like this before.

Posted by: cassander | April 7, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I can't speak to how long you've been a fan (you saw Willie Mays as a rookie?) but this doesn't happen in NY or Boston, or Chicago or St. Louis, for that matter. When we grew up, no, this probably wasn't standard practice, but neither was the DH, or free agency.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

All that said, still, as a business move, yeah, they should've seen this coming. DC fans and Phillies fans are both known quantities.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Although--we're actually talking about anticipating a sellout back in January, and betting the weather would be tolerable, and being able to find 25+ people who'd be willing to put money up and not renege when they just don't feel like going. Not a lot of businesses around here, nevermind individuals, who would be that motivated, methinks.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

This has been said but bears repeating. Winning breeds $$$. The Nats, while making solid improvements this offseason, are still a long ways away from where they want to be. We should not be surprised that the Phils fans made the short trip down 95. I haven’t heard any stories about rabid Nats fans that were denied tickets to the game. The team needs to get better and do a better job of marketing itself regionally to expand its fan base.

Posted by: colemanNC | April 7, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

This has been said but bears repeating. Winning breeds $$$. The Nats, while making solid improvements this offseason, are still a long ways away from where they want to be. We should not be surprised that the Phils fans made the short trip down 95. I haven’t heard any stories about rabid Nats fans that were denied tickets to the game. The team needs to get better and do a better job of marketing itself regionally to expand its fan base.

Posted by: colemanNC | April 7, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

It is nice to have a real reporter on the NATS beat .....while on the 980 sports talk radio they are talking about the top ten Redskin sinus infections

Posted by: CBinDC1 | April 7, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

i have no problem with the team selling tickets to fans of other teams, as a general principal. i always thought this was one of the reasons the nats would potentially succeed in DC. it's a city full of transplants, fans of teams from other cities. those people buying tickets helps the team be successful.

that said, actively marketing opening day tickets to fans of other teams (even just group sales) before the tickets have even been made available as individual ticket purchases really feels penny-wise and pound-foolish to me. if you worry that you may not sell out opening day (which some people here are intimating the nats did fear), open sales just for opening day *earlier* (early january?) than the rest of the games (they've done it in the past, they can do it again). if it doesn't sell out to individuals or local groups, *THEN* market it to the other team to ensure a sellout.

but *DON'T* market it to the opponents' group ticket sales people who can organize busloads of opponent fans in your home park for opening day *BEFORE* you give your own fans an opportunity to sell it out on their own.

it's insulting to your own fans, especially the ones you freeze out. and it's insulting to the players on your team, who get booed in their own park and watch the opponents get home-field advantage on OPENING DAY.

it's akin to UVA calling VA Tech groups and offering them tickets to a UVA/Tech game in charlottesville for homecoming.

Posted by: sec231 | April 7, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

But suppose they had cut off out-of-town group sales early or entirely, as they evidently did later. If they have local group sales, there are still local brokers who would turn around and re-sell them in Philadelphia, because there's a demand there, even at the marked-up prices. If they don't have *any* group sales at all for opening day, they don't sell out, period.

Refresh my memory, did they sell out 2008 OD? I seem to recall it was not a hot ticket.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

How do you manage to ruin Opening Day on a beautiful sunny afternoon? By letting Nats fans know, in no uncertain terms, that they are not the driving force behind this team's marketing (and therefore overall) plan. Which means no $$ for fielding a truly competitive team. Which means more of what we've been seeing, unfolding out into the foreseeable future.

Given repeated opportunities to address this issue, Kasten simply waves it away. It is crystal clear now that the Nats' owners do not, and will not ever, care about building a local fanbase.

I've been in a season ticket groups since 05, and actually bought my own full-season plan for this year. Every year, I've organized a group from my office to go to see the Nats. I've tried to support baseball in Washington. I'm done now.

The Orioles are right down the road, have actually produced exciting players out of their farm system in recent years, and -- wait for it -- actually have superior ownership to the Nats.

For the Lerners to out-Angelos Angelos is something to see.

As a D.C. taxpayer, I can't wait to raise holy he** the next time the city seeks to subsidize the billionaire class with a toy baseball team at our expense.

Posted by: SuzNats | April 7, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Yes, 2008 was a sellout. And as I recall, it was a rather hot ticket.

OD 2009, on the other hand, was much more of a routine thing (if my memory serves correctly).

Posted by: shepdave2003 | April 7, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Besides selling tickets to Philadelphia groups prior to putting tickets on sale to the general public in March, Did the Nats do like the Redskins and sell tickets to local Ticket Brokers under their "Group ticket" policy also in advance, further locking out individual fans so that not much was left by the time tickets went on sale to the general public.

Posted by: WhatPlan | April 7, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Boorrrinngggg. Get over it and let's talk some baseball please.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | April 7, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, that must be what I was thinking of. At my advanced age, it happens.
***********
Yes, 2008 was a sellout. And as I recall, it was a rather hot ticket.

OD 2009, on the other hand, was much more of a routine thing (if my memory serves correctly).

Posted by: shepdave2003 | April 7, 2010 1:50 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

This new information just makes Stan Kasten's remarks all the more disingenuous. They knew they had a problem. The solution is "simple" as he might say: At least start out selling tickets for Opening Day the way the Orioles do it for their openers -- with season ticket holders getting an opportunity to purchase more tickets. Beyond that, then sell to individuals, and then, if necessary, go to group sales in this area, and then -- only if that doesn't bring you close to a sell-out -- go to group sales elsewhere. But, whatever you do, don't START with group sales out-of-town, for crying out loud! I think, at the least, Nats fans deserve an apology and a promise that this won't happen again.

Posted by: fluffy4 | April 7, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I would think that this would be a good business opportunity for local sports bars to do what the Philly ticket brokers did: buy up group tickets early and then sell them as part of a food/drink included deal before the game. Ideally then also providing a shuttle over to the game. Any bar owners here?

Posted by: slewis1 | April 7, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

***************************************
oh my god, enough already. do you realize people in Philadelphia are laughing at you? my buddy from philly goes to georgetown and he got to that $5 ticket window at 8AM. Which was two hours after we started driving down from philly, even though we had no idea if we'd even get tickets.

but you know what? it was a beautiful day and we all took off work and we were going to have a great time in DC whether we had tickets or not. But luckily for us, my friend had no trouble getting the 4 tickets we needed and he told me the ENTIRE line was phillies fan.
*********************************

I'm glad that the Nats are enforcing their policy of selling only one $5 ticket per person and requiring immediate entry into the stadium.

Posted by: thepostischeap | April 7, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Sec 231: What you said.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 7, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Every college football or basketball team, I know, will not sell tickets to fans who are from out-of-the-area, until very close to the date of the game, if there are any tickets left. In-area fans get priority, until just before the date of the game, and only then do out-of-area fans have an opportunity to buy tickets, if there are any left. I am appalled to know that blocks of thousands of tickets were sold, during February to out-of-area fans, obviously who are not Nats' fans.

The Nationals should have the same policy, for selling tickets, especially for Opening Day, yet they're greedy. Where does the greed start? Right at the top, with the owners. Too bad fans can't fire owners.

Posted by: mcjr | April 7, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Hogwash is right to the feeble poster who said, Nats fan can organize a group to go to Opending Day, can go on Stub Hub to buy tickets, and a whole lot of other idiotic crap. Why should the fans of the home team have to jump through bloody hoops to see games of their team in their town? Think a bit.

Posted by: samantha7 | April 7, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Every college team, of which I know, has a policy of not selling tickets, to their games, to out-of-area fans, until right before the game, if there are any tickets left (except for a bad section reserved seats for fans who buy their tickets through the visiting school's ticket office, who usually are season ticket holders at that school). I am appalled that the Nationsls sold blocks of thousands of tickets to out-of-area fans, certainly knowing that they were Philly fans, in February, especially for Opening Day.

The Nationals should institute the same practice, of selling tickets to out-of-area fans, which colleges use so successfully. Why don't they? Greed. Where does the greed start? Right at the top, with the owners.

Too bad fans can't fire owners! They are why we had this debacle and why we have a lousy team: Greed.

Posted by: mcjr | April 7, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

That should have read, Nats fans and Opening Day.

Posted by: samantha7 | April 7, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Caps make a decision a few years ago to not sell tickets to out-of-town buyers in certain zip codes (or area codes)? Hmmm.

Ted Leonsis on Line 1, Mr. Kasten.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | April 7, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Born and raised in NYC, die hard yankee fan, went to more games than I can count before coming here for college. My dad still has season tickets. For opening day most of the seats are available to Season Ticket holders, and the rest are individually bought. The poster who said that group sales are used to fill stands at yankee games on opening day (or for most games) is out of their mind.

The Nats should make tickets first available to ticket season holders, then have individual ticket sales available earlier for opening day, and then as a last resort group sales. Perhaps not for all games or the rest of the season, but definitely for opening day.

Monday was pathetic and the Lerners should be ashamed. Though I'd bet they're too busy counting their money to care.

Posted by: JG55 | April 7, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Adam for keeping on this BUT their action in February was too little, too late. The problem was already there. Stopping when they did meant there were a few tickets - 7 minutes worth left, but the damage was already done by their insensitivity, studidity and greed.
StanK must go.
When those season ticket sales people call me again, they will get an earful.
Chant - Kasten Sucks, repeat and repeat and repeat.

Posted by: alm1000 | April 7, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Judging by the large amount of posts in these related Opening Day threads, I would say there is a ton of interest in baseball in DC. There is a reason why attendance isn't what it should be or at least what people think it should be. The impossibility of competing for a pennant is one and another is the bad fan experience offered by management. Look @ 90% of the Nationals Park improvements for 2010. They are luxury items that many will never see unless they pay a much too high price for a tour. Get with the program and develop local fans.

Posted by: smirkman | April 7, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

One comment on here mentioned that it isn't possible to only sell tickets to Nats fans with the line "What are you supposed to do, make them sign a Nats loyalty pledge before buying tickets?"

In response to that, Ted Leonsis did effectively that last year. Ted listened to Caps fans that were ticked off about Pittsburgh fans coming in to the Verizon Center and drowning out fans in years past, so when the Caps were playing the Pens last year in the playoffs he banned purchases for tickets to people with a Pittsburgh Zip Code. That doesn't stop people from paying cash at the ticket window, but it makes sure crap like the Nats home opener doesn't happen.

Posted by: VarlyisNarly | April 7, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Congrats, Stan, you filled the stadium for a day! What a wasted opportunity to get your own fans in the building on a great day to get some positive buzz going about the experience of going to a nats game. Instead, many of the 20K nats fans that did make it were disgusted by the experience, and your franchise once again became a punch-line...so short-sighted.

Now, unless you can bring us Bobby Cox or Ted Turner's money, please move on. Your greatest accomplishment thus far has been to market to Philly and it's suburbs. If this is all you got, we might as well just hire Susan O'Malley.

Posted by: sollazo | April 7, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I guarantee you that somebody, somewhere in the Nationals Front Office (in ticket sales or otherwise) saw this coming back in the winter and tried to alert the poobahs that they had a potential Opening Day cluster f*** brewing. And they were probably ignored and/or told keep quiet. Find that person(s) and you’ve got a great story.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | April 7, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Samantha7 - You're surprised that fans needed to jump through hoops to get tickets for Opening Day?!? I fully expected to have to do that, as did all those Philly fans. It's a supply and demand thing. I knew that for practically any other home game, I'd be able to walk right up to the box office minutes before the first pitch and still be able to get good seats. But, everyone wants to go to Opening Day, so obviously tickets aren't going to be easy to get, especially when the Nats are playing a team that's only three hours away. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

I don't know how the Nationals could even enforce a policy that gave preference to Nats fans. There are probably hard-core Nats fans living in Philly and some hard-core Philly fans living in DC, so it wouldn't be fair to block fans from buying tickets just based on their home zip code.

I still claim that the folks who really wanted to be there on Opening Day found a way to do so. It's just too bad there were so many more Phillies' fans who were willing to do whatever it takes to get there than Nats fans. But, I'll say again that there's still no excuse for the low-class behavior that many of them displayed.

Posted by: sharon17 | April 7, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Not so sure Adam deserves all these kudos. Not sure whether this is "good" journalism or "irresponsible" journalism. I see quotes from a Phillies fan (Czaban)and... and... oh, I guess that this entire story is based on a phillies fan? Geez.

Adam, did you even TRY to get confirmation from the Nats ticket office before throwing more fuel on this fire? If so, where is the mention of it.

Irresponsible and sloppy once again.

Posted by: kfisher32 | April 7, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"@JDB1-If the DC fans had any reason to expect anything near a capacity crowd on opening day, and still thought there'd be plenty of good seats available as singles, then the naivete is ours as much as Kasten's.
In towns with full ballparks, people know this stuff."
________________________________________


The fact that they had to cut off groups sales to Philly fans refutes your statement. Did anyone on here have a clue that they were taking deposits for opening day in November. I've been to every opening day here and to full stadium and empty ones. That argument doesn't work when the sales staff is actively seeking out groups from out of towners for opening day.

Posted by: JDB1 | April 7, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@ Sharon 17

If you are a hardcore Nats fan living in Philly than I'm sure you know someone with a credit card that does not have a philly zipcode who could purchase a ticket for you.

Not to mention, I'm sure there is not more than 50 nats fans who live in Philly. If those 50 people can't get tickets, but the rest of the Nationals fans can go to the game and not be heckled by drunk Philly frat boys than so be it. Restricting purchasing by Zip Codes works and hockey teams do it all the time.

Posted by: VarlyisNarly | April 7, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Phanaticgate?

Posted by: Tom8 | April 7, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"oh my god, enough already. do you realize people in Philadelphia are laughing at you? my buddy from philly goes to georgetown and he got to that $5 ticket window at 8AM. Which was two hours after we started driving down from philly, even though we had no idea if we'd even get tickets.

but you know what? it was a beautiful day and we all took off work and we were going to have a great time in DC whether we had tickets or not. But luckily for us, my friend had no trouble getting the 4 tickets we needed and he told me the ENTIRE line was phillies fan.

where do you get off complaining about your ownership selling tickets elsewhere, when the 400 seats they reserved for you to buy cheap on game day went ENTIRELY to phillies fans.

WE DROVE FOUR HOURS to beat you guys to line that was in your own backyard on opening day.

stop whining. you may have a terrible team, but at least they show up and work hard; you don't even deserve them your fanbase is so pathetic

Posted by: pennquakers | April 7, 2010 12:52 PM"

A) I could care less about Philly laughing at us. We could get into a pissing match about fan support. The sixers, The vet in the late 90's with the phils, hell even the eagles couldn't sell out the vet under norman braman. So get over yourself

Posted by: JDB1 | April 7, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"JDB1 - You seem to think that Nats fans are somehow more entitled to purchase home tickets than other fans. What is the box office supposed to do, ask buyers to sign a Nats loyalty oath before selling them tickets?

If the Phillies fans were able to figure out that they could buy group tickets before individual tickets went on sale, then there's no reason Nats fans couldn't have done the same thing. The box office didn't make a secret announcement to folks living in Pennsylvania, and there were other options for buying tickets other than group sales.

Most hard-core baseball fans know that you typically need to be on the ball to get tickets for Opening Day (or when the Red Sox are in town, etc.). The fact is that many Phillies fans were simply more resourceful than many Nats fans. I ended up buying my tickets through stubhub because I really wanted to go to Opening Day. If you want something bad enough, you find a way to make it happen and that's exactly what the Phillies' fans did. Too bad so many of them had to act like buffoons while they were here."

_______________________________________

For opening Day your darn right the home fans should be more entitled. Why is the team selling group tickets and calling up opposing groups in November? That insane. The Philly fans were solicited, is that to hard for you to understand. BTW, I was at the game and got tickets. Spare us the lecture on how to get tickets.

Posted by: JDB1 | April 7, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"oh my god, enough already. do you realize people in Philadelphia are laughing at you? my buddy from philly goes to georgetown and he got to that $5 ticket window at 8AM. Which was two hours after we started driving down from philly, even though we had no idea if we'd even get tickets.

but you know what? it was a beautiful day and we all took off work and we were going to have a great time in DC whether we had tickets or not. But luckily for us, my friend had no trouble getting the 4 tickets we needed and he told me the ENTIRE line was phillies fan.

where do you get off complaining about your ownership selling tickets elsewhere, when the 400 seats they reserved for you to buy cheap on game day went ENTIRELY to phillies fans.

WE DROVE FOUR HOURS to beat you guys to line that was in your own backyard on opening day.

stop whining. you may have a terrible team, but at least they show up and work hard; you don't even deserve them your fanbase is so pathetic

Posted by: pennquakers | April 7, 2010 12:52 PM"

Glad they reserved Nationals fans 400 seats for the game. How thoughtful.

Also, sorry those of us living in DC don't work as bartenders at Paddy's Pub and can't line up outside of the ballpark at 8 am to maybe get a ticket. A lot of Nats fans tried to buy tickets and take a half day to go to the game.

Posted by: VarlyisNarly | April 7, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why anyone would be surprised by the Nats FO's behavior. They are consistent - penny wise and pound foolish. I remember being excited when the Lerners got the team - thinking that a local wealthy family would be good. However, a neighbor of mine, who had dealt with the Lerners over the years, told me they would be terrible owners - and not b/c they were not nice people (they are)but simply b/c their style of doing business would not translate well into professional sports and developing fan loyalty. She has been so right.

I am not going to boycott the team but I did give up my season tickets last year and now go to many fewer games. I am discouraged.

Posted by: CountDemoney | April 7, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

""It would never occur to people" HERE. People in baseball towns know this [stuff].

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse"

___________________________________________

You get over yourself to. Please show us another big league club that sells grouops seats to OPENING DAY to 20,000 opposing groups, the majority of which were sold not through the buyer calling the team, but the exact opposite. So it is in fact you who should learn this stuff.

Posted by: JDB1 | April 7, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@JDB1

Well said on all of your points. As home team fans, the home opener is for us. Not being able to get tickets, or even worse paying the money I did to get tickets and having to go spend time with the class acts from Philly, is ridiculous. This is our home opener! I shouldn't have to go and deal with drunk Philly kids all damn day when I drop $150 bucks on tickets and take a day off of work.

Screw you Stan Kasten!

Posted by: VarlyisNarly | April 7, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Here's another question. Why has MLB decided for two years running that the Nats home opener would be vs. the Phillies? Why is a 100-loss franchise picked to open against the NL's World Series team? You have to wonder if Bud-hole Selig is still trying to rake D.C. over the coals. When is that steroid enabler going to go away?

Posted by: gibson0 | April 7, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Those of you upset about the Phila. sales to opening day. Don't let it bug you. I have attended opening day since 2005. The only opening day games that sold out were 2005 and 2010. Not even the first game at the Navy Yard sold out. So be greatful for our Phanatic neighbors to the north.

2005 - 45,596
2006 - 40,530
2007 - 40,389
2008 - 39,389
2009 - 40,386
2010 - 41,290

Posted by: 6thandD | April 7, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"Did anyone on here have a clue that they were taking deposits for opening day in November."

If they started taking deposits for group sales in November, then there was undoubtedly an e-mail or notice that went out then saying "Group sales for 2010 begin on XX date." At a minimum that would have gone to every group that's ever come to the park before, and probably went to anyone on their mailing list. I get those kind of e-mails from the team all the time. A smart fan or business owner who thought Opening Day might be a hot ticket could easily have looked at that and put two and two together, realized that Opening Day was not excluded, and said "Hey, I can put togther a group and snag OD tix for me and my friends, or my business, or my customers." That's all the Philly fans did. Guess so-called Nats fans aren't that smart. They wanted to wait until Stan Kasten came groveling to get them to buy tickets, and then turn up their nose at him. Guess who got the last laugh?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"If they started taking deposits for group sales in November, then there was undoubtedly an e-mail or notice that went out then saying "Group sales for 2010 begin on XX date." At a minimum that would have gone to every group that's ever come to the park before, and probably went to anyone on their mailing list. I get those kind of e-mails from the team all the time. A smart fan or business owner who thought Opening Day might be a hot ticket could easily have looked at that and put two and two together, realized that Opening Day was not excluded, and said "Hey, I can put togther a group and snag OD tix for me and my friends, or my business, or my customers." That's all the Philly fans did. Guess so-called Nats fans aren't that smart. They wanted to wait until Stan Kasten came groveling to get them to buy tickets, and then turn up their nose at him. Guess who got the last laugh?"


Their wasn't and thats the point.

Posted by: JDB1 | April 7, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"If they started taking deposits for group sales in November, then there was undoubtedly an e-mail or notice that went out then saying "Group sales for 2010 begin on XX date." At a minimum that would have gone to every group that's ever come to the park before, and probably went to anyone on their mailing list. I get those kind of e-mails from the team all the time. A smart fan or business owner who thought Opening Day might be a hot ticket could easily have looked at that and put two and two together, realized that Opening Day was not excluded, and said "Hey, I can put togther a group and snag OD tix for me and my friends, or my business, or my customers." That's all the Philly fans did. Guess so-called Nats fans aren't that smart. They wanted to wait until Stan Kasten came groveling to get them to buy tickets, and then turn up their nose at him. Guess who got the last laugh?"


Their wasn't and thats the point.

Posted by: JDB1 | April 7, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen anyone else mention this, but the Nats were selling opening day tickets as part of a "4 game mini plan", which were on sale prior to the date single-game tickets were on sale. The plan allowed you to choose four games throughout the season (including Opening Day), and came with a voucher for a free ticket to any other 2010 home game. I'm not sure how many people took advantage, but Nats fans had the opportunity to buy Opening Day tickets early that way, without having to organize a large group.

That said, I've gone to 10-15 home games a season since the Nats came to town, and Opening Day was the worst crowd I've ever seen, as far as opposing fans are concerned (even worse than the Red Sox games last season). However, considering the Phillies are coming off back to back World Series appearances and Opening Day was the first start for Roy Halladay, I can't say that I'm surprised that Phillies fans did everything they could to get into the stadium.

Posted by: Turgeon77 | April 7, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Those of you upset about the Phila. sales to opening day. Don't let it bug you. I have attended opening day since 2005. The only opening day games that sold out were 2005 and 2010. Not even the first game at the Navy Yard sold out. So be greatful for our Phanatic neighbors to the north.

2005 - 45,596
2006 - 40,530
2007 - 40,389
2008 - 39,389
2009 - 40,386
2010 - 41,290"

_________________________________________


The first game at Navy Yard did sell out. The 39,000 number is because VIP and tickets that were gifted aren't included in sold tickets. Further the RFK numbers in 2006 and 2007 are about the same. The reason is no one would ever sit under the scoreboard in Right Center

Posted by: JDB1 | April 7, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Not even the first game at the Navy Yard sold out."

The first game at the Navy Yard did indeed sell out. The reason the paid attendance is listed as less than capacity is because of the large number of comp tickets they gave out for the new stadium opening.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Their wasn't and thats the point."

You know this how? You think they expect potential customers to just figure it out by ESP? They announce every other ticket sale opportunity out the wazoo. Group sales are no different.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 7, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

It's a simple case of an owner wanting to make a quick profit rather than develop a fan base, or reward any of their fans who did support the team. This is crap and fans deserve a lot better than this type of treatment. You can look at how Ted Leonsis has ran the Capitals and see there is a much better way to do business. You can actually take a team, rebuild, listen to the fans complaints, and be rewarded by those fans. Fans will gladly pay top dollar to a team, or owner, that seems responsive to their interests and truly believes in creating an experience around the fan. That is exactly what Ted Leonsis did and now he is being rewarded handsomely by the fans.

Screw the Lerners. Last time I support that crap of a team and their owners unless I get an apology for that crap product I paid for.

Posted by: VarlyisNarly | April 7, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

To nunof1 and JDB1. I will concede the comp tickets at the Navy Yard. But I won't concede the two years at RFK that were 5 grand shy of a sellout. It wasn't just right field under the scoreboard that was empty. Left field was too. But being a life long Washingtonian will teach you that this town is fickle. Winning is everything. Redskins may state "sellouts" but just take a look at the no shows when the team is going bad. When the Nats win, the seats will fill. If the team is making money instead of losing it, that brings us closer to winning.

Posted by: 6thandD | April 7, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Simple solution: in future, do not schedule any team that plays east of Houston on Opening Day.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | April 7, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Adam Kilgore. Thanks for digging into this. I really appreciate it and I was very upset at the game with so many rude and loud Phillie fans. I kept waiting for the Nats to shut them up but that didn't happen.

Posted by: AHappyWarrior | April 7, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"NatsTown" is nothing more than a ShantyTown overrun by hostile fans. Back to the drawing board, Marketing!

Posted by: ImWithStupid | April 7, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Could it be that the profound silence coming from 1500 South Capital on this fiasco is due to the Nats' reluctance to alienate Philly fans who might want to scarf up tickets in the future? "We can't apologize for 25,000 Philadelphians coming to our ballpark. That might imply that we think them to be somehow undesirable. OMG, we wouldn't want that. They might not want to come back." Hard to believe anything could insult Phillie fans...

Posted by: mojo6 | April 7, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Make that South Capitol. Wouldn't want to be accused of being from Philly.

Posted by: mojo6 | April 7, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Come on. A guy who ordered 1,500 seats got cut off, so he claims, and that gets extrapolated to the Nats having cut off sales to certain regions? That does not pass the journalistic laugh test.

Posted by: dfh21 | April 7, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Phillies fans are uncouth, but the real problem is that it's a three-hour bus ride to DC. That's plenty of time to get totally drunk before settling into the seats so thoughtfully set aside for the Philadelphians by Stan & Co.

Tom Lovero on the radio today pointed out that Kasten is part of ownership,and he gets a nice piece of change out of the millions of shekels the Lerners collect. This ownership group has discovered a golden egg and will be in place for the long term.

So while Lovero and his sidekick Sheehan were speculating how long a man of Stan's stature and reputation (cough, cough) would be willing to stay around under the asinine ownership/management, the answer is obvious: Forever.

Posted by: JohnRDC | April 7, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

A local team Trying to avoid selling tickets to opponent's fans! That's something you just don't see around here - kudos to the Nats front office!

Posted by: agupta1 | April 7, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

for all of those who are complaining about all the phillies fans who showed up on monday. i hope you are watching the game tonight. it absolutely pathetic how few people are in those stands. why do you think you guys should even DESERVE to get opening day tickets? you guys don't even deserve a team.

who can blame management of the nats for trying to sell tickets to philly fans. they know how unlikely it is you will actually come and support your team. all this talk about fans should be able to fire management? management should be able to fire you fans. you guys are the worst fanbase in all of baseball.

there's seriously about 10,000 people in the stands... if that, and still half of them are phillies fans. seriously pathetic...

Posted by: pennquakers | April 7, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

My personal solution: Next November, or Halloween, or whenever StanK starts selling group plans, I'm pulling a grand out and buying 25 $40 tickets, getting the group rate. Then I'm going on StubHub, Ebay and every other secondary market, marking them up 100 percent minimum, and hope every buyer has a (215) area code.
Two can play this game, StanK.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | April 7, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

My personal solution: Next November, or Halloween, or whenever StanK starts selling group plans, I'm pulling a grand out and buying 25 $40 tickets, getting the group rate. Then I'm going on StubHub, Ebay and every other secondary market, marking them up 100 percent minimum, and hope every buyer has a (215) area code.
Two can play this game, StanK.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | April 7, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

pennquakers is an idiot for thinking there are only 10K in the Stadium tonight....the announced attendance was almost 28K; however, he does have a point; does DC even deserve a baseball team? All the crap I hear about how DC was cheated out of the Senators, and the 30 years without baseball, I would think there would be 30K season tickets alone sold to Nats fans! I love the Nats, and am a season ticket holder, and I don't even have ties to the old Senators franchises, or the local area. My message to DC residents? Stop the whinning and support your team, and you won't have to worry about others taking over the stadium! The Redskins are proof that the DC fanbase is the worst, most fairweather fans in all of sports.

Posted by: sullyzz | April 7, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

The only way to stop what happened Mon. is to do what Ted Leonsis did to the Pengiin's STOP ANY SALE TO THE PITTSBURG PENS FAN BASE. It worked for the Caps--they don't sell ANY game tickets to the Ptt. fans... The other thing is to improve the Nats enough SO THAT FANS WILL WANT TO COME TO THE GASMES. I think the F.O. feels they have a bad product and realize they will not draw locals to the games--SOOO to sell tickets you go to the fans of the team your playing--WHO SUPPORT THEIR WINNING TEAMS) and sell them tickets. After all isn't that the duty of the F.O. is to sell tickets and generate MONEY!!!! The football GIANTS-the Philles--the Eagels the Flyers (in their heyday) ALWAYS BRIUGHT FANS TO D>C> The Redskind--Nats--Caps--Wizards need to improve the product and ticket sales will improve. The perfect example is the CAPS--A PERFECT BUSINESS MODEL--SELL OUTS FOR EVERY GAME AND NO RANGERS--PENS--FLYERS fan trucking on down to DC and making this town look absolutly FOOLISH!!!!

Posted by: vergens2 | April 7, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Has any team picked up Dukes--is he in the minors--where is he playing OR is he playing anywhere??? An answer would be appreciated.

Posted by: vergens2 | April 8, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Oh I guess now we Nats fans are supposed to feel better that the cut off sales in Feb. Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee! Lerners, Kasten - you want a full stadium? Spend some money on putting a team on the field that doesn't lose 100 + games a year and might actually come close to .500 ball - just .500 and you won't have to market to Philly fans. Local fans will come.

Posted by: Sojouner | April 8, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

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