Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

The Nationals are having trouble drawing a crowd

Morning brushback

If the Nationals had sold 193 more tickets last night, the crowd would have eclipsed the old low since baseball returned to D.C. And, as a team spokesman said last night, what's really the difference, in a stadium that sits 40,000, between 13,000 and one less than 11,000?

With that said, last night felt like a touchstone moment in this disappointing season. The most obvious thing about last night, even before the three errors and six-run loss, was the crowd. Or the lack thereof. I devoted the majority of my game story to it. The park was strangely silent at first pitch. You could hear players. It was impossible not to notice.

This is now six years after baseball came back and three years since the Nationals moved into Nationals Park. Monday night's crowd, if anything, represented a lack of progress. The Nationals would have to average 16,591 the rest of the way to avoid the lowest single-season home attendance, and that's even with Stephen Strasburg's seven starts (and one scratched start) at Nationals Park. With three games against the Phillies that might allow the visitors to clinch the NL East, the Nationals should get there.

The Nationals deserve some credit for the way they have responded to the sparse crowds. If you buy two season tickets for 2011, you get two additional season tickets free as well as free tickets to the rest of this year's games. That's kind of like a restaurant saying, "Don't like the way our food tastes? Next time you get lunch and dinner for free." But the Nationals are clearly trying, and that truly is an outrageous deal.

The offer, one assumes, will increase the announced crowds next year. (The announced crowd means tickets. It's why some sellouts are different numbers -- giveaways aren't counted, and teams of course give away different numbers of tickets on certain days.) The Nationals can try to convince people they will get better, and Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos are three reasons that they could. Team President Stan Kasten has said the Nationals will get the crowd they deserve. The people will start watching when they actually are better.

"The fans have supported us so much," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "I think people have gotten excited about some of the great players we put out there. But when you lose too much, people are going to get a little disillusioned with it. We can't let that happen. We've got to keep playing with energy, play hard, battle for nine innings, not take innings off. We can't allow it to happen where the atmosphere around the ballclub is that progress isn't being made. We know progress is being made. But every now and then we take a step backwards."

FROM THE POST

Stephen Strasburg is a grumpy phenom and keeping a low profile these days, Dave Sheinin writes.

The Nationals suffered an 8-2 loss to the Astros before a record-low crowd at Nationals Park.

By Adam Kilgore  | September 21, 2010; 6:15 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brushback  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Game 150 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Astros
Next: Today's lineups

Comments

the nats are awful and not real competitive or exciting to watch. Bernadina has no clue what he is doing at the plate but they have no other options. the errors by Harris and play by Dunn and Hernandez are examples of why folks are frustrated - its the same old crap going on all year. the offense is horrible and there is no excitement or energy. its terrible baseball.

Posted by: outrbnksm | September 21, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

NEW season ticket buyers get the "buy two, get two" deal. The existing fans who have supported this team since 2005 are supposed to watch efforts like last night and say "thank you sir may I have another."

Posted by: mlantry | September 21, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

"Monday night's crowd, if anything, represented a lack of progress."

A lack of progress to exactly what Adam? It's a Monday night, against a Central division opponent. The team is in last place in the division, but they are no longer the 'worst' last place team. Football season is in full swing too.

I'm a little disappointed that the crowd was small, but I was there. I'll be there tonight too. And I have personally taken it upon myself to refuse to cede the park to Braves and Filthy phans in the coming days.

If that was the crowd size for a July game, there'd be something to worry about.

Go to the park people. It was a nice night last night, irrespective of the outcome.

Posted by: dand187 | September 21, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

The buy one get one free offer is hardly outrageous, it is for the most overpriced seats in the house, sitting down low next to the foul poles is a terrible vantage point. The offer might increase sales a bit, but not a huge about as I haven't read a single comment from a fan who has been taken in by this "deal".

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | September 21, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

If this were Cuba, we would probably be directed to both buy tickets and attend the games, to boost zee morale, as they say. Well, we're still in somewhat of a free market in the States, so the Nats are finding out what competition for the entertainment dollar is all about. The Redskins under Shanahan are offering hugely entertaining outings and the Capitals haven't started playing yet. Baseball in DC, after the organization squandered so much promise, could become an orphan when arrayed against this competition going forward.

The expenditures of fans at the ball park are supposed to cover the interest on the huge inventory of bonds the DC government sold to finance the stadium. Will DC risk defaulting on this debt as a result of the abysmal product Lerner/Kasten and Rizzo have put together?

Someone should write an article about the financial end of this deal.

Posted by: JohnRDC | September 21, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I was a season ticket holder from the 2005 until last year. I loved being a season ticket holder but it has been easier and cheaper to buy game day tix since I was unable to attend all the games. I looked into the buy two get two free and was hoping to get some friends to go in to split cost and games -- but I agree with PowerBoater69 -- bad locations. I'll just buy single games for another couple years until they get better -- which should have been the first in in Nats park -- consecutive 100 loss season and this seasn, even though there is some improvement -- is too terrible to endure paying the price for season tix. I'm still p**ssed off about opening day this year -- it was an complete and total embarrassment -- not just the final score -- but more so the home away from home for Philly fans!!!

Posted by: GHulme | September 21, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

it's called Monday Night Football.

Posted by: earthling | September 21, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

I might actually take seriously and be convinced by the "Buy 2, Get 2" offer - if it weren't for some of the lousiest seats in the house. 3 specific sections (not even ticket levels - sections) qualify you for that deal - out of how many, about 125 total sections?

Crappy deal, Lerners. It's going to take a lot more than that to get people to the park next year. And Adam, did you even look at the deal before you so optimistically opined that it would bring in the crowds?

Posted by: DCguy7 | September 21, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

If they want to increase attendance: (1) sign Dunn, (2) spend some $$$ on an outfielder this off season, (3) cut ticket prices and parking, and (4) the biggest one of all, JUST HAVE A WINNING SEASON.

As part of a season ticket group since 2005, we are likely out for next season. If they ask for our deposit this year, they are crazy.

Posted by: Batboy05 | September 21, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

"The expenditures of fans at the ball park are supposed to cover the interest on the huge inventory of bonds the DC government sold to finance the stadium. Will DC risk defaulting on this debt as a result of the abysmal product Lerner/Kasten and Rizzo have put together?

Someone should write an article about the financial end of this deal."

I believe that as recently as last year there were articles written about how the city was making excess money off the stadium taxes and diverting those funds somewhere different than where they were supposed to be going. Also, while taxes on fan expenditures are supposed to cover the interest on stadium construction bonds, it's only partially that they do so. There is also stadium rent paid by the Lerners (and yes, they did pay the rent plus interest for that first year when they withheld it in the dispute over completion of construction) as well as the gross receipts tax on DC businesses that go towards paying off the stadium debt. So a lot more would have to go wrong than just low attendance to put the city in danger of default on those bonds.

And as for the low attendance, consider this. It's still better than the attendance of that team up the road that is the toast of baseball now that it has Showalter leading a resurgence. And their attendance is still highly inflated by Yankees and Red Sox fans. (Although not so much of the latter now that the Sox are out of the race, Red Sox Nation being a fickle bunch.)

Posted by: FeelWood | September 21, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Even with football and Monday night in September, they are getting the crowd they deserve.

Posted by: samantha7 | September 21, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

AK, don't believe the hype. That truly outrageous deal is for seats way in the corners (limited view in a lot of those seats) which never sell well and which cost much less in other ball parks in MLB. So, it's a nice deal, but those seats are a lot more like $18-20 seats than $30 seats to begin with.

The Nats have high prices and a lousy product. The park is in what is still essentially a wasteland for fans, no amenities but for pricey parking -- it aint Wrigleyville or the Fens by a long shot. Promotion of the club has been suspect for years. Add in some $8 peanuts and having to wait in line for 20 minutes to get them (even when the place is half empty), and I'd rather watch, if at all, at home.

Ted and Stan have not done near enough to build a team and not done near enough to make the fan experience -- despite the tons of lip-service to the contrary -- a great one. They are getting what they paid for.

But, they are STILL making money, which is all that matters, of course.

Posted by: dfh21 | September 21, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Got the 20 game plan two years in a row. That stopped after last year's 100 loss season. Won't be buying them again anytime soon.

Posted by: futbolclif | September 21, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Being offered a free Nots season ticket is kind of like being given a free entree at Applebees.

BTW, to the guy who said the following: "If that was the crowd size for a July game, there'd be something to worry about." Back in early July, the Nats played 3 games against the Padres in which they drew a total of 45K announced attendance. You can rest assured that thousands of those tickets were sold but not used, which means they probably averaged (at best) something like 10-12,000 attendees per game. That's pathetic by modern standards, but is still better than this toxic waste dump of a team deserves, and anybody who says otherwise is a shill or a fool.

This franchise is a fraud. It's time someone devoted attention to that. Management really could not care less whether the team wins or loses.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 21, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I was one of a consortium of season ticket holders for the first two seasons of Nats baseball and loved the game at RFK, with seats behind 3rd base (Nats home team side).

How did the Lerners repay this loyalty - seats in the new stadium were behind 1st base (away team home side) and every single transaction (water, food, etc.) at the new stadium feels like "Rip You Off Again" day.

Haven't been to a game all year, haven't missed it, and this has nothing to do with Strasburg or a winning or losing season. The Lerners took what was an enjoyable experience at RFK (even though it was old, etc) and turned it into an experience where my family and I feel like we're being assaulted (by the owners).

Regards,

Posted by: VACommonsense | September 21, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The marketing has been suspect all year ....but the treatment of the fan base has been worse.

I have only received a few emails for ticket deals and those seats are the same sections each time but if you compare the offers this year to say 2005 or 2006 they are fewer and often repackaged with no real benefit.

The giveaways are less and the amount smaller .

As example of another team getting ahead of the marketing curve I received from the Rangers ..the Texas one.... a 50% ticket coupon as a thank you for voting for a Ranger player in the All Star voting....the Nats have not YET responded to my email and calls over the disaster of Opening Day.

How can you run ads that only repeat that Sunday is Family fun pack offers or Party Nights on Thurs - Sat games ......these are the same as in April ...when at least they looked like a team playing PRO baseball and not my family reunion softball team after a case of beer.

How about this all parties concerned ....try addressing the fan base in an honest manner and give us the suffering fans a few things to show you care. Because after 7 seasons it feels and looks as if you DO NOT and no one wants to invest in a relationship that the other party does not appreciate.

The stands were not full not just because the team is awful but we are tired of paying to be abused by the results.

Posted by: CBinDC | September 21, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The recent performance of the Nats has been truly demoralizing. Coupled with the price of decent seats at Nationals Park, I'd say crowds of over 10,000 are a miracle.

Back when the Senators were equally non-competitive, their late season games would often draw less than a thousand fans to Griffith or D.C./RFK Stadiums. And good seats back then only cost a buck-fifty.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | September 21, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

The Lerner's are not good people. How long have they owned the team for now and why does it still stink? There is your answer about what they intend to do going forward with the Nationals.

Posted by: sjp879 | September 21, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I am with the other disgusted ST (and former, and soon to be former ST holders). This product is just awful, and we are supposed to financially support it? Don't think so, not anymore. Fans are not going to continue what one commenter referred to as an abusive relationship. That about sums it up. You made this team, Uncle Teddy. Hope you enjoy it.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 21, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Incidentally, just why is it that Danny Espinosa is being listed as a reason the Nots could be better next year? He can't hit worth a damn. Like so many Nots players, he's been rushed through the farm system and force-fed into the ML lineup without having played a full season in the high-minors. Thus, his skills are deficient. His BA in 99 games at Double-A this year was .262. He hit .264 at A+ Potomac last year. Now he's in the majors? A good organization would have left him at Double-A until he'd learned how to hit better.

Among its many faults, this organization does a lousy job of developing the talent it does have.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 21, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I concur with mlantry 100% and bad seats or not, it is insulting to current season ticket holders that people are being offered seats with such a promotion as buy two get two while in the coming weeks we will be asked to put down deposits for 2011. The other thing that bothers me is that people can walk up consistently and buy a ticket for a game FROM THE BOX OFFICE in a seat that my season ticketholder rep says is unavailable...the marketing and sales department is almost as bad as the product on the field! :(

Posted by: markfd | September 21, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

GOOD NEWS!!!

Did a quick search found that at least this not the lowest attended game in DC this year the Wizards had two games lower......BTW only two games lower!

March 9th 2010 against Houston... 10,499

April 4th 2010 against NJ Nets...... 10,112

I do not think the players deserve this BUT maybe a few in the of the higher ups do!

Posted by: CBinDC | September 21, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Watching a losing but spunky Nats team 2-3 years ago at RFK at $18-$24 a ticket was one thing, but paying $41 for those same tickets today to watch what has been by record a poorer product on the field is just not entertainment, it is masochism.

The Nationals go out in the offseason and acquire spare parts. Chien Mien Wang won't throw a pitch this year but is being paid $2M. Jason Marquis has won 2 games for $7.5M. This continues the Bowden trend of Dmitri Young at $5M on his extended contract, $5M for Paul LoDuca and $8M for Austin Kearns.

This team DOES spend SOME money, but most of it unproductively.

That's perhaps why the team has and should stick with draft picks.

Because free agency has been nothing but an albatross around this team's neck.

Meanwhile, the team has been rebuilding since 2005 and I am supposed to buy tickets because Bryce Harper will be here in 2013?

Sorry, Lerner and Kasten. You have to make more of an effort to be competitive than finishing last to get the #1 pick in consecutive years for me to buy in any longer.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | September 21, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Do you know what TED the GREAT did when faced with a team that was struggling to get a good fan base after years of losing ......he offered free seats .....he cut the ST price to almost half ...he listened to the fan base as to what they wanted and then DID IT .....and when he could not he explained why ...clearly and sometimes with humor....YES he has now the best team in town ...and YES it will be so for MANY YEARS ....why with a whole year sold out again does he try to over charge and say hey they come regardless...NO ......HE DOES NOT

Posted by: CBinDC | September 21, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Ted Leonsis is a model for ownership every where else in this town. He saw the future when others look at the bottom line. One of his greatest moves what making it hard for Spittsburgh fans to buy individual tix and impossible to buy group tix. That should be the model here for smelladephia fans!!! I hope the lerners and Kasten get it. I was a loyal season tix fan for the 1st 4 years. I did not and still don't see them getting it. They should have lunch with Leonsis every week!!!

Posted by: GHulme | September 21, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Ted Leonsis is a model for ownership every where else in this town. He saw the future when others look at the bottom line. One of his greatest moves what making it hard for Spittsburgh fans to buy individual tix and impossible to buy group tix. That should be the model here for smelladephia fans!!! I hope the lerners and Kasten get it. I was a loyal season tix fan for the 1st 4 years. I did not and still don't see them getting it. They should have lunch with Leonsis every week!!!

Posted by: GHulme | September 21, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I know that I have sent several emails to The Nationals regarding game-day experiences (both positive and negative) and I never received any reply from them. They should hop right on any communication from someone interested in their product...

Posted by: 1of9000 | September 21, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The Slow Lerners are going to find out that this isn't a shopping mall,or retail ladies clothing, but in fact major league baseball you actually have to spend money and field a viable product with competent management in the office and on the field. The fact that Mike Rizzo wants to bring Jim Riggleman back just reinforces what most people think about the Lerners, that all they care about is the bottom line. The Houston Astro's were one of the worst team's in mlb at the allstar break, and now they are within 3 games of.500 a remarkable turaround and that's after they traded Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman the teams two best players. The Nationals need to bring in a field manager who can get this team's attention they have made 100 plus errors again this season which basically means Riggleman and his staff are not getting through, it's time for a change.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 21, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

As for SS (and as posted on the piece), maybe the story here is that Sheinin wants access so that he can continue/finish work on the Strasburg book that he is said to be writing? Way to kick the kid (and publicly) when he's down.

I'd be grumpy, too, after undergoing potentially career-ending and, at the very least, career-altering surgery. So what if he's limited access to his Facebook site (Disclaimer: I don't get Facebook and choose not to partake of it)? They're called boundaries. Geez.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 21, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

>> The fact that Mike Rizzo wants to bring Jim Riggleman back just reinforces what most people think about the Lerners, that all they care about is the bottom line... it's time for a change. Posted by: dargregmag

Wow!! What's amazing here isn't the sentiment, that's pretty much unanimous. What's really incredible is who said it. When you're most avid supporter-- dargregmag-- who, with sword in hand and against all odds, has fended of critics of the Nats the entire season and has been the one loyal comrade who had the Lerners, and Rizzo's and DoubleSwitches back thru thick and thin, finally caves and starts blasting management like everyone else, well then, maybe it's time to sit up and take notice. There's no one left in your corner Nats.

Even the last of your blind loyalists can now see this team for what it is.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 21, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"As for SS (and as posted on the piece), maybe the story here is that Sheinin wants access so that he can continue/finish work on the Strasburg book that he is said to be writing? Way to kick the kid (and publicly) when he's down."

Sheinin is basically a stalker at this point. His next step will probably be to buy the house next door to Strasburg's new house, like that guy did who was writing about Sarah Palin.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 21, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone really think the problem with the record, attendance, free agents not coming here or the price of beer has anything to do with Riggs being the manager?

The problem is the lack of talent and years of bad drafting. Correct that am I can manage the team and win. Otherwose you become the Mets, spending oodles of money for unproductive players. I promise Met fans are no happier despite the inflated payroll.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | September 21, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

As Stan Kasten said a couple of years ago, "we'll get the attendance we deserve." If you look at the 3 errors last night, I'd say they got the attendance they deserve. Ray Knight made a good point on the telecast last night. He said that if you blindfolded someone, brought them to Nats Park and they didn't know where they were, they wouldn't think they're watching major league baseball players. That about sums it up. When you play like minor leaguers, you get attendance to match. Stan Kasten was right. They're getting the attendance they deserve.

Posted by: Tex4 | September 21, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"The Nationals need to bring in a field manager who can get this team's attention they have made 100 plus errors again this season which basically means Riggleman and his staff are not getting through, it's time for a change."

Put a competent shortstop and first baseman in there, and one hell of a lot of those errors disappear.

Listen, the best manager in the world isn't going to turn Drs. No and Strangelove into slick fielders. Unless you're able to replace Riggleman with someone on the level of Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa, or Bobby Valentine, there isn't much point in changing managers. The first priority has to be bringing in better talent, and doing a better job of developing the promising young players in the farm system. This means leaving them where they are after a couple of hot weeks at Harrisburg or Syracuse instead of promoting them when it's not clear they're ready for it.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 21, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"I know that I have sent several emails to The Nationals regarding game-day experiences (both positive and negative) and I never received any reply from them. They should hop right on any communication from someone interested in their product..."

Who are you e-mailing, and do you even know that it is a valid e-mail address? I know that I have never failed to receive a response when e-mailing my ticket rep or even the general STH comment e-mail address.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 21, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

What's the Nats record in Sept? And what's the Os?
One team movin up, one team movin down. The Nats with Rizzo and DoubleSwitch at the helm and without Jesus or Dunn next season will lose more than 103 games, which is what they've been on pace now since about April. The good news, I don't think anyone will come out to see them. People have finally caught on to the ways of the Lerners, Rizzo and Stanky.


Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 21, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I am confident the Lerners will not read this; that alone states my total lack of confidence in the current owners to understand that this business is emotion based and fan-based. Like every business, it requires focus on a bottom-line profitability, but without support from fan's emotions, then it is a non-business. It is not only about the on-the-field productivity of the players; it is also about whether the fans perceive in their emotions that the owners care about their interests. Like all business, your customer is king. But in this business, your customer's feelings are king.

The McClatchy/Nutting-ownership of the Pittsburgh Pirates have acted as those they could have minimal investment in the Pirates baseball team, and they could leach off of fan emotions and sympathies from the past. There was little else to do in Pittsburgh in the summer. But the Pirates are a team with a century of history, five time World Series champions that played in the first World Series, with historic players like Honus Wagner Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell. The McClatchy/Nutting approach has worked for their business for that market (so far) to the dismay of many Pittsburgh fans, because of all of those intangibles, plus because it is Pittsburgh, a very big sports town.

But the Lerners need to understand that Washington DC is not Pittsburgh. You can't use the same business model. There isn't the history, fan loyalty, and sense of community. This is Washington DC, a city of many transients, where sad to say too many spend too many days either in the trenches being ignored, or in political battles that divide. Don't expect the 1924 World Series victory by the Washington Senators to inspire many here.

Perhaps you think DC is a "patient" town willing to wait the Nationals to rebuild for another five years, while we savor our "past history," except DC isn't patient, and few see any "past history" to savor. There really are no "good old days" to reflect on, except perhaps Frank Robinson and Alfonso Soriano. You know, the short time BEFORE the Lerners bought the Nationals.

Now the Nationals have been here for five years, and since 2006 the Lerners have owned the Nationals. Since the Lerners have owned the Nationals, it has been a continuing downward spiral of performance and degrading fan loyalty. Do you really think the fans are going to wait another four years for to figure out how to run this business?

Fans here don't even know who the Washington Nationals players are any more, even Cristian Guzman left this year, and now there is talk of getting rid of Adam Dunn. Without Zimmerman, who do many leftover fans even know?

Posted by: responsiblepublic | September 21, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Even on TV from here in Richmond last night's empty stadium was sad, but I have to say that this year despite their losses, I became a Nats fan.
Been a Phillies fan since 1963, so they're still no 1 for me, but gotta love those Nats. Adam Dunn, the racing presidents, Strasburg, Zimmerman--hey these guys are more lovable than the Senators of the 60s. Agree with the earlier comment that they should re-sign Dunn and spend big on an outfielder this winter--how about Jayson Werth if the Phillies aren't willing to pay him the going rate? Sure wish the Nats had signed Richmond as their AA team next year instead of Harrisburg. Would have been a good boost to their southside fan base.

Posted by: danream | September 21, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

After the 2009 season, a lot of Nationals fans tuned out. Those fans that thought perhaps there was yet another chance with Strasburg in 2010, the frequent reports that the management was going to limit his play was a ready damper on fan enthusiasm. (To those who say it was logical, maybe you think DC has been historic baseball town??) Now that Strasburg is out for 2011 season, well, we have more "rebuilding" talk, and increasing ticket prices.

I have news for you - Nationals Stadium is nice, but the RFK stadium was fine. What we needed was a BASEBALL TEAM THAT CAN WIN and OWNERS WHO CARE ABOUT FANS. That is the two elements of the business that the Lerners still don't seem to prioritize in the past 4 years.

Perhaps the Lerners think they can repeat the Pittsburgh Pirates owners' business strategy. And perhaps you are going to see more and more empty seats in the ballpark, and fewer Nationals merchandise sold. That's the way this type of business works when you don't understand your customer, and you don't care about what your customer thinks is important.

Lerners, it's nothing personal, just business.

Posted by: responsiblepublic | September 21, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I'll be at the game tonight (queue "All By Myself") as I have been to a little over 33% of the home games this year. I have much appreciated the Nats Rewards program that was offered this year and am hopeful it will be same or improved for next year.

I'm a partial plan guy because of cost not schedule - its all I can afford. I do think the most expensive seats are too expensive - not just the pompus seats behind homeplate, but the club level infield bowl seats as well. Parking cost is pretty bad too and the lots are rarely full so I'm not really clear on why they don't do something more creative there as well.

If your a two beer and food couple ($60)with $20 parking and $35.00 seats x2 your at $150 per game. For me that's times 30 so more than $4500 per year (sometimes we have more than 2 beers and 1 food item).

If the team wants to bring up attendance they really need to work at root cause. Cost is a big part of it. Winning helps, but cost is a big part of it. A typical family might get to go a handful of times. And the best, affordable seats in the 300-400 sections are still pretty expensive and not very close to the field. If your charging that much, you really need to win to keep them coming. This is not a weakness in baseball interest. Its a weakness in value proposition. You can't charge premium prices for minor league quality performance.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 21, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm a full season ticket holder since 2005 and go to almost every game. I have no problem with the 'buy two get two free' promotion for the seats in the corner that rarely sell.

I do have a problem with the 'get the rest of this season free' for new season ticket holders no matter where they select their seats. They started this promotion with 17 games left in the home schedule. I paid over $2500 tickets for these games last October. Why are people who have not supported the team getting them for free, but the people who are supporting the team being charged for them?

Posted by: raymitten | September 21, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Just means Rizzo is the one who is going to "feel pain" this offseason. He may have to give up a JZimmnn plus to get a true ace and stopper for this club. He can no longer rely on Stras (at least not until he sees him pitch again) and JZimmnn and Detwiler can't see to get over the hump. He needs to do something to ensure continuing progress through next year.

Lannan and Livo do not constitute solutions by any stretch of the imagination. And the guess is they will likely non-tender Wang.

It looks like they sign Dunn ... so ... clearly its starting pitching and the outfield that will be the main focus. Hopefully, he will somehow find a way to land Greinke.

Posted by: periculum | September 21, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

>>Hopefully, Rizzo will somehow find a way to land Greinke.Posted by: periculum

Yea and pigs will grow wings and learn to fly.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 21, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

By the time they promoted Espinosa to AAA he was hitting a ton. And minor league baseball is over for the year, so he can play up here or go home. How can it hurt to see how he does?

Posted by: markfromark | September 21, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Natsbiscuits: my seats (also a 20 game pack) are in the 300 section, less expensive than yours but still it add us to a lot of money. We also are a 2 beer and food couple who drives to the game. I mostly used my rewards program tix to take 2 groups of friends to the game, people who could become fans if there was something decent to watch. But yeah, it is pretty expensive for a minor league product. You are apparently going to hang in there with your tickets. I wish you luck, but just can't stand it anymore myself.

FeelWood: I sent a very polite email to management about the horrific opening day experience, explaining that it was not fun to be in a stadium half filled with drunken and loudly profane Phillies fans nor did I appreciate their behavior outside the stadium, especially the public urination visited on McNabb jerseys. I asked that in the future they not market in Philly blocks of tickets to Nat's opening day. I sent it care of my season ticket representative, since she is always responsive to me and resolves problems within her purview, and asked her to send it to management. She later told me she did. And I have heard nothing at all from them. Nada.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 21, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Espinosa is slated to play winter ball this year. So, he is not going home just yet.

Posted by: periculum | September 21, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Folks all of this will fall on Deaf Ears!

Like I have been saying since Sept 2004, without the backing of a strong baseball interested sports media (i.e. TEM and now JFK) the SLOWES and StanK will get away with murder. Specically if it was not for the blogs there would be no place to vent. Try calling any of the sports shows today to see if they want to raise this as a topic, my best guess is the screener would hang-up on you. Until that little factiod changes, the SLOWES will continue to laugh all the way to the bank.

If you think I'm crazy well dig deep in the memory bank and just look at what the public outcry did last year after years of abuse by the "Danny"! They seem to have a resemblence to an actual NFL team this year. Are you listening StanK or just selling tickets to next weeks finale to Filthy fans on WIP.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | September 21, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Whenever Rizzo and Riggleman speak it reminds me when Angelos and Syd Thrift said, "don't worry, we know what we're doing."

Posted by: richs91 | September 21, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Something I have not seen commented on here yet is how much of a hassle it is to get to Nats games.

Metro is a joke -- not the Nats fault, but a fact. Completely unreliable and enormously frustrating. When you're leaving you have to fight the crowds and wait forever for your train to leave. Then most of us have to switch trains somewhere else, and you end up waiting there again. It can take an eternity to get back home. Makes going to a Nats game during the week much more hassle than its worth.

On the other hand, parking is ridiculously expensive -- and the cheaper lots (still expensive) are so far away from the stadium, it takes 20 minutes to walk. Not a great neighborhood to walk through late at night, either.

It's so much easier just to watch the Nats on TV. If the Nats brass want to increase stadium attendance figures, they need to figure out a way to make getting there and back an easier experience.

Posted by: guest1 | September 21, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"Like I have been saying since Sept 2004, without the backing of a strong baseball interested sports media (i.e. TEM and now JFK) the SLOWES and StanK will get away with murder."

What do you have against Charlie Slowes? I thought fans liked him, and here you are screaming his name out like he's worse than Dibble. I bet you don't like IHOP or Wil Nieves' walk-up music either.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 21, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree with all of the criticism here pointed at the Nats, Lerners, Kasten, Riggleman, the hot dog vendor, and so on...

But I cannot believe that someone who went to a bunch of games at RFK and a bunch of games at Nats Park could say that "RFK was fine" - the only thing better about RFK was the parking.

Posted by: comish4lif | September 21, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

commish, you're forgetting the bouncing. the bouncing was way cool.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 21, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Dunn waited a moment and considered throwing to third. He thought better of it and turned back to first. He lumbered to first and flipped the ball. The ball hit his glove, but the ball bounded away.

Posted by: richs91 | September 21, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

In 2004, I said DC isn't a baseball town, but 2.7MM in 2005 made me think maybe it could become one. We may never know, now, if it could have been.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 21, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

richs, didn't you get the memo? this is a blog, making sense doesn't matter.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 21, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"On the other hand, parking is ridiculously expensive -- and the cheaper lots (still expensive) are so far away from the stadium, it takes 20 minutes to walk. Not a great neighborhood to walk through late at night, either."

The $5 Lot HH on S. Capitol Street under the freeway is only about a 10 minute walk from the ballpark, and although it may seem like a bad neighborhood to walk in it really is okay when you have other fans walking along with you. Also it is well lit.

In addition to the expensive team parking lots closer to the ballpark, there are commercial lots just as close where you can park for as little as $10-15. There's $25 game day parking at the Yards just across the street from the very expensive team garages.

I typically take Metro home from weeknight games since I walk to games from my office, where I commute by Metro as well. Not the ideal situation since as you say Metro is slow after rush hour. But since I'm on the Orange Line I walk to Capitol South (not a bad walk, about 10-15 minutes) and thereby avoid the Navy Yard clusterF.

So all in all with no more walking than I've had to do from parking lots to the supposedly more accessible Camden Yards it's really not as bleak a situation as you portray it to be.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 21, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"this franchise is a fraud"

Let's face it, one reason why Selig chose the Lerners because he knew they wouldn't add to the demand for free agents - which I'm sure was a big issue considering this franchise put no demand on the FA market in Montreal.

But they've been even worse than the Expos, with players who don't care, bargain bin managers like Acta and Riggleman, and ridiculous, low budget strategies like "we're going to let the pitching come to us".

Makes it even worse when Phil Wood and Kasten scold us for being impatient or not being professional baseball people. Yes, I'm so sorry for spending thousands to watch garbage.

Purpose of this franchise is to give MLB access to the DC Metro's desireable demographics, while spending like the team plays in Toledo.

Posted by: tgt111 | September 21, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

What's the Nats record in Sept? And what's the Os?
One team movin up, one team movin down.


Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 21, 2010 11:25 AM

Remember the Nats record for the month of September last season? It was pretty solid. And what did it mean to their overall performance this season? Jack s*1t!

Let's not go and crown the Orioles 2011 AL East champs just yet.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 21, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Purpose of this franchise is to give MLB access to the DC Metro's desireable demographics, while spending like the team plays in Toledo.

Posted by: tgt111 | September 21, 2010 1:23 PM

DING! Totally, and sadly, correct. :-(

Posted by: Kev29 | September 21, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"By the time they promoted Espinosa to AAA he was hitting a ton. And minor league baseball is over for the year, so he can play up here or go home. How can it hurt to see how he does?"

Like I said, they promoted him after he got hot for a couple of weeks. His average was still too low to merit being moved up. As to "how can it hurt him," it can hurt him a very great deal if he's exposed to pitching he can't come close to hitting. He's been dreadful at the ML level. Even in the minors he struck out too much, and he now has 18 strikeouts in 62 at-bats. That translates into over 150 over a full season.

He's in way over his head. Bringing him up was big mistake, but the Nots lead the majors in doing that, particularly with regards to their young prospects.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 21, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

No wonder the Lerners got rid of Frank Robinson! He would have quit by now with the product that they're putting out on the field! I can't find progress. For the most part, it's the same old Nats since they were 500 in season one.

Posted by: burnie4241 | September 21, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Adam,
Sorry to say that you and every other writer and media type have missed the mark big time on this story.

It's not about what the future is for the Nats, it's about the fans and how sick and tired we are of a crappy team plus having to pay high prices for something that is subpar. You guys do such a great job in asking managers and players what they think but not one of you have reported how crappy this is for the fans. As a season ticket holder, I can't give away my tickets. Yesterday I had two clubhouse tickets in the first row of section 208 on Stubhub for sale. These are $45 dollar tickets that I was willing to sell for $19.95 (with commission I would of gotten only $30 for both tics) and they were front and center from 7am till the cutoff just after 5. In charting the progress of tickets sold, only 115 tickets sold from 7am to 5 pm. That shows you how bad things are. Had a friend that at noon bought $300 Lexus Club tickets for $40.

You look at your posts, look at the 60 comments that are writing for this story, you can see that the news isn't the Nats but the news is the fans.

Going to the game tonight because I am tired of not being able to sell my tickets on Stubhub. The Nats are so bad that my 15 year-old son doesn't want to go. To show how bad it is, he would rather stay in school on Thursday instead of coming with me for a 4:35 game. Tonight I am taking a friend who buys the dogs and beers, he even joked and said that game wasn't worth the cost of buying $15 dogs and beer.

This is the problem and I will bet you that a lot of season ticket holders will leave and not renew tickets for 2011. After six years of paying and having the best seats in National Stadium which I probably would never be able to get again I am seriously thinking of not getting tickets for 2011, save me the hassle and if I want to go to a game just pay $40 for a Presidents Club ticket.

You have a pretty good fan base in this blog, how about a survey and doing some stories from the fan's prospective? I would bet you other newsoutlets would be interested in your findings and you can get some added press for doing that.

Your a smart guy in getting stories, can't believe you are missing on this one.

Posted by: Golfersal | September 21, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

>>Remember the Nats record for the month of September last season? It was pretty solid.Posted by: Kev29

Really? 9-17!! Pretty solid? Maybe in the Bizarro World of the Lerners and Stanky and Rizzo.

>>Let's not go and crown the Orioles 2011 AL East champs just yet. Posted by: Kev29

No but I think we can safely crown the Nats the 2011 NL East Cellar Dweller Champs right now and they'll probably give the Pirates a run for their money as 2011 overall worst team. Bank it.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 21, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Given the cost of going to a game, the exceedingly poor performance of the so-called big league players, the blatent arrogance of the owners and none of it meeting even the simplest cost-benefit analysis criteria, I think the Nationals are lucky to draw 10K people to watch this sorry team.

As far as the two-for-one tickets, have you bothered to look into that Mr. Kilgore? What's outrageous is that those tickets are nosebleeds out in the outfield. If they were serious about selling season tickets (and filling the seats) they would open up the sections from top to bottom behind home plate.

The bottom line is I gave up. I got tired of hearing about the plan, the sight lines, the total fan experience and all the blasted arrogance and other bull jive. I now go to watch the Orioles. It's cheaper. It's better baseball (especially most recently) and its ONLY baseball. Even with the drive, I don' have to screw around with Metro.

Far as I am concerned the Lerners can fold up their tent and go back to running overpriced shopping malls. Clearly they are in over their heads.

Posted by: medic2010 | September 21, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I was one of the few fans to be at last nights game. Maybe the Nats would draw more fans if they didn't throw out an older man for throwing the ball back on the field after an Astro's homerun. ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING TREATMENT OF YOUR FEW FANS!!!!!!!Especially during fan appreciation month. Are the Lerners aware of this?
When you sell out and put a decent product on the filed you might be able to get away with it. Also last season I was told by an usher to get my feet off the empty seat in front of me during batting practice. What a joke, the way they treat fans. And I had my wallet stolen there this year.

Posted by: lj1126 | September 21, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"Purpose of this franchise is to give MLB access to the DC Metro's desireable demographics, while spending like the team plays in Toledo."

Yes, I think that is exactly the case, and I think you're right about why the Lerners were chosen. Peter Angelos expended a lot of effort to keep ML baseball out of the DC market, and I'm sure there was an understanding that the Nats would do nothing to try to build a team via free agency. Selig had no desire to see this team put here, but there was too much pressure coming from local interests, as well as from Capitol Hill, where all you have to do is whisper "maybe it's time for hearings on ML baseball's anti-trust exemption" to get the owners in line.

If you think that's Tin-Foil Conspiracy stuff, remember that the Yankees ran the KC Athletics as a ML farm team back in the mid-late 1950s. KC owner Arnold Johnson was a pal of Yankee owners Del Webb and Dan Topping, and was given all kinds of lucrative deals from Webb's construction enterprise. This cozy arrangement didn't end until Johnson died unexpectedly in 1960 (cerebral hemorrhage), and the team was sold to Charlie Finley.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 21, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"As to "how can it hurt him," it can hurt him a very great deal if he's exposed to pitching he can't come close to hitting. He's been dreadful at the ML level. Even in the minors he struck out too much, and he now has 18 strikeouts in 62 at-bats. That translates into over 150 over a full season."

Espinosa has 4 HR 11 RBI since Sept 1. Adam Dunn has only 4 HR 16 RBI since Aug 11. Plus Dunn is on pace for 200 K this season. If Espinosa is dreadful at the ML level, where does that leave Dunn?

Posted by: FeelWood | September 21, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Sounds almost like a revolution on here today. These are what real fans sound like. It's too bad, like a few people said, that the media isn't on board with the fans. Until that happens, this team will continue to suck. Boswell steps up once in awhile, but really, he's just sitting on the fence, doing the 'wait and see' cop-out - 'I'll let the readers decide'. Well guess what, Tom - WE'VE DECIDED. When are you all gonna get the knives out and quit insulting our intelligence? It's bad enough we have to listen to the jr. high school crap the MASN crew spews every night.

Posted by: Brue | September 21, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

This entire 2010 season was built on the mirage of "Waiting on Strasburg." Rizzo put together absolutely no Major League pitching staff. Just wait for injured Wang and injured Zimmermann? Stammen? Marquis as ace? Seriously??

And next year there is absofreakinlutely no hope or light in sight. Next year will be a complete and utter train wreck. No Strasburg. Most likely no Dunn. No FA signings of worth if our track record is any forshadow. Just more bargain basement replacements ala "high character" guys such as Kennedy. Next year will be so bad, it will make this season look like a playoff year.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 21, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

As a partial season ticket holder since 2005, I have to say the consideration shown this year by the team has improved quite a bit from 2008, when their attitude was essentialy that they they were doing us a big favor by not holding back ALL of the seats for full-season ticket plan purchasers.

Posted by: fluffy4 | September 21, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

So what is the response from the Nationals PR DEPT to all of this krechting today ???.....put Bryce Harper on
Dan-Jazeera where he claims to be a Yankee and Cowboy fan!!!! Well that helps does it not.

Posted by: CBinDC1 | September 21, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone, fresh off the presses:

Fighting Showalter's of Baltimore: 60-90

Lowly Natinals of DC: 62-88

O's now just 2 games back of the slumping Natinals.

And this entry by Kilgore should really put Natinal fans in their place. Especially the ones that take comfort in the Orioles attendance woes. Unfortunately, it has only taken 5 years, and the Natinals have fancy new stadium and still cannot draw. At least with the O's it took Peter Angelos 10 years of ineptitude before attendance dropped.

O's fan base is leaps and bounds more passionate about baseball than Senator/Natinal fans.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 21, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness we have the Os. I haven't enjoyed baseball as much as I have since August in I don't know how long. The Os are really playing amazing and inspirational ball right now. And to witness it and see what a difference a true Major League Manager makes is quite incredible. As opposed to the Nats, who I have completely given up on, I can't wait for baseball next year at Camden Yards.
In Buck We Trust!

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 21, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Espinosa has 4 HR 11 RBI since Sept 1. Adam Dunn has only 4 HR 16 RBI since Aug 11. Plus Dunn is on pace for 200 K this season. If Espinosa is dreadful at the ML level, where does that leave Dunn?"

Do you even bother to check stats thoroughly? Espinosa is hitting .226, with 18 strikeouts and a measly two bases-on-balls. Sixteen of those strikeouts have come in his last 44 at-bats, and he has only 5 hits over that span. He hit well his first 5 games because no one knew how to pitch him. They figured it out really fast. Right handed starters own him. That sort of thing has a way of getting into a kid's head and messing him up really fast.

As to how Dunn is doing these days, he's notorious for hitting poorly from August 1 on. His career splits from that point are pathetic, and explain why nobody was willing to make the Nats a really attractive offer for him. No GM could survive giving up top notch talent to get someone with a career BA of .229 in stretch drive time.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 21, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

>> Boswell steps up once in awhile, but really, he's just sitting on the fence, doing the 'wait and see' cop-out. Posted by: Brue

Boswell has been really disappointing. His drivel about the Nats so-called improvement has been so startling off the mark it's really mindboggling. Boz used to be the man. Now he's just irrelevent.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 21, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

It is really ironic how misinformed some on this blog are.

VACommonsense complained that his RFK tix were "home" side and for the new stadium were on the away side, first base. The idiot doesn't even get that the first base side is the home side.

The team is probably going to do very close to projections, maybe 70 wins. Why should anyone be surprised?

Food costs are very much in line with other stadiums (while RFK was, by far, the cheapest) and someone needs to check house prices in DC v. in Kansas City.

For all of those who have complained about Stras and why the Nats didn't sign Chapman...30M for a closer???? If they hadn't signed Stras, you'd be complaining.

BTW, I'm a 20 gamer & I picked up a number of other games AT STH prices. I'd go to more games, but I actually have a life.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | September 21, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprise more people didn't show up for the Dunn, Harris, Kennedy, Nieves Nats Farewell Tour. I've seen Little League teams perform and give out a better effort on the field then the Washington Nationals.

Posted by: 4U2Know | September 21, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone, feel free to jump back on the O's bandwagon. You'll have much more fun watching a competitive team of up-and-comers. Plus they have a competent, established MLB manager who knows what he's doing.

Go O's.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 21, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Like natbiscuits I will in my seat tonight with family and friends, the penultimate game of my share of a season ticket group that started when the team arrived.

I've been a local sports fan since my mom took me to see Frank Howard at RFK. The place stinks and I mean that literally. Nationals Park is beyond compare, an improvement in every way except team record. Sure there's some price gouging, but nothing compared to what Snider does at FedEx.

In my experience an email to our ticket agent or Stan Kasten gets a brief response within a day to two. Our usher Karen treats my kids like family, the youngest she calls one of her 'RFK babies'.

While I have seen some improvement this year, this team was ham strung by MLB, and it will take years to recover. DC sports fans, excepting those loyal season ticket holders, are impatient front runners.

The question is are there enough real baseball fans here that if and when this team does becomes competitive, they will fill the stadium as they do every night in Philly, Boston, or St Louis?

Posted by: HondoHomers | September 21, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"The team is probably going to do very close to projections, maybe 70 wins."

More like 65 wins, which would mean 97 losses, which is miserable.

In fact, 70 wins is miserable too. Godawful in fact.

And anybody who actually goes to 20-plus Nat games a year to root for them cannot be said to have a life. Not one worth living anyway. :-)

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 21, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

BTW the Nats did Rob Dibble a favor. He would have lost his mind if he was still forced to watch this debacle.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 21, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"DC sports fans, excepting those loyal season ticket holders, are impatient front runners.

The question is are there enough real baseball fans here that if and when this team does becomes competitive, they will fill the stadium as they do every night in Philly, Boston, or St Louis?"

What rubbish. Given the expense of going to games these days, the arrogant way fans of all teams are treated by ownership (for example, forcing people to endure 2 hour plus rain delays at least once a year), and the obvious pinch-penny habits of this ownership, no one has any right to question the loyalty of fans in this area. There is considerable reason to question the sanity of people such as yourself, however, assuming you're being honest about being a fan, which there's also a good deal of reason to doubt.

The only way to improve this franchise is for fans to embarrass them into either opeing up their checkbook to sign top-notch free agents, or selling the team to someone who will.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 21, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

HH lot is cheap and safe, but hardly convenient ... and you have to walk past a half dozen other lots that are overpriced to get the stadium. And if you are entertaining family or you have a date, it really is not the right choice to park there.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 21, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"And anybody who actually goes to 20-plus Nat games a year to root for them cannot be said to have a life. Not one worth living anyway. :-)"

Even a bad day at the ballpark beats any day spent at work. Or any day spent reading these idiotic comments. Of course for some of us being at work and reading these idiotic comments are one and the same thing.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 21, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

As far as the two-for-one tickets, have you bothered to look into that Mr. Kilgore? What's outrageous is that those tickets are nosebleeds out in the outfield. If they were serious about selling season tickets (and filling the seats) they would open up the sections from top to bottom behind home plate.

Posted by: medic2010 | September 21, 2010 1:41 PM

I don't understand all the hate for this deal. And they're not all nosebleeds - in fact all the 4 for 2 deals are in the 200s and 108. Do you really think that 108 is a bad seat for $15 a game?? We have a lot to b1*ch about as Nats fans, but sight lines from the left field line certainly wouldn't be one of mine. Jeez.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 21, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Just for clarification. My previous posts in this chain were meant more to explain lower attendance, not denigrate the Lerners or the Nationals. As I mentioned, I will have attended over 33% of the home games this year. I'm still a fan and will remain so. I'm not in the Lerners are Cheap crowd. I'm just in the Prices are High crowd. I had great $20 seats at RFK and have tried various locations at Nationals Park. The equivalent to my $20 seats at RFK are $60 seats at Nationals Park.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 21, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"Food costs are very much in line with other stadiums (while RFK was, by far, the cheapest)"

And of course RFK had virtually no food or beer choice to speak of either. Sausages, pizza, etc, at pretty much the same prices they now charge at Nats Park. Maybe a buck different. $8 pints of beer may seem like a lot, but go to a bar in DC and order a pint of premium beer and with tip you're paying close to 8 bucks too. Of course the kind of people who complain about food prices generally don't tip well, so maybe it really is cheaper outside the ballpark.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 21, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"Even a bad day at the ballpark beats any day spent at work."

I hope this doesn't come as too much of a surprise to you, but the vast majority of baseball games in this day and age are played at night, long after the work day is over for most people. Guess you didn't notice that while you were having so much fun at the park. But then based on your admittedly idiotic comments, you don't seem to notice much, so that doesn't surprise me.

Enjoy losing, the Nots will be doing a lot of that for a long time to come. And the Lerner's will be having a lot of laughter at your expense while they count the money that rolls in from the Phillies/Braves/Mets/Cubs fans they go so out of their way to make feel at home.

:-)

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 21, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

The Orioles were the WOes before Buck Showalter is hired and are now the O's after he arrives. Basically same team, just a new (and the right) manager is put in place. Nuff said.

Posted by: bbmcoachk | September 21, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"As opposed to the Nats, who I have completely given up on, I can't wait for baseball next year at Camden Yards.
In Buck We Trust!

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 21, 2010 2:10 PM "

Good for you. Now why don't you just take your inane drivel over to some O's blog then? We've heard more than enough of it here.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 21, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Espinosa's OPS is 734. The average for all major league position players is about 710. He's a flashy glove. I've been glad to see him.

Posted by: markfromark | September 21, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see some Anger on the NJ today, it's about time. Adam, I agree with the poster above, the fans disgust with the LernerStanks and this franchise IS a story that you have to look into.

I was a 5 year 20 gamer until this year. I grew tired of the same old LernerStank line of BS. I have gone to a hand full of games this year but that's it.

Anyone who thinks this franchise is "heading in the right direction" is kidding themselves. Until the LernerStanks pull their heads out of their
backsides and realize that you actually must spend some money for solid ML FA's to compete then, it will be the same old same old in DC.

And the Statute of Limitations has run out on the "MLB killed this franchise" excuse. It's been nearly 5 F'ing seasons
since the LernerStanks took over and I don't see a heck of a lot of progress.

Posted by: Section505203 | September 21, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Assuming that one was ever on it, that is, which I never was, not having followed them either back in the day or in the modern Nats era. So there's at least one space open on that bandwagon - perhaps for Mr. McP's significant other?

Oops; apologies, NJ denizens. My bad. I was hearing the voices again. But I'm all better now. :-)

---

Hey everyone, feel free to jump back on the O's bandwagon.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 21, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"HH lot is cheap and safe, but hardly convenient ... and you have to walk past a half dozen other lots that are overpriced to get the stadium. And if you are entertaining family or you have a date, it really is not the right choice to park there."

Why not? I have seen many families and couples making the fairly short walk from HH to the park. (It's actually only about as far as the walk from the dropoff point for the free RFK shuttles was last year.) But if you have a date you want to impress or a large family, then the $25 parking at the Yards right across from the ballpark would make sense too.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 21, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The question is are there enough real baseball fans here that if and when this team does becomes competitive, they will fill the stadium as they do every night in Philly, Boston, or St Louis?

Posted by: HondoHomers | September 21, 2010 2:30 PM

You mean the same Phillies that couldn't come close to filling their new stadium when they were on a 13 year playoff drought?

http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance/_/year/2005

We averaged more fans than they did in 2005. Baseball fans need a competitive team - there are just too many games to fill the park every night with a non-competitive team on offer. All the sudden, the Phillies are some model club - and what a coincidence they've got WS rings, a couple Cy Young quality starters, play defense and bash from 1 through 8 in the line-up!

The Lerners RUINED all curiosity and excitement that came with baseball's return. We don't need all conquering champions here in DC for "front running" ticket buyers - just teams with a pulse. Look at the Redskins in '05, Wizards in '05, Caps the last two seasons, Nats in '05 - these aren't world champions - they're just competitive. And people around here bought boat loads of tickets to see them play.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 21, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Why not? I have seen many families and couples making the fairly short walk from HH to the park. (It's actually only about as far as the walk from the dropoff point for the free RFK shuttles was last year.) But if you have a date you want to impress or a large family, then the $25 parking at the Yards right across from the ballpark would make sense too.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 21, 2010 3:10 PM

I also recommend Lot W on 7th and M, SE for $10 a game. It's a pleasant 10 minute walk to the Park from there via the pleasant DOT "Transportation Walk". There's even a cart shuttle and pedicabs for those who don't prefer the walk.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 21, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the lot info, guys. We tend to take the Metro, but it's nice to have options.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 21, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"Espinosa's OPS is 734. The average for all major league position players is about 710."

You're undoubtedly the sort of person who thinks that Qaurterback Ratings and Third Down Conversion stats actually mean something. They don't.

Espinosa is without question a talented prospect with an excellent glove. He is far more likely to be a first rate shortstop than Ian Desmond. But he can't hit major league pitching yet, and putting him out there under these circumstances is, also without question, extremely stupid. He isn't ready. His pathetic performance at the plate over the course of the last couple of weeks proves it, and an organization that knew how to properly handle young talent wouldn't be playing him.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 21, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

>> Now why don't you just take your inane drivel over to some O's blog then? We've heard more than enough of it here.Posted by: FeelWood

What inane drivel would that be? That the Nats lost 100 games last season. That they are goning to come close to losing that much this year. That Mike Rizzo fielded a minor league pitching staff. That DoubleSwitch RIggleman has the worst managing record of any manager who has managed 10 years or more. That the Nats are breaking records for low attendance.

Just the facts Woody. Unpleasant facts--yes. But facts nonetheless. Upset? I don't blame you. But point your anger where it belongs. Not at the messenger.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 21, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

skins-fan--I agree with many of you criticisms of the Nats. However, we part ways when you start urging people to switch allegiance and go to O games. The owner of that team kept MLB out of this town for decades, and then extorted further concessions out of a spineless MLB commissioner. I will not set foot in Camden Yards, period. If you are going to convert to an O's fan, then you probably should do that on an O's blog rather than become a troll on this one.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 21, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

>>skins-fan--I agree with many of you criticisms of the Nats. However, we part ways when you start urging people to switch allegiance and go to O games.Posted by: NatsFly

N-Fly, Couple of points. I grew up a Senators fan. My family never rooted for the Os. Then Bob Short up and took the Senators away. The Washington Post then adopted the Os and covered them as though they were Washington's team. I always found that strange.

Anyway I still didn't follow the Os. Then I had a kid. Well my kid only had one team to root for in the area and that was the Os. So we began going to games. And The Post continued covering the Os as Washington's team. So eventually I gave in and became an Os fan.

Now we finally get a team back in DC and the Post just drops the Os like a hot potato, which is pretty interesting. But my son and I have been rooting together for the Os for many years. So his team is more the Os than the Nats. So no I'm not just dropping the Os. I'm rooting for both. And now I'm very hopeful and excited with the Os under a manager I consider to be excellent--Buck Showalter, while being very discouraged by the Nats, under a manager I consider to be simply awful--Jim Riggleman.

Also The Wwashington Post as I stated probably had as much to do with keeping baseball out of DC as Angelos. But I don't see you boycotting them.
Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 21, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

>Also The Wwashington Post as I stated probably had as much to do with keeping baseball out of DC as Angelos. But I don't see you boycotting them.
Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: skins_fan_22

Selig kept a team out of DC until he had extorted every municipality to get a publicly funded stadium for each team that needed it. When he finally was satisfied with the number of stadiums built, he no longer needed the 'we'll move the team to DC' threat, so he relented and put a team here. Don't kid yourself, if he thought that a couple more teams needed a stadium, there wouldn't be a team here.

Posted by: Brue | September 21, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Skin_fan--don't know what the Post was supposed to do when it had no home team but had a team up the road that drew people from its circulation area. They were sort of like your son--cover the Os or don't have baseball at all. I think the reason they dropped the Os was a combination of actually having a local team, and then having newspapers go down the drain so fast that they had to massively cut staff. So they joined with the Baltimore Sun and both papers print small stories on the other's team in a joint arrangement.

I am not suggesting you abandon a team you have followed over the years, just that a Nats blog isn't the place to extol their virtues.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 21, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Nor is a place to evangelize and try to win over converts. To each his or her own.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 21, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

By which I meant to agree with NatsFly, for the record.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 21, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Interesting chain of comments today and it's sparked many comments from me. But to keep it simple, think of this: if we're all upset over the conclusion of another losing season and talking about dropping season ticket plans and going to fewer games and switching our allegiance to the Orioles, what's going on with the average fans, the people who aren't die hards but are willing to pick and choose where they spend their money on sports or entertainment?

They're totally apathetic about this team. Good luck getting them to buy tickets for a team that looks like it might win 75 games next year (if all goes well, they stay healthy, they keep Dunn-you get the picture) and won't have Strasburg on the mound until September at the earliest.

The numbers don't lie. If this team is years away from contending, how many years is it away from being a big gate attraction again? Isn't it an obvious trend that the best year for attendance was the first year the team was here?

Doesn't THE PLAN need a little boost, both on and off the field?

Posted by: baltova1 | September 21, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company