I don’t usually start my posts with disclaimers, but I am starting this with one. The following is my personal opinion, and not the opinion of We Love DC, the business entity. No words here are approved by the editorial board of We Love DC, and should not be considered as endorsed by the board. I stand alone.
There is no question that in the aftermath of Monday’s abject embarrassment both on the field and off that the Nationals have sold their fanbase up the river. Stories are coming out that the Nationals made a concerted effort to attract large groups of fans from the Philadelphia area and sold large blocks of tickets (one was over 500 tickets) to Philly fans before the public at large was given a chance to buy tickets for themselves. The Nationals pursued profit first and foremost with no regard for their home market’s needs. The home market who shelled out six hundred million dollars for the temple that they play in.
Stan Kasten? Mark and Ted Lerner? You are cowards. Your sense of honor and fair play has been replaced by nothing short of total and abject greed. Instead of seeking out Nationals groups, you went straight up the river to Philly to sell to them in blocks of 500 tickets before Nats fans even had the option. Perhaps you should look to successful DC Sports Franchise owner Ted Leonsis about how to best capture a fanbase. Uncle Teddy has done wonders with the Capitals, where Pittsburgh Invasions were once common, and turned the team around by being nothing short of their number one fan. You have a long way to go if you want to understand what it means to be a fan of your own franchise.
You said when you bought the franchise that you wanted to bring baseball back to the Nation’s Capital, for all her residents to enjoy. Your behavior suggests that you’ve given up on the DC market in its entirety. Seeking out Philadelphia money before giving the broad public in the DC market a chance to buy seats is a slap in the face of every single citizen who paid for your stadium, and bore the burden of financing your offices.
I’ve had some baseball experiences that were less than enjoyable, I’ve watched my childhood team get swept in the World Series, I’ve watched my team decimated by the Yankees at home in the playoffs, but Monday’s shellacking on the field, and the sheepish feeling required to cheer for your own team while everyone around you boos your own team, on your home field? Unacceptable. You let the city of Philadelphia run roughshod over your own city because it was easier.
You are cowards. You should feel ashamed. But instead, you’re just laughing all the way to the bank, as it’s estimated that the Nats took home $2M in just tickets on Monday. I don’t care if you did cut off some group sales in February, the damage was done. Instead of working for that money attracting local fans, you took the easy road north to Philly, and sold out your fanbase in the process. I understand that every transaction costs money, and selling to groups is preferable to bring your own costs down, but every Philly group that you import decreases the likelihood of those groups developing in DC. No one wants to go to their own stadium to be made to feel embarrassed to cheer for their own team.
Cowards. All of you.