I was quite fond of my little report on the Nationals attempting to “Take Back the Park with a special Phillies series pre-sale for ticket buyers with local addresses. And the item got well over 300 comments, far above average for this little corner of our Web site.
Still, in print, this merited just the typical D2, haha, Sports Bog excerpt treatment.
Whereas in Philadelphia, the news somehow landed on the front page of the Inquirer.
“Apparently, the Washington Nationals do not want your business,” was how the story began.
I’ve been told the story also made the rounds in Philly sports-talk radio, although I haven’t heard any clips. But several news organizations dealt with it.
“It has become kind of embarrassing for the Nationals and their fans — having their stadium taken over by the visitors,” CSN Philly wrote. “It has apparently become so embarrassing that the Nationals have set their minds to stopping it.”
““I’m sure our fans, if they want to go down, will get down there,” John Weber, Phillies VP of sales and ticket operations, told the Morning Call. “Our fans travel very well and will continue to do so.”
“It’s worth asking if the Nats’ “Take Back the Park” initiative is going to hurt D.C. from a tourism perspective,” NBC Philadelphia wondered. “The fewer tickets that land in the hands of out-of-towners mean fewer hotel rooms used, possibly fewer people eating at restaurants and likely fewer cars paying for parking, according to tourism experts. That likely means less tax money for the District.”
“Within the MLB, the Nats are notorious for bleak attendance numbers,” Time.com actually wrote. “Last season they ranked 20th of all pro teams, with a total of 1.9 million attendees, compared to the Phillies, who ranked first with 3.6 million. And if the deliberate attempts to keep out Phillies fans persist, the Nats’ attendance will likely plummet further, ultimately driving down the franchise’s revenue. By next season, “Take Back the Park” could easily become “Give Back the Park.”
“Over the last few years, when the Phillies have traveled to Washington DC to play the Nationals, Phillies fans have traveled along with them,” CBS Philly put it. “Even though the Nationals have been the home team, the visiting Phillies have had far more fans in the stands of Nationals Park....Now that they have a team that management feels can compete, the Nationals have decided to try and take a stand.”
“The Washington Nationals are sick of Phillies fans buying all the tickets when the Phils play in D.C. — and are trying to block them from going to games,” the Fox Philly station huffed. “How extreme is the new hatred for the cash that comes into the National’s tills from Philadelphia?...The team has a special Web site set up to make sure locals — and not those dastardly Phillies fan - spend money to see the Nationals play....Feffer also touted the “huge fan base” for the Nationals. In fact, if the team has a huge fan base, it must be at Camden Yards or the Mall, since they aren’t paying to see the Nationals play baseball.”
(No, I don’t get it either.)
The aforementioned Nats COO, Andy Feffer, told WUSA that the Nats have sold thousands of tickets to the series since Friday, and hopes to sell thousands more.