The Nationals’ “Take Back Our Park” initiative took an unexpected political turn today as Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.), via Twitter, stood against the Nationals’ plan to limit ticket sales to only Maryland, Virginia and D.C. residents for the team’s series in May against the Phillies.
“I’m calling on the Nationals to reverse course on a reported plan to block Phillies fans from buying tickets to games at Nationals Park,” Casey wrote in consecutive tweets Thursday afternoon. “Phillies have some of the best fans in the world. They shouldn’t be left out in the cold because the Nats want a stronger home field adv.”
The Nationals had no response to Casey’s comments as of Thursday, a team spokesperson said.
Last week, the Nationals announced their strategy of selling single tickets for the series May 4 through May 6 at Nationals Park only to buyers with a credit card address tied to Maryland, Virginia or D.C. The Nationals want to prevent Phillies fans from invading the stadium, as has become commonplace in recent seasons.
“We’ve heard it enough, we’ve seen it enough, and I don’t like it any more than anyone else,” Nationals COO Andy Feffer said then. “We’re trying to build a team here, and nothing irks me personally or the people here more than to see another team’s fans — particularly Philly fans — in our ballpark, holding up signs. That’s not the way it should be. And I think we’ve got an opportunity here to do something different.”
The well-intentioned plan has been met with mixed results. An average of 3,061 tickets per game have landed on the secondary market for the series, according to TiqIq.com, which unofficially tracks the market. In Philadelphia, PhilsFever.com is still organizing a trip in which busloads of Phillies fans will migrate to Nationals Park for the series. A team spokesperson did not offer precise numbers, but said sales for the series are going “well.”