On the Nationals’ new rainout ticket policy

Nationals fans
(Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Fans holding tickets to Tuesday night’s postponed Nationals game against the Tigers can use them only for Thursday’s makeup, a change in policy that rankled many Nationals fans as the team explained it as a consequence of higher attendance.

Numerous fans expressed displeasure with the Nationals’ decision, particularly given time constraints. Many ticket holders were concerned they would not be able to attend a 4:05 p.m. weekday game after planning to go to a night game two days earlier.

In the past, the Nationals have allowed fans with individual tickets to rained-out games to exchange them for any future ticket, subject to availability, of equal or lesser price. Tuesday night, the Nationals announced “no exchanges or refunds will be issued” for tickets not included in season plans.

Asked for a response, the Nationals provided little. The Post e-mailed Nationals COO Andrew Feffer. The team replied with a statement from spokesperson reading, “Due to higher demand and less capacity, we’ve had to modify our ticket policy.”

The Nationals averaged 31,813 fans in April, their best month ever. Still, their decision seems to go against the majority. Seven major league teams play in domed stadiums, and four do not list a rain check policy on their official Web site. Among the remaining 19 teams, 13 allow fans to exchange tickets to postponed games to future games. Among those 13, six are averaging at least 27,000 fans per game this year.

The Phillies do not list a clear rain check policy on their Web site, and an inquiry to team spokesman was not immediately returned. The Nationals’ other two NL East rivals, the Mets and Braves, each allow ticket exchanges for rainouts, as do the neighboring Orioles.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.
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James Wagner · May 7, 2013

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