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Chief Complaint at Nationals' Opener: Long Lines

"This is crazy," Kelley Phillips said while waiting more than 20 minutes to get a slice of pizza at concession stands behind home plate.

Aramark spokeswoman Kathleen Keenan said the company is assessing the situation and will add to its food and beverage inventory if necessary.


Fans crowd the Stadium-Armory Metro station after the home opener of the Washington Nationals on Thursday evening. The crowds for subsequent games are expected to be smaller, officials said. (Kevin Clark -- The Washington Post)


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"There will be lessons learned, and we will improve our service and move forward," she said. "We're ready for tomorrow. If there are shortages, they will be rectified."

Lew said one freight elevator that services the concession stands is slow and will be inspected. He also said contractors are examining the sound system to determine how to improve it so that fans throughout the building can hear the public address announcements clearly, though that could take several days to fix.

Some problems were complete head-scratchers. One fan, Paul Moorehead, who owns four season tickets, arrived at the game to find that one of his seats in Section 321 had been removed to allow a television camera to shoot the action.

"I'm a big fan," Moorehead said yesterday. "I didn't want to be a pain, but I told them, 'This seat doesn't exist at all.' There were bolts in the wall as if a seat had been there, but they were kind of rusty."

Sports commission and team officials said they would check into Moorehead's situation.

Even Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) didn't escape the glitches. Food ran out at the VIP reception he was hosting. Lew asked a caterer what the problem was and was told that the sponsor of the event had set a price limit.

However, unlike the general public, the mayor didn't have to wait long for a solution.

"I showed them my name card and asked if they could just charge it to us," Lew said. "They brought more food."

Staff writer Clarence Williams contributed to this report.


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