Nationals to Open Downtown Office for Sales and Marketing

Friday, December 1, 2006

The Washington Nationals are planning to open a sales and marketing center at the Connecticut Avenue office complex owned by the Lerner family, an effort to increase the club's presence in downtown Washington after spending its first two seasons working exclusively out of offices at RFK Stadium.

Nationals President Stan Kasten said yesterday the office at the Washington Square facility at 1050 Connecticut Ave. NW will house about 30 employees and sell season ticket plans for the 2007 season and, eventually, for the planned ballpark in Southeast, which is scheduled to open in 2008. The office is expected to open Jan. 9.

"That will be the nerve center," Kasten said. "It'll look like more than just an office. It'll be clear it's the team office, the Nationals' office. We'll have a sales office, where we'll eventually sell suites for the new stadium. We'll have models of the stadium. It'll give people an idea of what to expect, and give us a presence downtown."

Only season ticket packages, not individual game tickets, will be available at the new facility, which is also where the Nationals opened a modest store last month. Kasten said individual game tickets will be available online, by phone or at the RFK Stadium box office. Kasten said the team, which saw attendance plummet by more than 7,000 per game last year, has sold more than 820 new season ticket plans before launching its advertising campaign.

"We're extremely encouraged," Kasten said.

The baseball operations staff, which previously spent winters working from the team's spring training facility in Viera, Fla., will remain at RFK Stadium this offseason.

-- Barry Svrluga

© 2006 The Washington Post Company