When they drew 22,675 for Bryce Harper’s Nats Park debut on Tuesday night, people started talking again.
Was it a Tuesday night, during the school year, with the possible threat of rain? Sure. Was it also a chance to see one of the most-hyped baseball prospects in decades, making his home debut, for a first-place team? Affirmative.
And so, Ken Rosenthal:
If Nats fans were capable of causing a riot — and I sort of doubt it, seeing as how only 22,675 attended Harper’s DC debut on Tuesday night — I’d recommend Occupy Dulles, Occupy Reagan and Occupy BWI — the three area airports.
Thom Loverro: “Bryce Harper steps up to plate for first #Nationals Park at bat -- only about 20,000 people to see it....Don’t blame Washington fans for poor #Nationals attendance. Owners buried franchise for years at time when needed to be grown....Baseball side is fixed. Business side still shortsighted.”
Jayson Stark: “Attendance for Bryce Harper’s home debut: 22,675. Attendance for Stephen Strasburg’s home debut on 6/8/10: 40,315. #discuss.”
Phillies Site Crossing Broad: “Last night, Bryce Harper — The Chosen One, The Next Best Thing, Brycecakes, the self-proclaimed future best player of all-time — made his home debut at Nationals Park. Attendance: 22,675. Stadium capacity? 41,487 (record was 44,685, set last August... against the Phillies). Embarrassing.”
New York Times’s Tyler Kepner: “Disappointing attendance for Bryce Harper’s home debut: 22,675. Beautiful night here, too.”
ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi: “Really? How is that possible?”
MLB Network’s Paul Severino: “22,675 was the attendance at Nationals Park tonight. Uhhh, wasn’t it Bryce Harper’s home debut?”
Mark Zuckerman: “Bryce Harper’s home debut neither brought out the fans (official paid attendance was a disappointing 22,675) nor brought the Nationals’ lineup out of his ever-growing funk.”
Rachel Levitin: “With the media hoopla surrounding the young stud of a hitter, it wasn’t far-fetched to think that the atmosphere at the ballpark might rival that of Stephen Strasburg’s debut in June 2010. It didn’t, though.”
Josh DuLac (who took the above photo): “At Nationals Park with, uh....not very many people. #BadNatitude”
The Nats currently rank 20th in MLB attendance, with an average of 24,526. Baltimore is 22nd, with an average of 23,192.