(Via @allenjkha)

Back in October, I noted that the Caps would start giving 100 extra “Monumental Rewards” points to season ticket holders who scanned their tickets at least 30 minutes prior to game time. The idea, of course, was to get fans inside the team’s facility earlier, and to possibly ease congestion at the gates. And while some fans find it impossible to make the 30-minute cutoff, I haven’t heard a single complaint.

Six months later, the Nats have started telling their own season ticket holders of a similar policy.

For the first time in 2014, primary account holders or account partners will receive a rewards bonus for arriving early. They’ll get 20 bonus points per card for using their Ultimate Ballpark Access card 60 minutes or more before the first pitch, and 10 points per card for scans that happen with less than 60 minutes to go. Similarly, plan holders will receive 10 points per card for print-at-home scans that come 60 minutes or more before the first pitch, and 5 points per card for print-at-home scans that happen with less than an hour to go.

The cheapest redemption ticket — for upper-level non-prime weeknight seats — costs 50 Red Carpet Reward points. So getting to the park early five times can now earn plan holders a free ticket.

“All Season Plan Holders will now be rewarded for using their tickets at Nationals Park,” the team said in information distributed to plan holders. “In replacement of the ‘Unused Ticket Exchange,’ the Plan Holder Attendance Program is designed to reward fans for using the tickets within their designated plan. When your plan tickets are scanned at Nationals Park, you will receive Red Carpet Rewards Points that will be added to your Ultimate Ballpark Access Account automatically.”

Obviously, this doesn’t apply to Red Carpet Reward tickets, exchanged tickets or single-game purchases.

As for the “why,” a spokeswoman explained in an e-mail that the team is trying to encourage fans to take advantage of the pregame activities inside Nats Park.

“New this year, the Nationals are offering our most loyal fans extra Red Carpet Rewards points just for using their tickets and arriving to each game a little early,” she said in an e-mail. “It’s an added incentive to encourage Season Plan Holders to take advantage of all that Nationals Park has to offer during pregame festivities, including drink specials, live entertainment and batting practice.”


(First noted by Darren Rovell.)