Quick, where do the Washington Nationals play their home games? It’s a tough one, I know; but apparently the stadium is called … wait for it, Nationals Ballpark. It’s actually not Citizens Bank Park South. Or at least, that’s what the Washington Nationals would like us to believe. (Guys, you’re not doing yourselves any favors when you sign ex-Phillies.)
Apparently, Philly fans have riled up the Nats and their fans—both of them—enough that the Nationals front office has launched a campaign to “Take Back the Park.” This weekend, the Nationals will hold a special pre-sale for single-game tickets for the team’s first series against the Fightin’s, on May 4-6. Here’s the twist: Tickets will only be sold to fans in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. In order to participate in the pre-sale, fans have to register in advance and give their address to show eligibility.
Nationals COO Andy Feffer
whined explained the rationale for the promotion:
For several years now, our fans, everybody, have been screaming about the number of Phillies fans that invade our park when we have a series here at Nationals Park. Frankly, I’m tired of seeing the Phillies fans in our ballpark in Washington more than anything. We sat down as a group and we said, “You know what? It’s time to take our park back in Washington and get our fans in this park.”
* * *
Someone asked me, “What do you think of Philly and Phillies fans and the series?” I couldn’t be more direct. I said, “Forget you, Philly. It’s our fans, our time, our park and we are going to fill it with Nationals fans.” We are going to do everything we can to ensure our fans here in Washington that first opportunity to make that happen.
Andy’s right about one thing: If Nats fans filled the ballpark, there would be no room for Phillies fans. The question is, even with this promotion, are there enough Nats fans to fill the ballpark? Last year, the Nationals averaged only 60% capacity. I wonder what that percentage would look like if you took away the Phillies games and the fans who travel for ‘em.
So go ahead, Nationals fans: Take back your park. Or maybe, how about you just “take” your park in the first place. Otherwise, we look forward to the first weekend in May. See you then.
[Image credit: Mike Sheridan]