Nationals’ New Ticket Plans Designed to Keep Phillies Fans Out

image from mobilwi.typepad.comPhoto: Busted Coverage

Good luck with that.

Earlier this month, the Nationals announced their Yankees Pack, a five-game pack which includes tickets to a game against the Phillies, among other teams.

At first blush (as was chronicled by the DC Sports Bog), the move seemed to be yet another attempt by the Nationals to lure fans of opposing big-market teams, all in the name of making a quick buck. Well, it turns out that’s not the case. By offering Phillies and Yankees tickets first as part of larger game plans, the Nats believe they will be able to keep opposing fans out.

DC Sports Bog has more:

And the larger point is this: by packaging that big-time draw with tickets against the Reds, Rays, Orioles and Phillies, you’re encouraging fans of the home team to buy seats for that date before they’re offered on a single-game basis, since a Yankees fan wouldn’t likely be interested in a ticket to see the Reds play the Nats. And the more seats that move as part of holiday gift packs, the fewer New York accents will show up on June 15.

That’s the theory, anyhow. 

“We know from experience that fans who are buying  flex plans or mini plans or gift plans tend to be Nationals fans, because there are multiple games included there,” [Nats COO Andy] Feffer told me this week. “That was our intention, to give Nationals fans the availability first. This is our way to alert them that hey, there’s a big game with a big opponent you’ve been asking about, and it’s included in this pack."

“Of course the intention is to have it full of Nationals fans,” he said. “We want to keep Phillies fans out and bring Nationals fans in. We want our fans to be there, cheering for a team that’s got a chance to be a championship-quality team. And it’s coming. It’s not a reach to say we’re going to be an extremely competitive team in 2012."


Feffer went on to say something about competing for a championship or something like that… But yeah, he's created a minor hurdle for Phillies fans looking to invade Citizens Bank Park South.

This is all well and good, too– a noble effort by the Nationals. But perhaps they forgot about the fact that they ran a BOGO on 2012 season tickets. Or their $1 tickets. Or their Groupon.

Yeah, asking fans to buy five games just to see one or two – when the team has trouble selling single games – probably isn’t going to help too much. Plus, there’s always Crossing Broad Tickets and the secondary ticket marketplace that will often offer Phillies (and Yankees) fans tickets for below face value.

So good luck with that, Nationals. We’ll see you next summer.


8 Responses

  1. Heh! How humorous! Too bad that scheme by the gNats won’t work since hometown fans there are still far and few inbetween. I hope the Phillies hordes will work even harder to fill Natinals Park!

  2. Funny – considering that Nationals ticket agents have called both my wife and I about purchasing tickets, and specifically were selling us the “Phillies” point.
    I guess they have to say what they can to make their dozen fans feel good.

  3. Perhaps they looked at revenue from Phillies games vs. Non-Phillies games and determined the difference was negligable. I doubt it.
    With this plan, they won’t be able to overpay ballplayers anymore…

  4. What is always interesting is when teams like this find out that even when they get competitive, their fans don’t show up. Nats are assuming this will happen. It will not. Half their base are diehard O’s fans and that just doesn’t change overnight. It takes generations. Their stadium is in a crappy location and DC is a transplant city for the most part, like Atlanta and especially Miami. Their attendance will rise when they are competitive but they will never have the sustained demand it takes to remain competitive.

  5. This is going to come back and bite them hard! Phillies fans are part of the reason why that organization is still on its feet!

  6. It will take a few years of being good to keep out Philly fans. You dont find many Flyers fans at Caps games anymore.
    Also, DC is packed with people who dropped Philly like a bad habit and moved out. These folks live here, and have connections beyond someone up in PA.

  7. Also, this gives the Nats front office the ability to say, “you had your chance to buy Phillies tickets in a package before the general public did, so dont complain if Philly fans show up.”

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