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We haven’t done this in a while, mostly because the joke has been on the Phillies this year (and it still is), but it’s always fun to point out the hilarity that is often the Washington Nationals, who had 17,000 passionate fans in attendance Tuesday night proudly embodying NATITUDE as the hometown team entered the homestretch for their first postseason appearance ever

Apparently, however, that amount of people just won’t cut it for Nats owners, the Lerner Family. So, next year, they would like to sell more season tickets. How to do that? By creating a false sense of scarcity. 

I, along with probably about a dozen other people who are subscribed to such updates, received an email this morning:

Dear Nationals Fans,

As lifelong baseball fans and fellow Washingtonians, it’s impossible to fully convey how excited we are to see the Nationals success on the field while fans across the region embrace the thrill of a pennant race. With a solid pitching corps, sure-handed defense and a roster full of the best young talent in the game, the 2012 Nationals have generated plenty of excitement and a new attitude – or Natitude – here in the Nation's Capital. Together with you, we are building something special … and the best is yet to come!

Few things in our culture unite family, friends and communities like the game of baseball, and we want to make sure that everyone gets the opportunity to share in this great time-honored tradition. With this goal in mind, we have decided to limit the number of season tickets available for 2013 to 20,000 of our 41,000 available seats. We are committed to ensuring that every fan who wants to see a live game at Nationals Park has the opportunity to do so.

Therefore, with limited season tickets available, those of you who don't want to miss a minute of Nationals baseball should purchase your 2013 season tickets now! Additionally, this is the only way to ensure priority seating for the 2012 Postseason before tickets go on sale to the general public.

We are truly proud to be a part of bringing winning baseball back to Washington, D.C. The national pastime in the Nation's Capital is a special part of our lives and we want all Washingtonians to be able to share in this amazing experience.


The Lerner Family
and the Washington Nationals Baseball Club


Their stated reason for limiting the number of available season tickets? So more families, cultures, species, and empty seats can witness winning Nationals baseball. The real reason? They would be thrilled to sell 20,000 season tickets.

As I started writing this, the folks over at DC Sports Bog posted about the email and linked to this article from Nats insider Mark Zuckerman. He points out that the Nationals didn’t sell anywhere near 20,000 season tickets this season:

Team officials don't give out exact numbers, but it's believed the Nationals have sold the equivalent of about 12,000 full-season ticket packages. We know for certain that number is no greater than 14,520 (the smallest crowd of the season to date).


The Nationals will absolutely sell more season tickets this offseason, since they are all but guaranteed a playoff spot, but limiting them to 20,000, which could be greater than a 50% increase over this season, is nothing but their way of setting a goal for themselves. Reach that number and it’s a successful increase for the Nats. And if they do hit that mark, you can bet that they won’t start turning away season ticket customers 20,001, 20,002 and so on, because, as you know, the Nats have trouble filling those remaining 21,000 seats.