Blog Entry

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

Posted on: February 3, 2012 10:47 am

By Matt Snyder

The Washington Nationals' front office is tired of seeing Phillies fans take over their ballpark when Washington hosts the Phillies, so they're trying to do something about it.

In an effort they're calling "Take Back the Park," the Nationals are making it as difficult as possible for Phillies fans to outnumber Nationals fans in the May 4-6 series. Beginning today (Friday morning), the Nationals are offering single-game tickets for the series -- and only this particular series -- even though other single-game tickets won't be for sale for another month. Not only that, only buyers with credit cards tied to an address in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia will be allowed to buy tickets (all information from

The Nats mean business. Not only on the field, where they've had a good offseason and appear to be a legitimate contender in the loaded NL East. But check out this series of quotes from COO Andy Feffer, all via

• “Frankly, I was tired of seeing it. Forget you, Philly. This is our park, this is our town, these are our fans, and it’s our time right now.”

Washington offseason
• “We’ve heard it enough, we’ve seen it enough, and I don’t like it any more than anyone else. We’re trying to build a team here, and nothing irks me personally or the people here more than to see another team’s fans — particularly Philly fans — in our ballpark, holding up signs. That’s not the way it should be. And I think we’ve got an opportunity here to do something different.”

• “We’ve got some other things planned for the Phillies. Don’t expect their buses to be hanging out and dropping off their fans right around the ballpark here. I’m gonna stick ‘em across the river if I can, make ‘em swim across.” [Note: The Post noted this was said as a joke]

• “Seriously, for those fans who do come, we treat all guests with respect and courtesy. But look, we’re not gonna make it easy for group sales, for buses coming from Philly. I will not make it easy for those guys to buy tickets or get into this ballpark. Once they’re here, obviously we treat all our guests as patrons, with respect.”

• “Look, this is what a rivalry’s about. The Phillies and Nationals should be that rivalry that people get fired up about, and that’s ok. I want Phillies fans to acknowledge that we’re a legitimate contender and that we’re for real. And you know what? If Phillies fans are a little bit irked, that means they’re paying attention.”

Whoa. Breaking out the big guns, eh, Nationals? I have to say, I love it. Old, traditional rivalries are great (Yankees/Red Sox, Cubs/Cardinals, Dodgers/Giants, etc.), but it's even more exciting to see new rivalries emerge. What if the Nationals are a contender this year and we see them lock horns with the Phillies a few times? That's great for baseball.

So what say you, Phillies fans? Are you "irked" and "paying attention" to the Nationals yet?

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Category: MLB

Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:48 am

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

Some of you guys are missing the point here.  The plan is more clever than you credit them for.

They aren't preventing Phillies fans from buying tickets.  Indeed, without this new policy, no one would be able to by tickets to these games yet.  It is just an extra window of opportunity for Maryland/DC/Virgina residents to buy tickets to these three games.  It is SURE to boost attendance for these games, probably some of them from people who wouldn't have come to a game otherwise. 

Once the speical period is over, Phillies fans and everyone else will still be able to buy whatever tickets are left (probably quite a lot), but the early bird Nats fans will have gotten their choice of seats, and maybe there will be more of them than there would have been otherwise. 

So it won't keep the Phillies fans out, but it might increase the size of the counterwieght of Nats fans, and it might move the Phillies fans a bit farther from the field as well.  It MIGHT even encourage more Phillies fans to come, which increase the gate take for the games even more.  It is all good for the Nats owners, and their fans.  There really isn't much of a downside to this.  I wouldn't be sureprised if more teams started doing this. 

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: February 4, 2012 4:02 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

This would be a great idea if, you know, people actually liked the Nationals and bought tickets to see THEM instead of the teams visiting them. Considering the Nationals ranked 20th in average attendance and 21st in home and overall percentage last season, it seems they could use all the money they can get. I'm guessing you take out the visiting fan numbers, and those stats look even worse.

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: February 4, 2012 3:50 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

This is funny, a team that is not even a contender is preventing fans and also ticket sales to see a baseball game!!!! I bet they will change their mind once they realize that less ticket sales means less money for the community and local well as less funds to pay their players......If anything they should be inviting them along to ensure sellouts for those boost sales and ticket go towards your future when you have to pay Strasburg, Morse and maybe Harper if he works out well.....

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: February 4, 2012 2:59 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

Seriously with this story.  The Nationals are a joke!  GM Stan Katsen used to come on the Philadelphia radio sports talk shows and BEG for Phillies fans to come down to that craphole and buy tickets.  Get Lost Nationals.  You can keep Jason Werth and his bloated contract and we will still come down SOUTH and kick your backsides!

Since: Sep 1, 2011
Posted on: February 4, 2012 9:46 am

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

Yankee fans go to Baltimore all the time. Why? Tickets are cheaper.
What is the big deal - Washinton, should not have a team. They do and the fans do not go so they get annoyed when out of towners come to the stadium.
Grow up people.

Since: Jan 22, 2009
Posted on: February 3, 2012 8:28 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

If I am a COO like Andy Fetter. I would actually encourage fans of other ballclubs to come see my team in action, because those fans of opposing teams especially division rivals are actually helping to pay for the salaries of the players on your team so that is actually a double whammy to the opposing team. It also speaks volumes when other fans want to visit your ballpark, because that is a sign that it is a good place to catch a ballgame. Remember Washington, Talent is all good and your club seems to have it in bunches, but it is butts in the seats whether they be your fans or not that brings in the money to keep that talent around.

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: February 3, 2012 8:12 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

The 2011 Nationals were only 1 game under .500.  That team did not include Laroche, Strasburg, G. Gonzales, E Jackson.  Additionally, their best hitter, Ryan Zimmerman, was out for 60 games.  So the Nationals of 2011 were only 1 game under .500 with a rookie catcher and 2B, a second year ss, a talented Michael Morse who played in his first fulltime position in the majors at 29 years old.   I predicted correctly that the 2011 Rays would be in the playoffs when foolish sports writers failed to look at the fact that the mass exodus of 2010 included Pena and Bartlett who put up the worst numbers of their career prior to leaving.   Philly fans who fail to realize that the Nationals will win at least 90 games this year are going to look very foolish. Or even more foolish than they already look.

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: February 3, 2012 6:04 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

@sdg The Nats are about 3 offensive players away from coming close to challenging and the Braves collapse last year was the real braves shining through they played well above there own talent level most of last year and the marlins have a lot of chemistry to work out and them challenging hinges on josh johnson being healthy with him they contend without him they are middle of pack

Since: May 18, 2007
Posted on: February 3, 2012 4:31 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

Abe, this is what happened in Milwaukee also. Miller Park used to be "Wrigley North" when the Cubs came to town. It was depressing for the Brewers fans and management. But management "retaliated" by going out and building a really good team, a better team than the Cubs. Now when the Cubs come to town the Stadium fills with loud and enthusiastic Brewers fans. Problem solved.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: February 3, 2012 4:21 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

Camden Yards is Yankee Stadium Central and Tropicana Field is Yankee Stadium South. Boston does the same on the road in these markets. In general I feel like the northeast takes baseball way more seriously than other parts of the country. Plus I'm sure the good people of Maryland are just sick of having sub-par baseball teams.

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