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: Feb 3, 2012
Posted on: February 3, 2012 3:58 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

LOL. Your funny.

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: February 3, 2012 3:45 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

This is the start of a slow descent back to the phillies of the 90's. Phillies fans are in for a big surprise this season when the Braves, Nats, and Marlins dethrone the phils.

Since: Apr 27, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2012 3:01 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

Can't tell if they're Phillies' fans or Nationals' fans behind Utley. They both wear red.  Maybe the Nationals can enforce a rule to make all their fans wear navy blue.

Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: February 3, 2012 2:43 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

Not only is this Phillie fan concerned with the Nats but also the Marlins...the Braves....tuff having that "bullseye" on your back...just sayin

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: February 3, 2012 2:33 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

The Phillies had the same problem with Met fans years ago. The fans cried asking Management to stop selling(advertising) tickets in NY zip codes. They didn't. They went out and built a great team (on those ticket revenues) so they could sell tickets to those frustrated fans. It worked. This will be a disaster for the Nats management.

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2012 2:19 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

stubhub.  Yep, that easy to work around this stupid idea.

So, instead of playing before a mostly packed stadium, this series will be played in front of the wives of the Nats players and the ushers?  Brilliant business move.  And what about people visiting DC who might want to take in a game?  You've now shooed them away as well.

How about you just put a good team out there that the people of DC will pay to watch and then maybe you won't have to worry about the other teams fans (and your ushers and security) outnumbering your own fans. 

Since: Feb 3, 2012
Posted on: February 3, 2012 2:06 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

I think the Nats are forgetting that the only time their stadium makes money is when the Phillies fans come to town and gives them some.  I don't doubt that the Nationals have a lot of potenital this year, but lets be honest.  They haven't proven anything yet. Its all speculation.  Strausburg is the man, but very few players in sports history who are injury prone are able to stay healthy for long periods of time.  Considering that kid has never pitched a full year (or a full month for that matter), he is basically one fastball away from blowing out his elbow again.  Werth has shown his true colors in a National uniforms.  His best days are already behind him.  He hit 30 HR once in his career and has never finished a year over 300, so it would be hard to assume he will come close to that this year.  Gio G is a solid pitcher, but hes a walk machine.  Edwin Jackson is sort of the wild card.  He can be great, but he can also regress at anytime due to his age.  Hes either going to be awesome or he will look like what most 3rd spot pitchers look for a team.  That leaves the Nats with the same team they always had.  I expect this team to do better than last year, but if the phillies can get to 90 wins, that Nats won't get there.

Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: February 3, 2012 1:57 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

Wow!   What a great marketing ploy. 

Think about it.  The only way they will actually turn away so much as one Philly fan is if they sell out the stadium, which they don't normally do.  And if they do sell out they'll be happy to turn away Philly fans since all of the seats are full anyway, and Nats fans will buy more merchandise. 

Besides, if I know Phillies fans (myself included) a stunt like this and the publicity it causes will only make Philly fans more likely to come, thus increasing the chances to sell out the seats.  Advanced sales for local fans will also ensure that local fans get their choice of seats and better seats within any given section, which should also give them an advantage in cheering.

Having said all that, I would strongly encourage any Philly fan to go down there for a game or three.  I did it last year with a group of about 20.  We never could have gotten seats all together at CBP, but in Washington it was no problem even on a summer weekend!  Plus we spent the weekend sight-seeing in DC.  It was great.  The best park was the whole city was full of Philly fans.  Everywhere we went, museams, monuments, the subway, we say people decked out in Phillies gear.

After a while, we just started greeting them with, "Which game are you seeing?"  It was great. 

As for the advanced sales, I have relatives who live in Maryland, so if I was planning to go, I'd just send them some money and have them charge my tickets for me. 

Since: Jan 7, 2012
Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:46 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

Now here is the game plan. Phillie phans drive down early and fill up the parking lots around the Nat yard. Let the guys with tickets swim across the river to get there.Laughing  We all tailgate and listen to the game on the radio if at all possible because of the echo from the empty seats in the park. By the 4th inning the concessionaires will be buying us seats just sell us some beer. We will be seated for the top of the 9th when we get to see the Phillies light up lights out and win again.

Since: Feb 3, 2012
Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:34 pm

Nats taking steps to avoid Phillies fans in park

I agree, also DC  has a ton of Philadelphia Sports Fans (Eagles, Phillies, Flyers). I've been to bars in DC that cater specifically Philly sports fans. Fortunately I do have ton's of expats living in DC from Philly so they will score me tickets to the May 4-6 series if I want them! GO PHILS!

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