Every time the Phillies visit Nationals Park, it feels like a home game for them. The stands are filled with fans who made the two-hour drive south to cheer for the Phillies, and it’s disheartening for Nats fans to be outnumbered in their own stadium. The same thing happens when the Yankees visit Baltimore, or the Red Sox play in Tampa, and it’s embarrassing. But the Nationals finally stood up and said “no more.”
Last week Washington launched a “Take Back The Park” campaign, a concerted effort to fill the stadium with Nationals red instead of Phillies red. Single-game tickets went on sale early, for one series—the Phillies’ May visit to Washington. And only credit cards in Maryland, Virginia and DC were allowed to purchase them
“Frankly, I was tired of seeing it,” Nats COO Andy Feffer told me this week. “Forget you, Philly. This is our park, this is our town, these are our fans, and it’s our time right now.”
It backfired relatively quickly. By the end of the first day of sales, more than 9,000 tickets for that series were available on the resale market, open to anyone. So: nice try, DC, but the wins/attendance correlation and plain old capitalism both ensure that there will be plenty of Nats fans who’d rather scalp some overpriced tickets to Philadelphians than come out to support the team.
And then there’s this guy. One Philadelphia native went running to CBS to brag about the loophole he found, and how he was able to get tickets to see the Phillies in Washington: he bought a 5-game flex package that includes a pair of Phillies games. I don’t think that’s what loophole means, and I’m not sure Andy Feffer would be so upset about having Nationals Park overrun by Phillies fans if it meant unloading some Astros-Nats seats at the same time.