Nationals Baseball: Are the fans buying tickets?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Are the fans buying tickets?

The Bog recounts an interview with Kasten on a Toronto radio station, where at the end (it was mostly about the NHL's Winter Classic possibly coming to DC) they ask a pertinent question.
...the conversation ended with Kasten being asked whether Strasburg and the youngsters are sparking increased fan and ticket interest.

"I think people are waiting for Strasburg to get here," Kasten said. ..."if some things break our way, it could be a very, very exciting season, and yes, that means ticket sales, too. "

So the answer is no. Fans aren't buying tickets even with the Strasburg hype. Kasten does understand though - it's because the team hasn't done well. There's no delusion here. Now over this way:

"We're gonna see his (me - Strasburg's) first professional game this coming Tuesday; it's a big, big event. MASN, our local cable station, has changed its scheduling in order to televise that event, because there's so much interest back home, so we have that going on."

How big is it? That'll be told by the ratings, but a quick gauge of how important MASN feels the game is, is knowing what they "changed" in their "scheduling" to show it. I can't get Tuesday's original programming sched, but I assume today is a fairly typical MASN day. What would a Spring Training game be cutting into today?

12PM : Replay of WAC basketball San Jose St v Idaho

2PM : ESPN news

3PM : The Scott Garceau show

A basketball game between the 6th and 7th place teams in a conference where the 2nd closest team is about 2500 miles away. (I guess LA Tech is the local squad), another network's programming, and one of those live video broadcasts of a radio show that make you understand why God created television. Forget the Strasburg game, frankly, if I had MASN I'd be upset they aren't showing more games.


bdrube said...

I'm in a season ticket group in the 200 club section, which was sold out for the season in 2008. This year the team gave us one coupon for an equivilent free ticket for every pair of tickets we purchased. My 20 pairs of club seats have now become 30 pairs for the same price. In a section that was sold out only two years ago.

Yeah, it's bad.

WFY said...

I wonder how they sold out Opening Day in 7 minutes. I have a bad feeling about it.

WFY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Collin said...

For what it's worth, I dropped my full season package in section 314 last year due to the price to suckdom ratio. That section was technically full season plans only. After some haggling this season, they offered me a half season package, with parking and a food voucher (none of which was made available in 2008). I think they're getting the hint though it may be a little too late.

Harper said...

bdrube - Well this isn't heart-warming is it? thanks for the info.

WFY - well ALL the season ticket packages contain opening day tickets. I'm not sure they did that before (but they coudl have). Toss in corporate tix and freebies and the like and I can see opening night being real limited.

coLLin - it's the wins though isn't it. A good team would bring the fans into the seats more than any ticket package could.

TBC said...

Opening Day is nowhere near being sold out yet. They have held back a lot of seats in hopes of selling them as part of ST packages. Just the other day I was able to summon up a row of 20 adjacent seats in Infield Gallery that I could have bought as a season ticket package. We all know that most if not all of these seats will not be sold as season tickets before Opening Day, so expect them to be opened up eventually as single game tickets. This is the same thing they did last year, when they held seats out of early single game sales for the first couple of months as they tried to sell ever-shrinking season ticket plans. In May you could still buy a 60-something game "full season plan", for instance. Wonder how many of these they actually sold? But it could be different this year, once they bring Strasburg up.

Unknown said...

I had a partial season plan- approx. 20 games- in '08. Did not renew in '09. This year I got an email asking me to call and explain why I didn't renew after '08. The sales rep actually did not try to pressure me into buying anything, instead he seemed genuinely interested in my feedback. I like some of the changes they've made- like allowing you to trade in unused tix for almost game left (not just one of 5 really crappy games in August). Still, with the park 3/4 empty on any given night, I feel no need to commit any money to this team up front. I'll be there sometimes, but only when i feel like it.

Harper said...

What's done is done. The Nats got a gift .500 season to start in Washington then did nothing with it for 4 years hoping that a new park would hold the fans interest. Now they have to get good to bring in the fans, and probably not automatically either. It's like they actively tried to destroy the momentum of good will for 4 seasons.