Nationals Park infiltrated by Phillies fans on opening day – The Post
Whether the Washington Nationals acted in good faith selling Opening Day tickets is really a moot point. It is possible that the Philadelphia Phillies fans group ticket buys simply snowballed before anybody figured out that Washingtonians would be left out of an opportunity to buy Opening Day tickets — they sold out in 7 minutes in the public sale. There may not have been anything they could have done about it. The Lerner Family and Stan Kasten do not get the benefit of the doubt though, not after Kasten begging Phillies fans to come to last year’s opener on Philadelphia radio and not after two consecutive 100+ loss seasons.
The article above reveals that one ticket agent, Bree Parker*, sought out one Phillies fan group and sold them over 500 tickets. The team should reveal how many more times this happened. They don’t have to of course, but transparency with fans and other stakeholders is the most responsible way to handle the situation. Additionally, we need to get Kasten and the Lerners “WWTLD” bracelets — What Would Ted Leonsis Do?
In his book “The Business of Happiness” Leonsis talks about building communities and uses the Capitals as an example. For the last several years, that fan community has been a happy one, for the obvious reason that they are winning, but also in large part because the people running the Caps have been open about what they are doing. Making Caps fans happy is the franchise goal which has translated to record-breaking ticket and merchandise sales. When bad things have happened, Leonsis has faced the music which has built up trust in the Caps brand. The Nats would do well to learn this lesson.
In summation, hey Nats — people want to like you, maybe LOVE you, so don’t make them feel stupid for being a fan. It is just good business.
By the way, with less than a week before Opening Day 2005, I was able to get four together at Citizens Bank Park for the first official Nats game. Just sayin’
About that Philly fan invasion – DC Sports Bog, The Post
How Philly fans overtook D.C. – Nats Insider
*Parker was very helpful setting up my group ticket buy for my bachelor party in 2005.