SBD/October 6, 2014/Law and Politics

Rocking The Vote: Nats' Bottom Line Gets A Bump From Politicians During Election Cycle

Nationals Park was the most popular DC sports facility for entertaining donors
Federal candidates, political parties and PACs "have spent at least $245,000 on Nationals tickets, gear, and box seats during this election cycle," according to CQ Moneyline data cited by Tau & Robillard of POLITICO. Most of the money "went to hosting fundraising events at Nationals Park or buying baseball tickets for donors, constituents and lobbyists." The Nats "are not only one of the top teams in baseball but they’re also the most popular team in the DC area for political events." Spending on Redskins, Wizards, DC United and Capitals tickets and box rentals "is negligible compared with the money that political committees spend on the Nats." Aside from Nationals Park's location, "just minutes from Capitol Hill, and the team’s success in recent years, part of the Nats’ appeal for fundraisers comes from the natural rhythms of the sport." Unlike the NBA and NFL, where "noise-filled stadiums stifle conversation and fast-paced play demands constant attention, baseball allows lobbyists and donors time to actually develop a relationship with a lawmaker." Virginia-based fundraising firm LS Group President Lisa Spies said, "They last significantly longer and you can sort of come and go. It’s a more relaxed environment. You can sit and chat during the game" (POLITICO.com, 10/3).

FIGHTING WORDS: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Matthew Kaminski wrote under the header, "The Money Feud Spicing Up the Nationals-Orioles Rivalry." The MASN dispute is so "raw" that Orioles Exec VP and MASN President John Angelos "declines to discuss" the ongoing lawsuit between the two teams. Angelos said that the team’s bottom line "took a 'substantial' hit from the Nationals’ arrival 'and it’ll continue to be' substantial." Meanwhile, the Lerners, who own the Nationals, "didn’t just deny a request for an interview." Kaminski reported the Nats "pulled my MLB-issued media credentials" for Friday's NLDS Game 1 against the Giants "after I mentioned I might ask about the MASN dispute" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/4).
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