SBD/June 30, 2017/Franchises

Nationals Draw Below-Average Crowds To Cubs Series With High Ticket Prices

This year's four Cubs games were the highest of four tiers of pricing the Nats offer
In the first three games of a series against the Cubs earlier this week, the Nationals "couldn’t even once match their average crowd," and it was the team that "contributed to the lackluster crowds with a pricing strategy and ticketing policies that could generously be called aggressive," according to Barry Svrluga of the WASHINGTON POST. This year, the four Cubs games were "listed in the preseason pricing structure as 'Diamond' games, the highest of four tiers of pricing the Nationals offer." The "only other Diamond game on the schedule was Opening Day." For the Cubs games, Delta Sky360 Club seats were $450, dugout box seats were $140 and the right-field terrace seat -- that cheap ticket that is the price of the movie less than a week from now" -- was $35. The smallest game-over-game increase was $18 for seats in the scoreboard pavilion, gallery and upper gallery sections. Seven of the 16 different pricing sections "had markups of at least $40 per ticket for the Cubs games." Nationals RF Bryce Harper had a different answer for the lower attendance, saying, "It's summertime. I'd be at the beach, too. It's hot out" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 6/29).

HIT IT HERE! In DC, Scott Allen wrote for people who have been to Nationals Park or regularly watched the Nationals on TV this year, there is a "good chance" they have "seen the sign on the rooftop railing of the building beyond the center field parking garage and Hampton Inn & Suites." Allen: "If you’ve been to multiple games, you may have noticed that the sign has changed throughout the season." Property firm Grosvenor is "one of the companies that manages the First Residences building upon which the sign hangs." The first sign "went up in April" and it "read 'HIT IT HERE, HARPER!' along with the distance -- 976 feet -- from home plate." That sign was "replaced with a new sign that read, 'HONDO COULD'VE HIT IT HERE, TOO!'" The sign was a "nod to former Washington Senators slugger Frank Howard." When the Cubs arrived for a four-game series on Monday, Carr and McCaffery Interests Project Manager Luke Koczela "unveiled yet another new and topical sign that poked fun at the defending World Series champion’s 'W' flag: 'W BELONGS IN WASHINGTON!'" Grosvenor Senior VP/Development Jon Carr said, "We want to be creative and find ways to interact with the neighborhood, and a big part of the neighborhood is the ballpark next door" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 6/29).
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