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Lerner: Nearly 20,000 season tickets sold

Feb 21, 2013, 8:04 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images
Principal owner Mark Lerner arrived in Viera today.

VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals have sold nearly 20,000 season tickets for the upcoming season, a significant increase from one year ago, principal owner Mark Lerner said today.

Making his first appearance of the spring in Viera, Lerner said the team is “very close” to reaching its self-imposed cap of 20,000 season ticket equivalents, which is roughly comparable to the ticket base in 2008 (the club’s first season at Nationals Park).

“It’s pretty exciting that we’ll have a chance to get there,” he said. “It’s been a terrific offseason. I think NatsFest helped fuel that, and obviously the great year we had last year. But we’re really pleased how things are going. … All I can do is compare it to last year, really, and it’s a significant increase over last year.”

The Nationals never revealed exact season-ticket numbers last season, but the base was believed to be about 14,000. It was about 20,000 in the first season at the new ballpark, still below the club’s highest level (22,000 during the inaugural 2005 campaign at RFK
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  1. SonnyG10 - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Way to go, NatsFans!!!

  2. PChuck - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Do other teams cap their season ticked sales like this? I've never quite understood what the thinking was forcing yourself to sell approx. 20,000 individual tickets to get a sellout.

  3. SCNatsFan - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    These tickets sound like the limited edition Ford trucks. They are limited to the amount people want to buy.

  4. Section 222 - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    If the Lerners ever announce publicly or tell Mark Z. that they have reached the 20K target and season tickets are no longer available for this year I'll buy a coke for the kitty. It will be a cold day in Hades when they actually turn away a guy with a valid credit card who wants to give them thousands of dollars.

  5. Tony - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    They sell the single game tickets at a considerable markup over the per-game cost of a season ticket. They also collect a service charge on every single game ticket purchase vs just a single service charge on a season ticket purchase. If the team is good and demand is high, those single game tickets will sell. They would rather have the team making the extra dollars than having tickets bought as season plans specifically for resale on the secondary market, because then the scalpers get that money. Makes sense.

  6. Tony - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    An interesting tidbit that I picked up from my ST account rep. Three of the team-operated parking lots from past years (HH, J and N) will not be available this season. No idea what is going on with those sites or whether there is any possibility that some of them may be available as privately-operated parking.

  7. Tcostant - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Pchuck – Back in the day when the Dodgers were the toast of LA, they use to cap season ticket sales at 30,000 and mostly soldout even though that was another 20,000 too (bigger ballpark).I'm not saying it right or wrong, just they want some single game ticket available.

  8. UNTERP - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Tony said… "They would rather have the team making the extra dollars than having tickets bought as season plans specifically for resale on the secondary market, because then the scalpers get that money. Makes sense."Maybe, but a bird in hand is worth two in the bush…

  9. Tony - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    As soon as they start selling single-game tickets, the availability of season ticket plans goes down, because the sale of a seat for one game makes it unavailable as a location for a season plan. Same goes for seats sold for flex plans, etc. So in order to sell more than 20,000 season plans they would need to block off large chunks of the ballpark even after they have completely opened up single game sales. In the past they did that kind of thing, but going forward it sounds like they won't.

  10. Gonat - Feb 21, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Nice to read a lot of good news. The bad news is the MASN deal which still isnt close to resolution and is a key to future revenues needed to extend Jordan Z, Desi, Detwiler, Strasburg, Ramos, and Bryce Harper.

  11. Section 222 - Feb 21, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Believe him if you want to, but "very close" sure sounds like the marketing ploy that I assumed this was from the beginning: "Hurry, hurry, hurry, get your season tickets before they're all gone. This is your last chance. Don't miss out. Call before midnight tonight and you'll receive, etc. etc. etc!!"Season tix are gold for them. They get the money rain or shine, whether or not the team is as good as advertised, whether anyone's sitting in the seat or not. The small differential in price between STs and single game sales is way outweighed by the certainty of the revenue stream. I can see holding on to a few thousand tickets for single game sales, but not half the park. Let's see if they actually announce that season ticket plans can no longer be purchased. I'll bet it won't happen and Carp and FP will be hawking STs well into the season, just like they were last year.

  12. Tcostant - Feb 21, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    222 I think you make great points. Known revenue vs. unknown revenue is always better…

  13. Gonat - Feb 21, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    "It was good today," Zimmermann said. "I threw quite a few of them. There was only one or two that were not so great, but the other ones were the bottom of the zone, a good speed differential."Zimmermann admitted he didn't entirely trust the pitch last season, and also didn't know when best to throw it in games. But he's taking advantage of the opportunities in Spring Training to develop his confidence in it."I'm going to throw it a lot down here and see what happens," Zimmermann said. "I don't really care about the results down here. Just getting some work in with it and throwing it to someone other than your team."__________________________________________I don't think anyone covered Jordan Z's BP today. That write-up is from Joey Nowak of MLB.com

  14. Gonat - Feb 21, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Section222, their goal is to sell-out every game and to build the fanbase further they have to make sure tickets are available. Then there is the summer group sales that total several thousand a game. My guess is the demand for season tickets is still fluid and they set the 20,000 goal knowing they will get close but won't reach. As tickets get harder to get, people will be forced to buy season ticket packages then we have to see if they increase it.I think it would be foolish not to let Season Tickets get to 70% capacity which is 28,000 if the demand is there, but lets face it, the demand won't be there until this becomes the hottest ticket in town and the place to be.Like Carnival Barker StanK once said, "Win and they will come"!

  15. JD - Feb 21, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    Sec222, You are 100% correct. In cities where baseball is a perennial hot ticket the teams keep an absolute minimum available for the drop by public.

  16. Section 222 - Feb 21, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    Thanks Tcostant. I'll shut up about it now. If anyone is interested, here's a link to a lengthy discussion we had in September when the Lerners sent that email announcing the "cap." Needless to say, everyone took the same position back then as they did today, only at more length. Well, except that Feel isn't here today, but Tony has him covered. It came the day after the Nats trounced the Cubs, hitting 6 homers for the second straight night. Good times.

  17. baseballswami - Feb 21, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    Baseball in 48 hours? Yes, please!

  18. mo nats - Feb 21, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    The lady with the clicker at the gate had 349 as her count for fans today at the workout sessions and that was about 11:40. As she said, that's a lot more than used to come here.

  19. baseballswami - Feb 21, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    So we signed former Met, Chris Young. As I recall, he pitched us tough.

  20. JD - Feb 21, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Swami, Chris Young is a very good AAA signing. He can pitch for the big league club in a pinch and do OK.

  21. Tony - Feb 21, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    Is Chris Young that tall drink of water the Mets had that wasn't Jon Rauch?

  22. Anna Peregrina - Feb 21, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    New post.

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