Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Relocation Process Comes Friday

Once again, it was raining--hard. But, we were not deterred. Sohna and I headed out, yet again, to New Nationals Park for this morning's Press Conference signifying the completion of The Grass Playing Field on South Capitol Street. DC Mayor Adrian Fenty was there, along with Our Washington Nationals Team President Stan Kasten, as well as--all the top players from The DC Sports & Entertainment Commission--Matthew Cutts (Chairman), Greg O'Dell (CEO) and Bill Hall (Vice Chairman). Those moments given to view the field first hard, were nice--as well as another opportunity to view the Construction Progress of the new ballpark.

Despite all that, the most important information we were seeking concerned Season Ticket Holders. When will everyone be notified on their relocation? When Payment will be due? How many Seats have been sold--and when will that Very First Game be played?

Here's the Crib Notes Version--just the facts. I still need to transcribe the Stan Kasten availability to the Press, as well as, comments from the many dignitaries. At the end, Mr. Kasten was kind enough to personally show Sohna and I The Founders Club--behind the Home Plate Stands and its views overlooking the Nationals Indoor Batting Cage and Media Interview Room. Its Going to BE NICE!!

This coming Friday--November 16th--all Season Ticket Holders from Classes of 2005, 2006 & 2007 will be sent, via First Class Mail (not overnight) their Seat Locations and Invoices. According to Mr. Kasten--as he personally told Sohna and I this as we walked from The Founders Club--there will be Two Payment Options. You can pay In FULL by December 14 or make a Half Payment. Those that pay in full, by that date--WILL RECEIVE--a special Ceramic Replica of New Nationals Park. Those who pay half down--will have one more month to pay off their invoices. All this information will be included in the packet sent to Season Ticket Holders on Friday.

This Packet will also include a Tentative 2008 Schedule. There is still some uncertainty, though.

Club Level is SOLD OUT. Most of the Higher Priced Presidents Club and Diamond Club Seats are mostly sold. Suites, according to Mr. Kasten--are selling well. The Lower Main Bowl is mostly sold to FULL SEASON TICKET HOLDERS--except for the corner sections down each base line. Partial Season Ticket Holders requesting Lower Bowl Seating--have been placed in Left Field.

50% of all Seat Requests by Fans during Relocation received their FIRST CHOICE. 90% Received one of their first THREE CHOICES.

There wil be some sort of Get to Know Your Seat type events--but no dates yet--as The Ballpark is still VERY MUCH a Construction Site. Mr. Kasten told me this is something the Team Definitely wants to do, just not sure of the dates.

Although, All Season Ticket Holders are invited to a Special Get to Know The Park Exhibition Game on March 29th--against The Baltimore Orioles. This GAME IS FREE for all Season Ticket Holders. No Individual Game Seats will be sold. The Remainder of Seats will be provided that day only--for Our Washington Nationals Programs for Youths in the City.

Mr. Kasten is still hoping to play a March 30th Season Opener Night Game on ESPN. The Logistics have not worked out.

There are still SOME Infield Gallery Full Season Tickets Available (not Terrace as I originally wrote--thinking too much of Our Former Section 320--thanks ABM). The Team officially states they are working off a Full Season Ticket Holder Equivalent of 15,000 Season Ticket Holders at the end of 2007. A few thousand more have signed up since.

Those 2008 First Time Season Ticket Holders will be placed in their seating about 4 weeks from now. This would allow for any last minute jockeying by anyone that might not be happy from 2005, 2006 or 2007 Season Ticket Holder Classes wanting to change their location.

Single Game Tickets for 2008 will go on sale in Mid-February.

The Free Shuttle from RFK Stadium to New Nationals Park is still being discussed between The City and Our Washington Nationals. From the looks of those at this Press Conference upon answering this question--you have to figure its going to happen. No one seemed taken back by this problem.

Those are the Basics. The African Queen and I took another ton of pictures covering the ballpark. Also, we had a nice chat with Jacqueline Dupree from JDland.com. She's like a celebrity. Everyone wanted to say hello to her.

More coming later--as I transcribe the Stan Kasten Interview. If you have questions--please let me know. There might be some information that I can pass on that--doesn't come to mind right now.


nats311 said...

Any mention of information being available online (through My Nationals Tickets) on Friday?

An Briosca Mor said...

SBF, when you say there are still some Infield Terrace full season plans available, do you really mean Infield Gallery? I ask because I don't recall any section called Infield Terrace in the new park, and Infield Gallery was my first choice. Which would mean, if there are still some Infield Gallery seats available, that I got my first choice and it's just a matter now of finding out exactly where my seat will be in that section.

Screech's Best Friend said...

An Briosca Mor--Yes, my mistake. I meant Gallery. Thinking too much of our Former Section 320. Thanks for correcting me, and I have done so on the post.

Chris Needham said...

"Which would mean, if there are still some Infield Gallery seats available, that I got my first choice and it's just a matter now of finding out exactly where my seat will be in that section."

Likely, but not necessarily. They may have held back some of those since they're more desirable for full-season packages, making them unavailable to partial-season holders. (assuming you're a partial guy)

I'd hope they didn't do that, but it wouldn't be unheard of.

Anonymous said...

Any news about the Fan Fest? When? Where in Bethesda? Who'll be there, etc?

Screech's Best Friend said...

No Word on Fanfest or where in Bethesda. As far as the My Nationals Ticket question--Mr. Kasten said they just started THIS WEEK with New Staffing in the Ticket Sales Department and they, along with everyone else is dealing with all the relocation information personally, and with regular mail. My Nationals Tickets will come later--once everyone is set in their seats. At least that is my understanding.

Anonymous said...

Can you confirm or deny Chris's comment? That would be false advertising, Stan is smarter than that isn’t he? If they did hold back those seats from Partial STH requests (after they advertised them to us I for one would never come back as a STH!

An Briosca Mor said...

"Likely, but not necessarily. They may have held back some of those since they're more desirable for full-season packages, making them unavailable to partial-season holders. (assuming you're a partial guy)"

I'm all guy (at least the last time I looked anyway), but I doubt very much that they would do such a thing. Especially since there were several sections that were clearly designated as "full season plans only", and Infield Gallery wasn't one of them. If they weren't willing to sell partial plans there, why would they not say so from the get-go?

Chris Needham said...

I'm not saying that they held back the entire section, but that it might make sense for them to hold back a certain number of seats as 'full-season only' for when new people want to sign on the dotted line.

It'll be easier for them to sell the good upper-deck seats, than the things down the line.

To be clear, I'm not saying they did that this year, just that it's a possibility. Most teams/stadiums do that.

Screech's Best Friend said...

As per the question about Gallery Partial and Full Season Plans--I have sent off an email for confirmation--but as I transcribe the Media Availability with Mr. Kasten--he does state that the team has not held back Partial Plans from the Gallery. Then says: "Behind the plate upstairs—we will have Full Seasons still available, behind the plate—upstairs. And, of course many great locations for halves and partials." Everyone under the impression the team is holding back "Some" seats for Full Ticket Plans. Definitely--not all. There is some business sense to that fact. I hope that is clear. If I get a response--I will post that up also.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Mr. Kasten did personally respond to my question concerning The Gallery Level Ticket Plans--as well as an update on "My Nationals Tickets"

His Exact Responses:

"Not all sections were available for all plans , but the infield gallery has mostly full season tickets as well as some sections with half-season and partials."

" At sometime on Friday, "my Nationals Tickets" will be live online."

" And of course, we will have our full customer service staff standing by to answer all questions. I am extremely pleased with the great care and attention our staff dedicated to this unbelievably complicated task. But I hope you agree with me that there is no one who could be unhappy with their seats once they actually see them. That's how good the proximity and sightlines are."

Hopefully, that will help everyone along. Gotta give Mr. Kasten credit for responding swiftly to my follow ups. Honestly--I can't imagine many other Team Presidents doing the same. He does attempt to keep the lines of communication open. That's good for everyone. Really is.

An Briosca Mor said...

I could certainly see them holding back some of the prime upper deck seats and not allowing new STHers to purchase partial plans there, but as the anonymous poster before me said, they would really be screwing their existing partial-plan holders if they changed the rules mid-stream and did that. I realize, Mr. Needham, that you operate from the fundamental position that the Lerners and Kasten are evil and penurious folks, and that anything they do that happens to be generous to the lowly fan is a momentary slip-up on their part, but I really don't think that's so. They said from the beginning of the relocation process that their goal was to be fair and do it right in order to keep their STH base happy. So if they didn't want to sell as many upper-deck seats to partial plan holders as there was demand for in the priority-granting process, then they would have marked those sections off limits to partial plans in the relocation brochure, as they did with many of the sections down below.

There are really two different kinds of season ticket holders, aren't there? Those who think that ownership is out to rip them off or screw them at any opportunity, and those who realize that's not the case. (Note: This generalization does not apply in Baltimore, or to football teams with racist names playing in fields named after major shipping companies.) It will be very clear who falls into which category as this relocation process plays out, won't it?

Chris Needham said...

Hey, I know I'll be happy with my seats -- they're reasonably cheap!

Anonymous said...

The relocation I received today is horrible -- I went from 10 rows off the field, to 32 rows back, just 8 rows from the back of lower bowl! And I went from section 112 (right at the pitcher's mound) at RFK to section 131 (past first base). Since I was a full season's ticket holder from day one, I am not sure how I could have been pushed so far back. If they can't improve, there is no reason to keep them -- better to buy the best seats I want from ticket brokers when I actually want to go.

Anonymous said...

I'm also now in section 131 (row AA), but feel ok about it. I was in section 311 since 2005 (also a full season ticket holder from the beginning) so its comparable distance (each 20-25 rows back).

I wish I were a section or 2 closer to the plate, but overall consider these to be pretty good seats.

Anonymous said...

Will someone please do the math here - "The Team officially states they are working off a Full Season Ticket Holder Equivalent of 15,000 Season Ticket Holders at the end of 2007."
I am one of those ticket holders. Section 310 in RFK Row 11.
Next year: Section 134 Row EE - not even close to the sight line I had in 310.
How many Home/Visitor Infield Box and dugout box seats are there between 114-118 and 127-131? How many club seats are there? They are all sold out. That seems to me to put the figure at way over 15,000 - The Nats need to show a little more transparency in this process....tell that to Kasten the next time you see him - there's no way they followed their own rule on season ticket holders getting first dibs - they're greasing that DC political and business machine that that's supplying the schmear gelt for that stadium.

Anonymous said...

n April 17, while the Nationals were out of town, Pope Benedict said mass before an estimated 46,000 faithful Catholics -- making this a true "Green Cathedral" in every sense of the word. He then left Washington to do the same in New York's Yankee Stadium.

I think that is really incredible,
and this is truely an enjoyable post.