Saturday, November 17, 2007

Section 320

Disheartened Sohna and I were to read and hear that some Season Ticket Holders of Our Washington Nationals did not get any of their expected choices during the recently completed Relocation Process. Hopefully, The Team will take care of those Ticket Holders who feel they should have received better seats. We only wish those folks the best. Never, do you want to move from an older stadium to a new one--feeling left out. Especially, after supporting Our Team for over three seasons.

Having said that, NEVER could this process be perfect. That's an absolute impossibility. There is No Way Our Washington Nationals could have satisfied every single person 100%. Just not going to happen--over anything so complex--granting new seats at New Nationals Park. No, its not as easy as many have stated. Yet, for the most part, from what I had read and heard over the past 24 hours--far more seem happy than sad over their given seat assignments. And before anyone starts hammering away on me and Section 320--many of US did not get everything we wanted, also. We were in the same boat as you.

In fact, a complete Makeover of The Former Section 320 is officially in the works. Drastic Changes are in store. Yes, The Section 320 from The Old Ballyard on East Capitol Street, The African Queen and I came to love, will no longer exist on South Capitol Street. A Breakup based on many factors. Most of which really could not be avoided. Its the nature of the beast when wants and desires change. New Nationals Park is a completely different venue from RFK. The New Stadium is geared to make money on its most desirable seats. Expectantly--seat prices went up. That Rising Cost Factor a key decision maker for some--and understandably so.

Others were concerned about sitting in the Sun. One of the very best enjoyments from sitting in Section 320--was NEVER being affected by Rain, Sun, Sleet or Snow. Always, we were protected thanks to the Mezzanine Overhang above. Any Overhang at New Nationals Park mostly does not exist. Much of the park will sit in the sun during Day Games. Anyone that has roasted at RFK during any summer baseball game--will understand that worry. Its a big one, especially for those who have enjoyed the comfort of shade protection since 2005.

Also--some wanted to move behind Our Washington Nationals New First Base Dugout at New Nationals Park. In particular, Sohna and I did not wish to remain behind The Visiting Dugout and listen to the many StubHub and Ebay Buyers and Fans from The Visiting Teams. Those Away Team Fans that consistently sat behind The Top Drawing Teams at RFK Stadium's First Base Dugout. No, for us--and other friends as well--the less Tomahawk Chop, Phillie and Mets Fans as possible--the better.

At the same time--all of us had completely different Priority Status, affecting the final outcome greatly.

Would we all have LOVED to stay together in our same configuration enjoyed over the past three years? Yeah, you better believe it--that I have no doubt. And to their great credit--Our Washington Nationals were willing an attempt, to move all of us, as ONE GROUP, to a set part of New Nationals Park. Together, I am certain we could have remained a group. But, it was also made clear that ALL OF US would have to settle for less, in seating, to satisfy everyone. Priority Status was a Major Factor, but so was price point. In the end--some of us attempted to stay together, but it simply didn't work out.

No one is to blame. Neither Our Washington Nationals, nor any of Our Friends. We shall miss them greatly--but that also doesn't mean we can't still enjoy each others company during baseball games on South Capitol Street. Spread Out we are--but some not so far away to be anything but distant cousins.

Sohna and I were placed in Club Level, Section 218. Others were placed in Sections 207, 210 & 220. All those friends also in nearby Club Level locations--just not within shouting distance. A few have been placed in Section 113 down the left field line. Even some more--down the right field line in Sections 223 & 225. A couple of folks we have yet to hear from. One of Our Good Friend's Ticket Group--that sat to our right at RFK had a breakup. A few of those folks are looking to join with others right now.

The Baseball Games will go on. So will Our Friendships.

The Fact that we shall no longer be completely together will not spoil our fun. When Sohna and I first sat in Our Seats in Section 320 for the very first time in March, 2005--We didn't know ANYONE. Come March 2008--The African Queen and I may well recognize some familiar faces--but we are confident new friendships are on the horizon. And, just as much entertainment as well. Unquestionably, we shall come across even more Baseball Fans of Our Washington Nationals that enjoy the fun we always relished in Section 320 at RFK Stadium. That, I have no doubt.

Now, Section 218 is Our New Location--but the The Nats320 Blog WILL NOT change its name. Sohna and I experienced SO MUCH Happiness, Amusement, Thrills and Satisfaction among Our Dear Friends there--we don't ever want to forgot those last three FABULOUS YEARS on East Capitol Street. Really, they were WONDERFUL!!

The only questions now are whether MY BEST FRIEND SCREECH!! will be able to fly up to see us? And, what are we going to do about the "Let Teddy Win!! Chant. I am sure Teddy will be able to hear us from Club Level--down on the field--lets just see if he can climb that railing in front of us in New Section 218 for one of his Virtuoso Performances. Now, That WOULD BE IMPRESSIVE!!

Good Luck to EVERYONE looking to get their seat assignments changed. For the baseball games to be fun--you got to enjoy the seat you are sitting in.

Sohna and I look forward to seeing ALL OF YOU at New Nationals Park in 2008.

PS--Yes, The African Queen and I will miss Our Friends from Section 320. But, at the same time--we are very happy with our relocated seats at New Nationals Park.


Anonymous said...

Section 218, huh? Those look like some pretty good seats SBF, and you and Sohna both deserve them. I bet you can hardly wait to get walk the new park now knowing where you seats are!

Anonymous said...

You and Sohna definitely got some great seats, SBF. We got seats in the leftfield mezzanine especially because there is some decent overhang to cover us in the last 6 rows of those sections. We're in section 204, row J, and I couldn't be happier. We're farther from homeplate than we were at RFK (we were in section 424), but we're now under cover and closer to the field than in our previous seats. All things considered, these new seats will be an upgrade over what we had.

Anonymous said...

natsva- take another look at the post from Nov 13. Judging from the picture of Sohna in 218, I'm pretty sure SBF has known where his seats would be for some time.

Brandon said...

I'm pretty happy with my seats- section 404-they were just what I requested. I'm pretty sure I'll be undercover, too, which is great.

Yes, they are in the upper deck, but my nearly identical seats in RFK had great views that I never minded.

The one thing that disappoints me in general is the (relatively) high-dollar seats in the outfield bleachers. I wish the Nats had put some cheap seats in the outfield bleachers like they do at so many parks to create a "bleacher bums" environment for us low-dollar fans. Anyone who's ever taken in a game in the bleachers at Wrigley knows what I'm talking about. Just regular joes taking in the game and cheering on the team.

I know the stadium was built for the premium customer, but it would have been nice to create a small section for cheap diehards like myself.

Now, it will be interesting to see how well the Nats do in selling season tickets this year. Demand has dropped for three straight seasons at RFK...exactly how profound will the "new stadium effect" be?

I suspect that some of the seats that are currently being held in reserve for potential full season ticket plans will come available to partial season ticket holders as we get closer to the season. The team is betting on being able to sell more full season plans than it ever has, and I just don't see that happening until they upgrade the product on the field.

Anonymous said...

Brandon: That would be nice if there were an option for half/partial plans to 'upgrade' if they can't sell enough full season plans, but I haven't seen anything, or heard anything about that from the Nats. When I switched locations with Nats customer service, all they said was I could get much better seats if I upgraded to a full season plan, of course! With me, it's really not a money issue. As other people here have stated, I just can't go to 81 games, and the hassle of trying to find several more people to try to split it up isn't something that is feasible for me.

Anonymous said...

Being a member of the class of '05, and a full season ticket holder (Section 313, Row 3, Seats 1-2-3-4). We were up front with our payment every year - never late. Not only did we not get choice 1, we didn't get choice 2 or 3 either. I was reading NJ, and I'm noticing that Partial Plan holders are getting 1st choice. This makes absolutely no sense to me. MY only guess is that our three choices were for the best seats, behind the home dugout, visitor's dugout, and any infield club seat. I assume we asked for the moon and didn't get off the launch pad, therefore they stuck us out in right field. We are a season ticket group from the Department of Justice, so we have a group of the finest prosecutors in the land frantically working the National's FO and our season ticket rep. Nevertheless, no matter where we end up, we will not will not waiver in our support for Our Beloved Nationals. I just pray we can fix this.

Anonymous said...

"The New Stadium is geared to make money on its most desirable seats. Expectantly--seat prices went up. That Rising Cost Factor a key decision maker for some--and understandably so."

Even you, the most hardcore of fans, have to admit that the ticket prices are outrageous. Behind homeplat is $300 and $150 a little further back, and after a quick look at most of the MLB's seating prices I couldn't find a team with higher prices except the Red Sox and the Yankees (to be fair some teams haven't put up the prices yet, or say "contact for more information" for the seats behind homeplate). And ticket prices will be slightly higher for us average joe's. I could only make it our to a few games each year because of budget reasons; but with these ridiculous price and what will likely be ridiculous food and parking prices, I'll be lucky to make it out for one game. They're a new team, with a losing history, with what will likely be a bad team, in a town where if your not the redskins your crap, and they're getting a new stadium almost free of charge; are telling me that with all this, they still think they can get away with these prices.....this is crazy.

Screech's Best Friend said...

natsfan7: I actually agree that the $300 and $150 Seats are high priced. But, if they get it--so be it. Personally, I can't find value in that cost for any regular season baseball game. In fact, sitting behind a screen is not my way of enjoying the sport. Feels confining. At the same time--if all those seats are sold--the team should have capital to build the franchise. In some respects--its a double edge sword though.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

I'm sitting in section 222U. While it is not the same as the mezzanine section in 218, it will be a much less of a walk if I want to stop by to chat with SBF. Anyway, I'll pay for my tickets later this week, and then all I will have to do is wait for Opening Day.

P.S. SBF, you haven't mentioned anything about the Nats offer for a model of Nationals Park to season ticket holders who pay in full by December 18th!

Screech's Best Friend said...

Eddie: Stop by anytime. On the Ceramic Model--I reported this last week from my post concerning the Grass Unveiling Press Conference at New Nationals Park. Mr. Kasten mentioned the gift to me, for those that pay by the December 14 deadline in full.

Anonymous said...

Keep the Gang together!
Pre & Post game tailgates come to mind.

Anonymous said...

Those of us formerly of section 320, row 2, seats 14 & 15, are now in section 210(3rd choice) and have aisle seats which is great. Thanks for all the good information, especially the last few weeks. Looking forward to seeing you and Sohna in March or April!

Anonymous said...

So while in your Relocation Guide Post you stated that you'd likely end up paying $5 more per seat, you are going to end up paying $16 more per seat ($34 last you to $50 this year)? Pretty signinfcant increase, no? Ours went from $40 to $60, so we are feeling your pain. Well worth it in my opinion. Congrats.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that I would characterize most as happy. Maybe those who didn't expect much and didn't get much are fine with it. But people in the infield MVP sections almost uniformly are unhappy at being pushed up and out. From what I hear, some class 2005, full seasoners who had the MVP level seats, meaning only diamond clubbers ranked higher, did not get even their 3rd choice even when the third choice was club level! How does that happen? How is possible that those in the 300's at RFK got club level and those of higher priority got none of their 3 choices when one of their choice was club? I must not understand how this worked

An Briosca Mor said...

"How is possible that those in the 300's at RFK got club level and those of higher priority got none of their 3 choices when one of their choice was club? I must not understand how this worked."

I'm an upper-deck, cheap seat guy both at RFK and in Nationals Park, so I'm literally above the fray here, but I can easily see how this could have happened by following the rules as they were stated, with no nefarious dealings at all. Here's how: First, all STHers were ranked in priority order, part of which included the seating category in RFK. So clearly on the priority scale the MVPs would have been higher than your 300s, all other things being equal. But suppose your MVPs were looking for four contiguous seats in the new park, and your 300s only wanted a pair of seats. As the process worked its way down for each STH account from highest priority to lowest, they used the preferences established by the questionnaire to place each group into specific seats in the new stadium. By the time your 4-seat MVP group was reached in the priority list, there might not have been four contiguous seats available in the club level to put them in, even though there could have been many available pairs of seats in club. So your MVPs got put into some other section according to preferences made in the questionnaire. But later, when the 2-seat 300 level group was reached in the priority rankings, there could have been pairs of seats still available in the club level, so they got placed there if that was their choice. Perfectly fair, according to the rules laid out in the relocation brochure. Remember, they did ask in the questionnaire if you had more than one seat how you wanted them arranged and if you had to have them next to each other. That answer probably bumped several large groups out of sections they wanted to be in.

BTW, congrats to SBF and the African Queen for scoring primo club seats. It does make me wish I'd tried harder to come by Section 320 last season to say hello as you asked (I did come by there once or twice before heading upstairs, but you didn't happen to be there at the time) because I guess it won't be possible to just drop by sometime if you're in club now. Will you have some announced "office hours" out on the concourse where you'll be holding court now so folks like me can say hello? Even if you don't, I appreciate your blog and I'm sure you won't lose your role as "voice of the average fan" even though you'll now be in the rarified air of the club seats. At least I hope I'm right on that, anyway...

Screech's Best Friend said...

an briosca mor: Sohna and I will not change. Coming to the games is about having fun. That's what its all about--no matter where we sit, you sit, or anyone else sits.

The African Queen says (laughingly) she will be holding court for you on the concourse at a predetermined location--if you so desire (Said In Fun!!).

anonymous on rising prices: Yes, the increase is more than I expected previously. I originally thought the initial pricing was before the discount to season ticket holders--not the fact that $55 "IS" the Discount Price. But--like you--we feel the cost is worth it. Its going to be fun and we are looking forward to a slightly different experience. Sohna and I were talking beforehand that if we wanted to try something different--it would be best to make this move at the beginning--instead of missing out on something at New Nationals Park and not be able to attempt a similar move later.

Anonymous said...

The cost of my tickets has increased by 32% (from $22 to $29), as I move from Lower View MVP at RFK to Leftfield Mezzanine at Nationals Park. But I believe that these new seats will be better than what I had, so I don't really mind the increase in cost.

Anonymous said...

I'm convinced we asked for too much and didn't get any of our choices. I've also read, and heard, that a lot of the diamond clubbers at RFK did not renew the premo seats at Nats Park and instead asked for the seats that were comperable to what we had at RFK. Not really cricket if you ask me. I can't see anyone buying those $300 - $150 seats. My goodness. No wonder we got aced out of decent seats. The Tim Russerts' and James Carvels' and Mary Chaneys' bumped us aside.

Anonymous said...

Very, very disappointed in seat assignment. Season ticketholder from the start. Rewarded by being sent an additional 10 rows back from the field. And told deposits are non-refundable. They are going to have a hard time keeping ticket holders with treatment like that.

Singing-Lisa said...

SBF and Sohna, we'll miss you!! We and our group will now be sitting in 206, but we did get aisle seating again. I forget what row. Are we under any cover?!?

Anonymous said...

The Post is doing a great disservice to the readers by not investigating the process the Nats used to allocate these seats - it's a sham - and undoubtedly non-season ticket holders are involved as well. If they had only 15,000 season ticket holders to accomodate, how do my two seats end up going from 310 to 134?

Anonymous said...


Every time I look at the webcam, I am puzzled by the 2 entrances to the field way down the baselines that cut into the downstairs seats a little, and then there's a spot for at least 2 rows of seats from the dugouts down the foul lines that seem to be serviced by this entrance. Is there another tier of extra special seats no one talks about, with their own baseline under-the-stadium entrances, or is there something else going on here?

Just wondering.

- New Section 220 (Old Section 316) Happy with my new seats.

Cathy said...

YKW - I'm pretty sure those will be handicapped seats. The entrances are so no stairs are involved in getting there.