Monday, May 05, 2008

Odds & Ends While Away

Being on the Campaign Trail again (Thanks to Hillary & Barack)--not much free time. But, I wanted to pass on some information that has come my way concerning seats at New Nationals Park.

Not only have many noticed the openness of The Presidents Club & Diamond Club Seats behind Home Plate--but The Stars & Stripes Level Seats have not been fully packed as well--despite being sold out. Our Washington Nationals confirm that each and every seat from Sections 206 to Section 221 is paid for--in full. In fact, Team President Stan Kasten personally told Sohna and I that everyone is indeed sold. Although, he couldn't say why many are not using their seats on a regular basis.

But, the smart shopper can apparently take advantage now to purchase Stars & Stripes Level Seats to certain games. Our friends, Phil & Robert, this past Sunday--turned in their regular season tickets--two seats in Section 130 and treated Phil's Sister and Robert's Wife to yesterday's game with The Pittsburgh Pirates. Paying for the price difference for the upgrade--they enjoyed the afternoon sitting in Section 218--two rows behind The African Queen and I.

Apparently, for some games--certain Club Level Ticket Holders have turned their seats back over to the team for tickets to other games later in the season. And Our Washington Nationals are selling those turned-in seats on game days--apparently not in advance. Phil & Robert are the second group of folks we know that have purchased Club Level Seats on Gameday. Recently, I recall reading someone else mentioning this online--in another thread.

Also--we know of some friends who have purchased Diamond Club Seats--without the food option. The $35 Food & Beverage Credit for In-Seat Waiter Service. These folks told us the price of their tickets were reduced by $35 to sit in Diamond Club for that particular baseball game at New Nationals Park.

Finally--I am happy to read that some ushers are attempting to enforce the rule of not allowing patrons to walk down from the concourses to their seats during play. It's going to take a while to get everyone on the right page. And I wouldn't mind seeing Ushers have a small sign to hold up--at the top of each aisle--to get the attention of those who might not be aware. Reinforcement, that not walking down during play is a Team and Stadium Request--to be adhered to.

Just passing along information that might be helpful to someone.


Anonymous said...

Interesting tidbits today about the Club seats and the Diamond seats.

I sat in Section 211 for one of the Mets games. Although it was nice and I had a good time, the section seemed oddly quiet to me. I wasn't sure what the issue was: a weeknight game, a game when the Nats were not-so-hot, or just the empty seats. It's interesting to hear that the seats are, in fact, sold.

Even more interesting is your info on discounted Diamond Club seats. I assume you mean that the price would be $170 minus $35, right? Do you know if an additional discount is possible if you decline the parking pass? It's probably too much to hope for, but if you were to subtract another $40 for not-needed premium parking, I calculate a maybe-worth-considering $95 price for a special occasion.

An Briosca Mor said...

My guess as to why those Club seats are empty even though they are sold is that they were bought by scalpers. Yes, there are scalpers (or ticket brokers as they would prefer to be called) in the season ticket base, many of whom have been there since 2005 and who got seats at Nationals Park in the relocation process. I bet if you check Craigslist and EBay you would find lots of Infield Club seats for sale there. I'd be really surprised if Stan Kasten isn't aware of this, although I can see why he wouldn't want to admit it publicly.

And I think in certain cases you can buy turned-in Infield Club seats in advance. I was buying advance tickets for a game on a week or so ago and noticed Infield Club as one of the seating categories available for selection. I went with Infield Gallery, though - a much better deal. It does still piss me off that they refused to sell me a 20-game plan in Infield Gallery, insisting that it would be for full-season plans only, and now there are plenty of single game tickets available in that section.

Anonymous said...

I'm on the aisle in the lower bowl where those long paths to your seats become full of folks. I am impressed with the difference, many fewer bodys walking during play. The policy is starting to become meaningful now that people know about it and observe it.

Sam R said...


We actually scored two extra Infield Clubs for Opening Day a few hours before gametime on the Nats website. Very surprising those were returned to the system. My row in 216 is never filled and I can't explain it either. There are lots of folks milling around in the Stars & Stripes Club, maybe that would account for a few but not all of the absentees. I think the Nats should offer a pregame raffle for say 5-10 Diamond Club seats, drop 5 bucks into a bucket (Which half goes to the Nats foundation) and they draw winners. A win-win-win as far as I can see, some fans get upgrades, money goes to charity, and empty spaces are filled. Cheers,


Anonymous said...

On a totally separate note, I wanted to make a few comments about the stadium. We finally brought our daughter to the game and was able to try out the Kids Meal. This was PERFECT. Hot dog, sliced apples, small juice box, and some stickers. For only $6 it was a hit! We also got dragged in to make a Build a Screech...I mean Bear. But our Screech is named Wookie! Finally, we love the electric golf carts that help transport folks to their cars or shuttles. Being pregnant, this is going to become more valuable to me during the hot summer months. And this is a free services...drivers appreciate tips tho.

Anonymous said...

So how do I upgrade my season tix to a particular game? CAn I just show up at the box office day of and see what's available?

Screech's Best Friend said...

mick: according to our friends Phil & Robert--that is exactly what they did, show up on the day of game to see what was available.

Anonymous said...

It might be the $300 and $150 seats are sold out, but it still then seems rather odd that the last few rows (some entire rows) remain empty in those sections behind home plate. You'd think that those rows would at least have a few souls sprinkled here and there. Re this trade-in option; Do you just trade in your seats and pay the difference?

Screech's Best Friend said...

fav61--the $300 & $150 are NOT sold out. Not even close--just to clarify. And yes--according to Phil & Robert--they traded in and paid the difference.

Anonymous said...

SBF: Thanks for the clarification. I confused the Stars & Stripes with the Diamond & President's clubs...Maybe as someone suggested, they could put those seats up for sale at a substantial discount the day of the game, like $100 or $200 apiece...could put some more people in those seats, although not really fair to those who paid $150and $300 in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Is this whole seat moving up and down during play really that big of a deal, or is it a select few that have raised up a storm?

Rick D said...

Anonymous 9:16p --

Getting to and from seats during an at-bat is pretty annoying for most everyone else who is watching and enjoying the game. A lot of folks score the game by pitch. It's really just a matter of etiquette, consideration -- and modelling both of those for the many kids at the games. In many other quality stadiums around the league, fans are reminded of this, sometimes even by ushers with a small sign who block entrance to the aisle until the at-bat is over.

Of course, fans who are on cell phones or paying attention to other things probably won't mind, so you can get back to a President's Club pretty much any time....

Anonymous said...

I agree with An Briosca Mor who said at 12:00 AM that "It does still piss me off that they refused to sell me a 20-game plan in Infield Gallery, insisting that it would be for full-season plans only, and now there are plenty of single game tickets available in that section."

AMEN to that, ABM! I'm out in 231, where rows A through D were off limits to 20 Gamers, so they sit there empty most games. Same thing with the sections 225-227-229. Solution? I just go right to the empty seats and sit there the whole game. Next Year? I do not renew and buy my tickets on a game by game basis.

Anonymous said...

I am also not happy with seeing single game seats available in several areas that were offered to half or partial season ticket holders via the lottery, but were not sold to us so they could be reserved for full season plans. Well, I think that was a big marketing mistake by the Nats. Put your loyal fan base out in the outfield or further back from the field, while all those non-existent full season plan seats go empty. Especially those $300 or $150 seats behind home plate. Embarrassing for the organization and their fans. I won't renew my half-season tix next year either. Why do that and sit out in section 106 when I can just walk up and get better seats anyhow? The whole season ticket process is a joke. A lot of us feel like we were lied to when the Nats told us the past 3 years to "get your season tickets now so you will have first dibs at great seats in the new stadium!" Hogwash.

Anonymous said...

The reason those seats are empty is because they are purchased by corporate entities--law firms and lobbyists.

What does that mean?

Even when those tickets are handed out by the owner to employees or clients, usually those people have to work way past the 7:00 start time. Do any of you work in a major DC law firm? You don't just walk out of the office at 6:00. When the client calls with an "I just got served" phone call at 5:00, then your night just got dedicated to the office until about midnight.

Anonymous said...

Mick asked:
>So how do I upgrade my season tix to a particular game? CAn I just show up at the box office day of and see what's available?

For season ticket holders, there is a "Ticket Services" door on the side of the EAST Garage. Go towards the CF gate at Half/N; the Will Call windows are on the street side of the garage. Go along the side of the Garage like you you headed into the gate by the "Rushmores" area; you'll see the "Ticket Services" - with two windows - behind a glass door.

I upgraded my season ticket for a club seat at a recent Saturday night game. The only beef I have, is that for turned in season tickets, I received the season ticket holder value as a credit, but was charged the day of game, gate price and the PREMIUM price for the club seat. A 3B club seat cost me $60, when I was expecting to be charged $45 (minus the value of my traded in ticket).

This seems like a different policy than previous years. I asked to talk to a manager, and one was provided, but he bascially told me - that's the policy.

I owe the stcomments address a note on this. I think for upgraded season ticket holder tickets, I should be afforded the season ticket holder price. If I buy additional seats, I understand I'll be charged the day of game price - and the premium ticket value for a Saturday night.

As to the availability of club seats, there are IF Club seats available on line for tonight's game. Section 213, Row C, Seats 9-10 were presented to me on line.

Has anyone dropped off tickets for Will Call pick up this year? I used to use that service a lot at RFK at the hone plate entrance. I haven;t dropped tickets for Will Call yet this year. Any help here?


Anonymous said...

I used Will Call yesterday. At the window they provide a special envelope, on which you write information about the person picking up the ticket. The person picking up the ticket needs to show ID.

The process worked like a charm. My blind date ... not as much. : )

I agree that ticket upgrades should be ST price for ST price. Long ago I asked my rep about this for the ticket exchange program (not the same as an upgrade, but seems the policy should be the same). My rep said that upgrades through the exchange program would be ST price for ST price. One issue might be "which ST price?" Full-season for full-season, partial for partial?

Anonymous said...

Looking for Nats tickets, I was surprised at the high costs. They rival the costs for tickets to see the Mets play in Shea. Ridiculous, seeing that the Nationals basically field a AAA team. They expect me to pay $50-60 for a outfield reserved seat to watch Austin Kearns as the cleanup hitter and watch Tim Redding and John Lannan take the hill?? Get real, for that money I will just watch a Potomac Nationals or Frederick Keys game. The big markets that field good teams can charge these prices--NY, Chicago, Boston, Philly, LA, but not the worst team in baseball. I haven't been to the new stadium and I'm sure it's beautiful and makes RFK look like, well...RFK. But these prices to watch a minor league caliber team in the middle of a DC ghetto is nuts. They're lucky the DC fan base is transient and fairly apathetic to baseball, just looking for something to do on a night out and not really interested in seeing good baseball. At that point I think I'd just take my family to an Applebee's in a strip mall and house a couple plates of ribs, or go drinking at Old Glory and hit on cap hill interns and g'town coeds. Ok, I think I'm done venting.