Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Deposit, The Shuttle & The Slugger

The African Queen and I put down our 20% Deposit the other day for Our Washington Nationals 2009 Season Tickets. Initial Deposit must be received by this Friday, November 21st to, supposedly, retain your seats for next season. We now have the choice to pay in full by December 12th and receive the offered Curly "W" Crystal Ball Gift some time in 2009, or make a 40% payment on that date and then the final 40% payment in January, 2009.

As we have stated before, The African Queen and I are in this for the long haul. The fun we have is well worth the time, money & effort for attending games at Nationals Park. And we are remaining in our Club Level Seats in Section 218, Row A. But understanding the current economy is troubling for many these days and the concern of others over the current state of Our Team--the question today is: Are You Re-Upping your Season Tickets by this Friday at Midnight?

If not--why not?

Please give your well thought out points. And if it's a financial decision not to renew--what do you hope Our Washington Nationals can do to help your particular situation? It's worth discussing.

Also yesterday, Our Washington Nationals sent out an email reminding Season Ticket Holders to put those deposits down by tomorrow evening. Included in the email, was a notice that The Nats Express Shuttle, the free service from RFK Stadium Lot 8 and Nationals Park for patrons wishing to park for free, will be back for 2009.

Good News, especially considering DC Councilman Tommy Wells comments a few weeks back that he does not wish to see The Nats Express continue this coming season because it causes DISRUPTION to his constituents of Ward Six? Now, we find it hard to believe that a series of buses moving along a couple of streets really disrupts anything. Of course last season, before the Inaugural Season of New Nationals Park, the same Councilman Wells requested Our Washington Nationals to make a Pre-Determined stop in Barracks Row at all of Mr. Wells' Area Restaurants and Bars to further Ward Business. A request that Our Washington Nationals decided was not necessary at that time while trying to work out all the logistics of the first season in a new ballpark.

Politics at it's very best in Our Beloved Capital. If you can't get what you want, you try to kill what everybody else gets for free.

As we wrote last year, Sohna and I are not for any change in the Nats Shuttle Route. It's timely enough to park your car at RFK, wait to get on the bus and then unload at 4th and M Streets SE, then walk the rest of the way to Nationals Park. Then, reverse your course after the game. No need for another stop or delay.

Councilman Wells' office did not return my call. But, Our Washington Nationals Team President Stan Kasten DID return my email asking for clarification pondering whether any of Mr. Wells' comments could disrupt The Nats Shuttle Service for 2009.

His exact response: "At the moment, I'm not aware of any route changes."

The Nats Express Free Shuttle is here for 2009, again. That's a good thing--especially with the current economy--every saved dollar helps fans that want to attend baseball games on South Capitol Street--whether Councilman Wells wants to disrupt it or not.

Finally, I've been watching the Mark Teixeira Free Agency Sweepstakes closely--just not writing or talking about it. I believe Our Washington Nationals are SERIOUS in looking for a deal. I really do. They have always said Our Team will pounce on opportunity. Our General Manager Jim Bowden has continually stated Washington needs a left-handed slugger. Even better, Teixeira is a switch hitter. Everyone also knows that Teixeira's Super Agent, Scott Boros, is a formidable foe. Although Mr. Kasten once told me he has a good working relationship with Mr. Boros. That's a good thing.

But at the same time, Washington has to be looking at other options. If The Los Angeles Angels are going to be opening up the bidding for Mark at 8 Years and $153 Million, Washington better also be seriously looking at The San Diego Padres Stellar First Baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The Padres Owner, John Moores is, reportedly, headed toward a nasty divorce. Mr. Moores needs capital (CASH) to finalize his personal deals. So, he's looking to, not only sell his team, but unload potentially high cost contracts. Gonzalez is reportedly available and under team control for three more years. That's OK with me, if a trade can be made. This left-handed power bat is a Gold Glove Level First Baseman--exactly what Our Washington Nationals claim they need. And I don't believe the supposed dislike of JimBo by Padres GM Kevin Towers would EVER get in the middle of a good deal. That would be cutting off your noise, despite your face.

Either Mark Teixeira or Adrian Gonzalez works for me. But if you have the choice of Teixeira for huge dollars for years to come, or three years of Gonzalez to find out what he really has? Which one would you want? They are both, very, very good young players. No question about it.

As far as I am concerned, Our Washington Nationals need to look at ALL THE OPTIONS potentially on the table, not just The Biggest Free Agent Contract out there. If Gonzalez can be had without giving up The Farm, I am all for it. Either way, if Teixeria or Gonzalez make DC their 2009 Home Team, Our Washington Nationals, and Our Fans, are in a better position to win.

And I have little comment on the Cincinnati Slugger Adam Dunn Free Agency rumor of this lefthanded hitter possibly coming to Washington. The Cincinnati Reds Connection has not exactly worked out well for Washington over the past four seasons. Dunn has good power numbers, but is a poor fielder and hits for a low average. He's just not right for Our Team and Our Future.

So, what are your opinions about The Deposit, The Shuttle and The Slugger?


An Briosca Mor said...

Already sent in my renewal deposit for my two 20-game plan seats several weeks ago, and as a follow-on to that I was allowed to relocate to a more preferable location within my previous seating category. No problems, no hassle. But then again, I was in a low budget area already (Upper IF Gallery) and not looking to become a season ticket mogul with a group to put together or piles of expensive tickets to try to unload on StubHub. As a result, much less angst for me than for all of the many loud complainers throughout the Nats blogosphere. I simply buy tickets for the number of games I plan to personally attend, at a price I can afford, and go to the games. Although the losses do become tedious at times, I don't become suicidal and am still able to enjoy the experience more often than not. And gosh, in the thirty games I ended up attending during the tragic 2008 season, the Nats were 16-14. Imagine that!

I realize my whole modus operandi is quite unusual and extremely radical. But gee, perhaps more people ought to give it a try. They might actually find themselves enjoying the whole experience of being a fan for a change!

Anonymous said...

I did renew my four Infield Gallery tickets for 2009, although I reduced from 4x full season to 2x full season and the other 2x at a 41 gamer. Small household budget cuts the reason and too many games last year where I didn't need the 4x to 81 games. I'm also in it for the long haul and love the team and the game.

Yes to either Texieira or Gonzalez, they would be huge additions for us. Big NO to Dunn. The Dave Kingman of this era, and can't bear to watch another former Red make errors, strike out, with the occasional longball mixed in. I don't see where he helps us at all. The Rays formula was right this year - improve the pitching and defense and take your chances with the bats.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused -- I'm reading Option 2 as saying that "Payment in full is due by December 12, 2008. If you make one payment of 20% of your account balance by November 21, 2008, and pay your account in full by December 12, 2008, you will receive an elegant crystal baseball with a Curly W etched into it."

That gives me the impression that the deadline for payment for receiving the souvenir baseball is November 21, but the deadline for payment (if made in full) for the 2009 season tickets is December 12, 2008. If, in fact, the deadline for payment to retain my seat is today at midnight, why does Option 2 say "payment in full is due by December 12, 2008"? A note on the ticket statement itself (perhaps below the seating assignment), or above the two options, saying "a 20% deposit by November 21, 2008 is required to retain these seats" would make this much clearer.

Between the state of the economy, and the state of FO leadership, I'm having mixed feelings about renewing my ticket. I think if I had more confidence in one or the other, the decision would be much easier.

Obviously, the Nationals owners and staff aren't a controlling factor control over the state of the economy. However, I had some questions about the things they do control. I was not impressed by the general manager's lack of professionalism at several points during the season. And hiring coaches by committee leads me to wonder what the manager's, the general manager's (and for that matter, the team president's) role is. While the manager has said all the right things about working with the new coaches, it seems to be an unusual arrangement for a major league baseball team.

Anonymous said...

I renewed my 20 game tickets last week by paying the full amount on- line. I am sucker for collectibles such as the Curly W Crystal Ball.

I also have a call into my rep to see about moving up one level (about a $5 per ticket increase).

Although I probably shouldn't spend the money this year, and I will most likely lose money by not filling four seats each of my 20 games, I decided to do it anyway. You just have to decid what you want to spend money on. I'll cut back somewhere else. But I want to be there for the Nats through good times and bad. I want to be a season ticket holder (if only 20 games)!!

When I go to the games with friends and they pay me money for their ticket, I stick it in a box. By the time my season tickets are needing to be renewed, I've got at least 50% in cash ready to pay it off. It works for me.

In this economy, what I wish is that the Nationals would give that silly crystal ball to ANYONE who bothered to renew their seats. They should be happy we renewed at all! Because it would have really helped me out to do the installment plan and not pay all at once, but as I said, I am sucker for collectibles.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Janet: A 20% deposit is all that is necessary by midnight tonight. When you go online to make that payment, there are just two options--pay in full, or in three installments. The second being due on December 12th. After you make your first payment, the confirmation tells you your next installment is due on 12/12/08. At that point in three weeks time, you have the option to pay in full (and get the gift) or make a 40% payment and the final one in December. December 12th is the set deadline for the crystal ball.

Anonymous said...

My group did not renew. Just didn't enjoy the team enough to commit to a full season. We'll buy individual tickets when they go on sale.

Unknown said...

I had assumed I would get a call from the Nats about renewing my tickets before the deadline, but as of Thursday afternoon, that call never came. So, I called the ticket office and let them know I was interested in moving from section 304 to somewhere around section 204, but that I wanted to know what seats were available in 204 before I paid $900 more for my two 41-game seats. The gentlemen I spoke with was helpful and found me two seats in 204 I was happy with, so I paid for the seats in full. As a previous poster said, when I sell tickets I put the money into an account and keep it until the next year's payment is due, which helps offset some of the cost of the plan. I am concerned that with my seat upgrade I might have a harder time selling my tickets (I sold my 2 sec 304 seats for $35 a game, 2 sec 204 seats are $54 a game, face value), but when I scouted out new seat locations towards the end of last year I thought the view from one deck down was worth the additional money. And, as SBF said, I'm in this for the long haul, and nothing beats a summer night at the ballpark!

Anonymous said...

We opted to renew for a full season after some angst (as someone said in the Outlook Section I think it was: "watching 8 utility players and Ryan Zimmerman" is sort of uninspiring). Two of the four members of our group have dropped out so we will have tons of "extra" tix to unload - even if we go to more games than the last several years. We want to be in for the long haul as well.

Anonymous said...

I have renewed my full-season package in the club and have the makings of a pretty good group with only 15 games unaccounted for so far. I am very glad to hear the Nats Express will continue. Now, if only they could find a drop off spot that was a bit closer to the gate........

VCUAlum Kyle said...

I did not renew this season.
I became a season ticket holder the last year of RFK in 2007. I only spent $210 for a 20 game plan. I live in Richmond, VA which is 1.5-2.5 hour drive depending on traffic up I-95 to I-395. In 2005 I was only able to make it to 5 games, 6 in 2006, 6 in 2007 (my favorite season), in 2008 I only made it to 4. 2008 Started off great with the huge opening night win and starting 3-0, after that I felt I did not have a connectiong with the team.

In '07 the Nats Caravan came to Richmond, not in '08. In RFK you could exchange your tix for games you wanted to go to. I really only come up for weekend games b/c cant really do it with work on the weeknights. Not to mention that in 2008 I spent $560 for season tickets. In '08 at the new ballpark you could not exchange yoru tix for games you wanted, except for the games the Nationals designated and only one of those games was a saturday game (Cinncy in August).

Untill the Nats realize they are missing a huge VA market in Richmond and start to offer weekend pack, I will not be a season ticket holder. I rather drive up day of game and buy $5 and pretty much sit anywhere I want b/c we all know the crowds were not big in 2008.

Mr. Kasten if you do read my post here please create a weekend pack (6 games during the summer, one game a month) and I will reconsider buying season tickets again, also please bring the Nats caravan back to Richmond in 2009.

Anonymous said...

I renewed but decided to downgrade to the cheapest plan --- 21 games, $10 seats, upper outfield gallery. I have been a season ticket holder since 2005. As long as I am paying minor league prices for my seats, I don't have any real problems with the "Plan".

Anonymous said...

I reupped, called and got better seats, don't care about a crystal baseball. Lost a key member of my consortium due to job market uncertainty. Am looking for a replacement on the Nats website.

Anonymous said...

I did not renew my 81 game plan for 2 seats. Mainly, I didn't absolutley love my location (134U) but also I didn't feel I was appreciated as a STH.
I've been "in" since 2005 and consider myself a long term person as well so I joined a group that has much better seats, i.e. more $$$, and scaled back my games to 25.
Had the relocation process worked better for me I might be singing a different tune.
Last season I spent $6500 for seats and $2850 for parking. So given the lack of incentive to do that again, I downsized. I still love baseball, really like the team and will continue to watch. I just can't justify to myself shelling out that kind of dough.

Anonymous said...

I will tell you, the economy stinks and my group has fallen apart. Yes I put the $1,800 downpayment for my 82 Club level seats but I tell you it's a real struggle. I just wonder if it's worth it anymore, $9,000 for two tickets and then another 2 to $3,000 for food and such.
Yes I like the Nationals but I just don't think I can take another 102 loss season

Shelley said...

I renewed my 20 game plan online last night. I waited until almost the last minute to renew my tickets -- I did my renewal at about 11 p.m.. I went back and forth several times in my mind about renewing. My ambivalence had nothing to do with the team itself (although I'm not happy with the front office at this point in time) was about finances. The economy is in the toilet; it didn't get that way overnight, and it's not going to be fixed overnight. There's no way to know what shape the economy will be in by next summer, and things aren't so great for me right now, with the holidays coming up. So I was concerned about spending the money for the tickets.

But the bottom line is that the Nationals are my team, and I'm willing to put my money where my team loyalty is. I have two $10 seats in my 20-game plan, which unfortunately is all I can afford right now, and it's not a huge amount of money. I'm making my payments in installments, which makes things much easier (I'm not interested in the crystal baseball).

CALSGR8 said...

I was lucky I read the blog or I would have never known about this. I thought the deposit was due Dec 12. Luckily since I read it here, I contacted my friend and account holder and she was able to put down a 20% deposit.

Also I got to relocate to Infield Gallery!

As for Free Agency, I'd like to see us get Teixeria (spelling?). That would be great because the Orioles have been trying to court him for years! He's a Boras Client so look out!

Anonymous said...

Uh Oh. It's December 1 and I just saw this post about a November 21 deadline. I guess this explains why I got a message on my answering machine from a Nationals Tickets rep last week. It's the first time anyone from the ticket office has ever called.

It was a great four years being a partial-season ticket holder. It looks like my tentative decision not to renew has been made final by my failure to pay attention to the deadline.

Still, I will call back the ticket rep and see if they have any better offers than what I had in 2008.