Nats’ Plan Keeps That New, Unused Stadium Smell

Tucked away in Barry Svrluga’s NATIONALS JOURNAL notes post is the following tidbit: “It’s clear not all the Opening Night tickets are gone, because there are still season-ticket packages available.” In other words, the brand-spanking-new Nationals Park still has some seats available for its inaugural game.

Nationals Park

(Something seems fishy here)

Also, the current name of the stadium lacks a certain sterile corporate feel not out of the goodness of owner Ted Lerner’s heart but because he hasn’t been able to extract top dollar out of the right corporation. Still, that’s alright; the neighborhood around the stadium still has that unfinished feel as well. But hey… who will notice the rough edges if Elliot Yamin is there?

It’s ruthless yet understandable that Lerner would hold back Opening Night seats he hopes to sell to lucrative season-ticket holders until the last moment, but it’s unseemly to head into the weekend before the first professional contest to be held in your new $611m (at least) stadium paid mostly through taxpayer funds and have tickets unsold.

For all the illusion and ledger-fluffing that happens with stadium financing, couldn’t Lerner have arranged to mark all those tickets as “pre-sold” or (to fit the city) “earmarked” and safely call the first MLB game a sellout weeks ago?

Then again, maybe Lerner should leave those seats unsold to offer some kind of relief for the horrific traffic problems expected for Sunday night. After all, that won’t be a problem come July and the Nats are already 17.5 games out of first.