Last night, the Washington Nationals played their second ever home game at their new stadium. And they didn’t even fill half the seats.
Granted, the Nats were playing the Marlins, a team that doesn’t exactly pack ‘em in. And it was a chilly evening in D.C.
But we’re talking about a brand new stadium. It was their second home game!
East Coast Bias says attendance won’t get any better anytime soon:
It won’t get much better this week. According to Nats’ Team President Stan Kasten (routinely and incorrectly referred to as the owner by Washington’s–and possibly the nation’s–premiere news radio station WTOP), crowds in the 20,000s are expected for the remainder of the homestand against Florida and Atlanta. According to Kasten, “It’s also good for us. It’s the right size crowd for us to keep learning things.” I hope that includes learning how to market to a transplant city that just doesn’t care much about the home team.
I wonder if the Marlins were paying attention to all those empty seats last night? Florida is fond of singing the same sad refrain: “we can’t compete without a new stadium.” But it’s becoming increasingly clear that new stadiums aren’t the draw that they used to be.