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The Nats remove some seats from their ballpark

Mar 15, 2011, 11:02 AM EDT

Nats Park

And now, my nominee for “ballpark configuration change that no one would have ever noticed even if they had never issued a press release about it:”

The Nationals let media members know a few minutes ago that the ballpark’s capacity this season will be 41,506. That’s down from the 41,888 fans it held at its opening, though the park had been reduced to 41,546 by last season. A Nationals spokesman said in an e-mail the decrease was “due to the removal of a few seats and an adjustment to the suite manifest.”

There was a series with the Red Sox in 2009 during which the Nats drew more than 41,506 for three games. Otherwise, they’ve never drawn more in that joint, not even when the Philly faithful invade.

I don’t know what they’re moving around that’s costing them the seats, but I’ve always thought that teams that don’t draw consistently should mess around a bit to see if there aren’t better things that can be done with the space. The Indians carved out part of their home run deck in left field last year to put a little special seating area for bloggers and social media people.  There are probably a bunch of other things that could done.

Here’s a free idea: a couch section.  Take a couple of rows that will never be used while a given team fails to draw and replace some seats with a few couches or easy chairs or something. Set up a flat screen TV nearby (these seats are probably far from the action) and institute some special service like trained monkeys bringing beers (like actual monkeys).  You and a couple of buddies would pay a couple hundred bucks for that, wouldn’t you? Multiply that out by 81 games, subtract the cost of the couches and the monkeys, and it’s like printing money.

No, I never studied marketing. Why do you ask?

  1. BC - Mar 15, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Maybe they can send the seats to Jerry Jones so he can fix that little problem he had at the Super Bowl.

  2. kellyb9 - Mar 15, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Nats need to make room for Jayson Werth’s contract.

  3. phukyouk - Mar 15, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    b-b-but where are all the fans gonna sit?

  4. purdueman - Mar 15, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Now that tears it! With the reduction in seating capacity, the Nats will now need more revenue sharing in order to be able to stay afloat!!!

  5. Utley's Hair - Mar 15, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    They want to decrease the chance that a fan will be killed by an errant foul ball.

  6. gatherspeed - Mar 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    This team should have stayed in Montreal.

    New Park in Montreal > New Park in DC.

    5 years in and they are already having attendance problems with a new stadium. Bright idea Bud.

  7. BC - Mar 15, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    Contract team > New Park in DC
    Contract Washington, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Houston > New Park in DC

  8. sjhaack - Mar 15, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Just make sure there are no tables. We wouldn’t accidentally want someone leaving money on them.

  9. redheadedbastard - Mar 15, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    If they remove 20,000 more seats, they would have a sell out crowd every home game.

  10. jaybracken - Mar 15, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Printing money, sure. But you better be printing some bananas too, cuz those monkeys gotta eat something. And bananas don’t just grow on trees, you know.

    • jwbiii - Mar 16, 2011 at 1:37 AM

      You have the wrong team and the wrong decade. Banana guy (banana monkey, if you insist) sold his majority interest in the Reds in 2005.

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