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Remember when Phillies fans used to invade Nationals Park? Well . . .

May 1, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

Phillies fans AP

A couple of years ago there was a thing where Phillies fans would descend on Washington and buy up all the Nats-Phillies tickets for games played at Nats Park. Citizens Bank Park was always sold out. No one went to Nats games. The cities are relatively close. It made a lot of sense that Phillies fans would do that. Even if it really ticked off Nationals fans who hated to have their park invaded by outsiders. It became such a thing that they invented “Nattitude” as a counter-marketing effort. Really, all of that sprung from Phillies fans taking over and the Nats trying to take their park back.

A couple of disappointing seasons for the Phillies later and it’s a totally different deal. The Nationals are in Philly this weekend. The weather forecast looks grand. Cliff Lee is on the mound. And the Phillies are offering discounted tickets in earnest. Crossing Broad says it’s a buy-one-get-one-free sale. The Good Phight says it’s more of a 50% off deal of select seats, but notes that it is a pretty early promotion suggesting sluggish ticket sales.

Which, hey, it happens. As all of you are quick to point out every time some NL East thing comes up, the Braves don’t do all that well at the gate so they’ve probably been discounting tickets since the second game of the season. That’s undeniably true.

But Braves fans have never claimed fan intensity, passion and support as some singularly awesome trait they possess like Phillies fans have over the past few years. The thing that set them apart and made them better than any other fans. The abject rejection of the notion that, as is the case with most teams, winning teams draw and losing teams don’t and that, rather, it’s a function of their exceptional enthusiasm for their team. Now they’re discounting what should be a pretty hot ticket, relatively speaking. Like any other mediocre team does.

Here’s hoping a bunch of Nats fans get on a bus and make it Nats Park North. That’d be cool. And next year we’d get self-helpy-sounding promotions like “Phillatude” or whatever.

103 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. faccda01 - May 1, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Craig, much applause for such a great article. “Team doesn’t play well, attendance down.” Brilliant! It’s unfortunate that the troll is the one writing the articles.

    • recoveringcubsfan - May 1, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      OK, Craig is totally a troll, but in the interest of making him a better troll I have to point out that the Nats’ silly slogan is “Natitude,” with just the single “t” in the middle. So not really like “attitude.” Why? You’re over thinking it if you ask why.

    • natstowngreg - May 1, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      No, it’s not any big development. Phillies fan presence at Nats Park was down last season. Those of us paying attention (for the record, I’ve spent many a game at RFK and Nats Park surrounded by Phillies fans, not all of whom were obnoxious jerks) saw this coming, as the two teams’ fortunes reversed.

      Craig devoted a good amount of space to the Phillies fan infestation of Nats Park. It’s only fair for him to report that the proverbial tide has turned. Unless you’re against fairness, of course, which might be the case.

  2. gmfw7 - May 1, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    i’m always entertained by people who take shots at philly fans (all sports, not just baseball). i was born and raised in this city, and i’ll be the first to tell you that a large number of people from philly just flat out suck in every sense of the word. i assume a lot of people would say that about their city, however. what i don’t understand is all the hate for a fan base that seems really unwarranted. just over the last 5 years i’ve read quite a few articles about fans in other cities starting riots, shooting people after playoff losses, stabbings, beating a man to within inches of his life etc etc i could go on. but none of those things have been reported for games that take place in philadelphia. every time this comes up, the accuser usually pulls out an argument based on some “they threw snowballs at santa” story, which is reported completely wrong…santa didn’t show up/ they chose someone else to play santa/ he was drunk and obnoxious and disheveled…the fans thought it to be a disgrace and threw snowballs at him. if anything they should be applauded for that. i think the bottom line philly fans (phillies, flyers and eagles in particular) travel better than almost any other fasn base, and the rest of the country is either jealous, or annoyed that they have to see us everywhere. either way, just stop it with the hatred. we’ve won 1 championship in a long period of time, and we support our teams as much as, if not more, than any other city

    • rugdaniels - May 1, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      It’s not that Philadelphia fans are some of the worst fans in sports, it’s that Philadelphia residents are some of the worst people in the country.

      • jayyy1985 - May 1, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        And what city do you hail from?

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 1, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        Centralia, PA

  3. rugdaniels - May 1, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    I think the Phillies get over 20,000 a night, which is still pretty good. It’s also April in the northeast, once we get to balmy summer nights more people will come out to the games. That being said, Philly is notorious front-runner sports city. Each team has a small fan base which is loyal to whichever particular team and then a large band wagon contingent that shows up when a team stars winning. This is not unique to Philadelphia, but as Craig pointed out in the comments section Philly fans do like to paint themselves as especially loyal and true to the local teams.

    • natstowngreg - May 1, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      I had more than one Phillies fan tell me he was at Nats Park because he couldn’t get tickets at Citizens Bank Park. So yeah, it’s about front-running. AS I noted elsewhere, the Phillies’ representation in Washington went down last season, as their team declined, and the ranks of Nats front-runners grew.

      We could see the same on this here blog right here. The Phillies front-runners came, when the team was still a championship contender. As the team started its decline, they disappeared.

      BTW, 20K+ on cold, rainy April nights isn’t that bad. But in a park that routinely sold out, it isn’t as good.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 1, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      Well – as I said elsewhere, the Phillies had a steep decline in 2012, and yet still were 4th in NL attendance in 2013 – when they went 73-89. I don’t think that qualifies as front running.

  4. recoveringcubsfan - May 1, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    I think that if you live in Philadelphia, there are lots of cool things to do instead of going to see this version of the Phillies. Can’t blame the fans for taking advantage of the rest of their beautiful city. When the team gets batter, they’ll return.

  5. corky2141 - May 1, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Not only have the phillies out priced all the college kids who used to take up all the upper deck seats at CBP raising prices the last few seasons, they now have a $5 convenience fee for every ticket bought online and the always wonderful online transaction fee. For the terrible product on the field, and the fans taking over other stadiums in the past, it’s not surprising road teams fans want to come up here and rub it in our faces. FIRE RAJ

  6. garryjercia - May 1, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Is there an actual story you could be working on or ….

  7. sfm073 - May 1, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    Sports fans are dumb and irrational, but trying argue or disprove anonymous sports fans on the internet is even more dumb. How NBC allows the head blogger for this site to write some of the stuff he writes is beyond me.

  8. b12071 - May 1, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    We get fans from every team in DC, people live here Who are originally from somewhere else so that is just a fact when going to a Nats game. The reason we have “a thing” for phillies fans I am sorry to say is they have a reputation and history of spilling their beer and vomiting and cursing at our small children. I don’t know why because I know a lot of nice people from Philadelphia but unfortunately I have witnessed it all first hand.

  9. stupidusername - May 1, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Remember when Craig made some jerky post about Phillies fans?

  10. mikhelb - May 7, 2014 at 4:13 AM

    “Remember when Phillies fans used to invade Nationals Park?”

    Who wouldn’t? Its a long standing tradition dating all the way back to 2012.

  11. mikhelb - May 7, 2014 at 4:19 AM

    “Braves fans have never claimed fan intensity, passion and support as some singularly awesome trait they possess like Phillies fans have over the past few years.”

    In the 90s they sure bragged saying they had the best fans, and they even used that “tomahawk” thing Seminoles fans do, and chanted imploring for a rally.

    Only to fail miserably time and time again while the whole baseball world laughed.

    LOLs Bravos de Atlanta.

    remember that time they were caught with the expanded home plate zone? what was it? one foot wider to each side?

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