Schedules, Stan and Service Charges

Looking through the Nationals 2007 schedule, I noticed a couple interesting items. 

A Minnesota-Washington series for the first time since 1971.  The Twins should’ve waited three years on the Walter Johnson bobblehead doll night.

     Washington could face four future Hall of Famers this season, two of whom (Randy Johnson and Tom Glavine) are closing in on 300 career wins. Johnson could go in the series finale in Washington between the two squads on April 8.  Johnson is slated to be Arizona’s No. 2 this season.  Arizona and Washington both have seven games in seven days to start the season.  The Nationals could promote the future Hall of Famers who could be coming to town this year (Johnson, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez and Barry Bonds) just in case attendance decreases again this year.  The marketing plan worked with the old Washington Bullets: Come see Jordan, Magic and Bird plays the Bullets.

         The Nationals luck out by having the two World Series teams come to Washington this year, a first for the city. St. Louis has to come to town (part of rules).  Still, Detroit coming to town for three is an added bonus.

            Look out, boys and girls; Stan Kasten is doing a Live Event Chat Wednesday at Some questions I think will come up include: The Plan, the new stadium, the expansion of the scouting department, Soriano, the lack of quality pitching in the starting rotation, and when will Nationals single-game tickets go on sale.

The last question is mine. I just want to know for Opening Day purposes and for my birthday (April 5) so I can to go to the Nationals Ticket Office the day they go on sale.  I just left myself open for a lot of punch lines. The rest of the games I can go to the box office the day of the game so I don’t have to pay the service charge and handling fees. I don’t think the Nationals will be selling out the joint in ‘07.

            Several years ago, I used to work for a national ticket company (there’s only two main ones that come to mind).  I took calls nationwide for tickets to MLB games. One of the first things I learned in training was (and for most of us it’s a no-brainer) buying tickets at the box office cuts out the middle man and eliminates the extra fees. The service charge is a per-ticket fee and the handling fee is a one-time fee for the entire order. Ticket companies got to make their living somehow.  I try to avoid the $3-$4 service charge and $2 handling fees at all cost even if I have to drive a little more (or take Metro in DC) to get there. To pay face value is golden. 

            However, I realize that stadium box offices aren’t on every block like Starbucks. Also, the out of town crowd have no choice but to go to the phone and computer for tickets. The convenience of buying tickets at home is great. Nothing is better than going to your computer and buying tickets. There’s the option of going to an outlet near the home/work and buying them there as well. I also realize my mindset is Washington-focused. For those in New York, Boston, Chicago or elsewhere in the country where sellouts could actually occur, the tickets are a little harder to come by. Do what you gotta do!

            I noticed the Chicago White Sox have a 13-game plan known as the Ozzie Plan. Each game is a little different-check the link. If they had that plan in Washington, I would be inclined to go for that type of setup. I think having your minimum game plan be a 20-gamer is far too high for the Nationals especially coming off a season where the attendance dipped 20% and expectations are low for 2007. The more options the better.


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