Some people didn't take too kindly to my prediction that the Nationals would flee to Portland, OR with its tail between its legs in the next 20 years. I used Monday's game as an example of why the team's failure in this city was inevitable. The Nationals, in their second game in their new ballpark, failed to reach 50% of its capacity.
Now, one game is one game. It's no sample size. It's an anecdotal example. Nothing more and nothing less. As one commenter, Pettey, so eloquently put it:
We had a higher percentage of attendance on Monday night then EVERY single ballpark that wasnt hosting an opening day game for their team.
The NCAA championship was on, hence no one in America went to a baseball game. Secondly, it was 20 freaking degrees at the game because of the breeze off of the Anacostia (which will be amazing come July and August).
I can't wait to see the attendance tonight. I'll be commenting again tomorrow morning. Thanks dickweed...
As I noted in my response, his first paragraph is a pretty blatant lie. The Nationals were third in attendance percentage for teams that weren't hosting an Opening Day game.
Out of three.
If you're keeping score at home, Denver's Coors Field opened in 1995. LAnaheim's Angel Stadium opened up way back in 1966.
To be fair to Pettey, his second paragraph was pretty much dead on. There were plenty of external factors working against the home town team. It was pretty chilly that night and a lot of people were probably more interested in seeing the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. (Congrats, Kansas fans!) Not to mention the Marlins and Nationals are terrible.
Of course, my easy counter-argument is that the granddaddy of all external factors is the brand new field. When new parks open, attendance is supposed to increase accordingly. This isn't happening here. This is a problem.
As for paragraph three, I'm right there with ya, big guy. I checked the attendance first thing this morning too.
Nationals Park capacity: 41,888
So, a hearty congratulations to the Washington Nationals for, barely, eclipsing the 50% capacity mark in the third game in a brand new stadium. Way to support the home town team, DC! Man, we are really getting a lot of bang out of our 674,000,000.00+ bucks!