So, I get the e-mail that tells me that the relocation guide for season ticket holders (and partial season ticket plan holders like myself and my partners in our own little ticket buying group) for the Washington Nationals is ready for me to check out and do my part on. My part being filling out a survey that will inquire about my (and my partners in our ticket buying group) seating preferences for the seats in the new ballpark.
The new ballpark that is being built with taxpayer money from taxes on the more successful businesses in D.C. along with the taxes on the tickets that are sold for the new park (as well as the taxes that have been collected on ticket sales at the old park). Approximately $670 million worth of tax money spent to buy the land, build the stadium, improve the infrastructure in the area, expand the nearby mass transit stop, build the parking garages, etc. A few million here, a few million there, all from the public coffers. All building a park that will house a team owned by real estate moguls with a few billion in ca$h back home in their bank accounts.
Admittedly a park that I desperately wanted the city of Washington, D.C. to build because I strongly believe that the park will spur a rejuvenation of the area where the park is being built, very similar to how Baltimore developed its own crown jewel with the Inner Harbor and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. An area of D.C. that was screaming for urban renewal and improvement and which I still hope sees major redevelopment.
But, as it turns out it may be a park that myself and most other fans wind up not being able to afford to attend games at
I am very hopeful that things will work out, but my ticket buying group is looking to be a bit smaller next season. One of our group members is at retirement age and has been talking about heading West to Phoenix for a while. Losing him means losing approximately 1/4 of the pool of money that was buying tickets this season. He is a big fan of the Dodgers and loves to see the West coast teams as he can track the impact on his beloved Dodgers while watching the local boys hopefully beat up on the Dodger's rival teams when they come to visit D.C.
Even without losing him though my group is having second (and third, and fourth) thoughts on buying tickets for next season and future seasons because of the costs of the tickets that have just been announced. You see, I'm not a rich man, despite being a somewhat conservative voter, and despite what some people believe about somewhat conservative voters. Far from it (being rich), I'm a paycheck to paycheck living individual for the most part. Digging into my pocket for $10 for a baseball game means scrimping on meals, or giving up other luxuries that I might enjoy. This year, participating in this ticket buying group (leading it actually) meant basically giving up summer vacation as my vacation will instead be spent going to games at RFK.
A large part of the reason I led this group into getting season tickets this year was because there was the promise (and/or threat) of having a reserved spot on the season ticket availability list for next year. Season ticket holders in the current year are guaranteed priority for next year, the first year in the new park.
... continued in the comments area. Please continue reading there, thanks!