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Thursday night's game at Nationals Park against the Tampa Rays was a relatively painless 5-2 win for the Nats, upping the team's record to 40-27 before they make the quick trip up to Baltimore for a weekend rematch against the Orioles.
Announced paid attendance was 29,551, which pushed the mark for the 2012 season just above 1 million (1,002,396 for you sticklers). This is an average of 29,482 tickets sold per game through the first 34 of the season, compared to 22,948 at the same point last year. (The team didn't reach the 1 million mark in 2011's home attendance until July 9.)
According to Dan Steinberg, seven of the 13 biggest crowds in Nats Park history have come this season, three of them just last weekend for the Yankees series. The average through these first 34 games is a smidge higher than for the same span in the ballpark's inaugural 2008 season, and is no doubt well outpacing the 2009-2011 doldrums.
So, there's an average of 6,500-plus more bodies traipsing through the streets around the ballpark for every game this year than last year, along with far more sellouts and near sellouts than the ballpark has seen in its previous four seasons--how is this working out for the neighborhood? I haven't heard much carping--is this because traffic and humanity are generally moving well (albeit with a bit more patience required during the big games), or is it more because most Near Southeast residents moved to the neighborhood after the stadium opened, and so have no "before" frame of reference and are also more accepting of the crowds since they knew what they were getting into? (The point of view might be a bit different across the way in the established residential areas of Southwest.) Or does a winning record and a first-place team magically lessen the pain and grumbling?
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conngs0 says: (6/22/12 2:58 PM)
The improved attendance is nothing but good news for the neighorhood. More people means more establishments, which only improves the value and entertainment options for the area. Absolutely worth a bit of temporary congestion.


Rick says: (6/22/12 3:14 PM)
Come on Akridge, Monument, Florida Rock. We need ya!


MJM says: (6/22/12 3:29 PM)
Less cars trying to park on L and K St - less tow trucks. But not much more foot traffic pushing north of M up to 1st or NJ compared to the last three years.


Jaybird says: (6/23/12 8:40 AM)
As more and more hang out places spring up, I would imagine that would help ease crush periods as fans arrive early, have a post game drink.

One of the great paradoxes of our time is the fact that MLB does not release actual fans attendance. A paid attendance of 25,000 could mean an actual crowd of thousands less.
Course, let's hope the Nats become a franchise like Boston where attendance equals tickets sold!


Bruce says: (6/23/12 2:43 PM)
Yes, the increase in attendance is great for the area and it's great to see our Nationals win! More people in the area will mean that the local establishments will see more business and should translate into more businesses opening up. The folks who invested in businesses that will be in the Boilermaker shops must be happy to see more people coming to games.
Traffic really isn't too bad as most fans come via metro. The only issue that I see is the backup on 5th by the Senior center headed north. The light on the corner of 5th and Va allows around 3 cars (if they move quickly) to get through before it changes to red again which causes a jam.
The Nats are winning, values rise, new businesses coming in...all good, even with a bit more traffic..


YardD says: (6/25/12 10:20 AM)
I think it's still a challenge for day games, clashing w/rush hour. As long as one plans ahead on those days, it's doable. Hey Jaybird - the shine is off those Red Sox tickets - I was able to get 2 tix for $10 each, off the street when up there in late May..and there were empty seats scattered about...jus sayin'...


Kev29 says: (6/25/12 12:24 PM)
"Course, let's hope the Nats become a franchise like Boston where attendance equals tickets sold!"

Funny season to mention that!

link

Having a season ticket plan at Nats Park, I can tell you that there's been tons more butts in seats this season.

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