Season ticket holders react to the Nationals’ souvenir “commemorative” paper tickets

The Washington Nationals are pitching their new Ultimate Ballpark Access as a great boon for season ticket holders. As noted in our annual opening day review of changes at Nats Park, many features of the new access cards have yet to be introduced, so the benefits will be seen over time.

Nationals Opening Day Souvenir Ticket and Ultimate Access Cards

Season ticket holders received one souvenir opening day ticket per account, along with the new “Ultimate Access” cards

Washington Nationals Souvenir Commemorative Ticket Replacement $3.00

The Washington Nationals are selling ticket holders “souvenir” paper tickets for $3.00 each.

In the meantime, the team went out of its way to appease those looking for a paper ticket, announcing before the season that season ticket holders would receive one commemorative “souvenir” paper ticket for opening day, and could obtain additional souvenir paper tickets for any game at the ball park for an added fee of $3.00 per ticket, with the funds going to the Nationals Dream Foundation.

“Not approaching the level of the commemorative tickets in years past,” wrote Nats fan Gerry Gleckel Jr. about the opening day ticket, “…and only one per subscriber? Should my two seatholders trade every half inning? Yuck.”

Then Monday, the $3.00 souvenir tickets made their debut at Nationals Park, and an informal poll of season ticket holders at the park and on Facebook produced a flood of reactions ranging from mild disappointment to unprintable outrage. Here are just a few of the responses:

“Not impressed,” said DC resident Susan Vavrick. “I would have thought a commemorative ticket would look nicer than that.”

“Three bucks for a piece of paper that isn’t the real ticket? C’mon,” said journalist and DC resident Max Cacas. “Give people a chance to print it out at the ballpark for free, and charge a modest fee to have a nice print suitable for framing. But not this way.”

“It has to have images on it before I’d buy,” added DC resident Andy Kostas.

“Don’t these people understand that many fans like to tickets as momentos of particular games?,” asked Alfonse Mannato. “Just stupid to charge $3 for a souvenir that lacks images.”

“How can they be so smart in team building and so ignorant in something as simple as this?,” wrote Virginia season ticket holder James Taylor. “Go figure, I sure can’t.”

And finally, from DC blogger and season ticket holder Tom Bridge:

“Nothing says ‘I was there’ quite like ‘Not Valid For Entry.'”

Personally, I applaud the Nats’ desire to be technology trendsetters, but if I’m in the ball park when Stephen Strasburg pitches his first no-hitter, I think I’m going to want to frame something better than this.

Your thoughts?

UPDATE: Received a positive comment worth sharing from Nats fan Michael Cusick: “It is pretty hard on the eyes. I think all would have been forgiven if they had put a little hologram on it. But the three bucks goes to charity (if I heard the story right) so I’m OK with it. And I would rather have a good team than fireworks and fancy ticket stubs.”

Season ticket holders, see you tonight!

Washington Nationals TicketI’m not one to mention myself in this blog, but today’s going to be an exception. You see,
I’ve had September 10 circled on the calendar since the spring, when tickets were first distributed to Washington Nationals season ticket holders.

I was traveling that week, and my email lit up with messages from friends. The common sentiment was along the lines of “Dude! You’re on the ticket!” The ticket in question was the September 10th game vs. the Philadelphia Phillies.

This year’s season tickets featured 81 different scenes from the inaugural season inside Nationals Park. Tonight’s ticket features a photo of me at the stadium’s inaugural game, that memorable opening night victory vs. the Braves.

When I saw it, the first thing I did was read the back of the ticket. For those who’ve never bothered with the fine print, it’s an eye-opener. My favorite highlights:

By use of this ticket, the ticket holder agrees that… the Club issuing the ticket is the exclusive owner of all copyrights and… shall have the perpetual and unrestricted right and license to use his or her name, image, likeness, and/or voice in any broadcast, telecast, photograph, video and/or sound recording taken in connection with the game for all purposes and in all media known and unknown throughout the universe.

Yes, I think that covers all the bases. If I ever need a lawyer, I’m calling those guys.

See you tonight in Section 128. Save me your ticket stub!

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