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.”

6 Responses

  1. The way Nats management moved to the new technology demonstrated a complete lack of care for season ticket holders. It was poorly thought out, badly executed and totally thoughtless. It has completely erased my feelings for the team for now. If I could, I’d sell back my tickets.

    • The way they respond to their seasons tickets holders is also ridiculous. I used their “new” seasons ticket exchange program. It’s been a month and noone seems to be able to tell me about my exchange. No receipt, NOTHING. I keep getting passed off from person to person. How about when they mailed my tickets to the wrong address, and then tried to make ME come pick them up and pass blame on me for “changing my address” too close to the time they’d be sending the tickets out. I should mention that my address NEVER changed…it was same address listed when I bonught the packet in October. They just sent it to a non-existent address. One of the most disorganized organizations I’ve ever worked with.

      Save yourself the hassle – just buy tickets individually. Not worth the headache.

  2. Tip of iceberg. There r so many problems with new system can’t begin to list. Poorly thought out, poorly tested and NOT about customers! All about saving costs. Do they really think everyone wants an iPhone app? Last years system was great, but this one makes it a part time job!

  3. I love the new system- get with it people. Soon all teams will be doing this. It makes is SO much easier to exchange out games and give tickets to people if you cant meet them before the game. My ticket rep is the best and they work very hard to help with anything I need. Let’s start focusing on what really matters- another great season!

    Go Nats!

  4. My account is now a mess. The internal data is not consistent. One screen says one thing (tickets distributed as intended) while others show that the tickets were not distributed and some partners are greenlighted and others not. Been on the phone four times and my account is in the queue for resolution but has not happened yet.

  5. The Nationals got too big for their britches. They need to get themselves in check before they lose even more customers.

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