There was a time when you had to be in DC to watch the Nationals play, whether you had a ticket or not. It was considered a small baseball market, and one that the national media didn’t feel was worth mentioning. Today, I will be able to watch the Nats/Phillies finale on the West Coast.
The Nats have been on ESPN multiple times this season. Their national audiences have seen them take on the Phillies and the Orioles, who are a surprising number 1 team in their own right.
Remember when we said that once the Nats started winning, the people would come? Well, it’s happening. The problem was never that the Nation’s Capital wasn’t a baseball town, it’s that it is a winning town. It is a city that continues to profusely support a team that hasn’t won in 20 years. Once it gets a winner, it hangs on tight.
With young stars in Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, Danny Espinosa…ok you get the point. This city has embraced the team while they continue to march through first place in the NL East. Who woulda thunk it…winning changes everything!
The NAts have jumped up to 17th in attendance in the MLB, averaging 27,331 fans per game. When looking at percentage of stadium full, the Nats improve again to 15th in the league with 65.8% of Nats Park full this summer.
Away from D.C., the Nats are a surprising 8th in the league in road attendance, averaging 31,556 people in road stadiums in 2012. They are becoming more of a draw for fans around the country, not just in the Metro area.
It’s a new time for the Nats. They were supposed to start regressing to the mean by now, but they have continued to fight, even with half the starting lineup on the DL. And the baseball world is being forces to take notice.