March 31, 2007

Are we taking steps backward at RFK?

Watson and I attended the Exhibition game today, and I have some thoughts here around the fan experience.

First, for those who didn't check it out, Hard Times Cafe is gone from the food court, replaced by a lesser hot dog vendor. The chili cheese dog I ordered came with Cheez Whiz as the cheese topping. The hot dog was also not nearly as big and tasty. This is a big step backward. Watson was disappointed by the removal of the Burrito Brothers location. That is now standard RFK fare.

A trip to the team store didn't reveal much in the way of new stuff -- and good luck solving the jersey problem. :) I'm pretty sure Wilkerson is getting another year on the Nats with me.

The other big note from me -- pay attention to the graphics on the scoreboard. The background is the "under construction" stadium. Even in our last year at RFK, we're focused on 2008 already -- even in the graphics.

I'm with Brandon on this -- let's focus on making THIS year a fun experience at the ballpark, and stop making everything about 2008.

7 comments:

Brandon Kriner said...

Yeah, I'm with you. I was there today and the whole experience was just blah.

In addition to all the reasons you mentioned in your post, there was NO ONE at the game. The entire upper seating bowl (4-500) sections were devoid of human life.

I realize that it's an exhibition game, but I've now been to each of the team's exhibition games and it's never been this bad.

I'm cautiously concerned: the message seems to clearly be "don't bother coming out this year, come see us in 2008."

Anonymous said...

The team store finally had jerseys. So pick something else to whine about.

Dave said...

Brandon:

Agreed -- cautiously concerned is the feeling here. I want to see more fans, and make 2007 fun (since winning seems off the table). The way to do this is focus on the game experience (since you don't want to focus on the game!) and the message of "look to next year" is not condusive for that.

Anon:

Nah, I think I'll just keep whining.

Joe Riley said...

2007 is going to be fun, the team just wants everyone to remember that 2008 and the new stadium is only 1 year away.

If you can't enjoy yourself at a major league baseball game, then you need to rethink your priorities. As long as the weather is decent, the surroundings are convivial and there's a game on the field, what do we really have to complain about? Sure, we can nitpick things to death, but really, we have a lot to be happy about.

Dave said...

Joe:

Oh, I agree with you -- it's very much possible. And those of us reading and posting on Nats blogs aren't the majority of fans. :)

It's the message to the rest of the fans I'm focused on, those who aren't crazy about reading everything and being involved enough to search out blogs and such.

Are they going to hear a message of a good time at the ballpark? Because ultimately we (the fans, the team, etc) need that level of attendance at the ballpark to make the experience.

Dave

Nate said...

Not to mention Needham needs his chili nachos just to keep from flinging himself over the railing after Bergmann walks his 8th batters in the 3rd inning.

Chris Needham said...

Thankfully I only jumped from the terrace today. ~15 feet, and I came out ok.