January 19, 2008

MLB Still Thinks It Owns Nats

Check out this post by Paul Lukas, better known as Mr. Uni Watch. It seems that Major League Baseball still thinks it owns the Nats, as it has asked 20,000 fans for feedback on the Nationals' uniform.

Of course, my favorite part is where Lukas points out that they've had dismal merchandise sales (though they did very well in 2005, sales have badly slowed since). I'm still not sure whether they'll be in Portland or Norfolk in 2012, but poor merchandise sales point to the problem with Washington's first two failed franchises. It's a transplant town, and transplants will come see their favorite team when they come to down. The novelty of baseball is already wearing off, and the Nats will have the smallest hardcore fanbase of any MLB team within a couple years, if they don't already. The new stadium will infuse some life this year, but that's another novelty. Bringing in a marketable player would also help.

Plus, lobbying rules are already tightening and are likely to tighten further if a Democrat is sworn in on January 20, 2009. If free tickets become a no-no for law firms and businesses as well as lobbying firms, they're going to really struggle to sell their luxury boxes. In baseball, with 81 home games, selling luxury boxes is crucial.

3 Responses:

WFY said...

You forgot to mention that they are subsidizing Baltimore's team because that owner is coward who is afraid of indirect competition from a team 60-90 minutes away (at rush hour) and direct competition from the Yankees and Red Sox.

J-Red said...

Yeah, I still don't know how Angelos extorted that regional network out of MLB. I think Selig is the real coward there.

"ben" said...

If the Nats new stadium can create one of those urban, yuppie, gentrified areas (like Camden Yards) the Nats will be fine. Perhaps that is a big if.

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