The Nats Short Sighted Rain Out Policy

The Nats have never been good with PR. Just look at how they went about the Metro situation last season. The Nats decision to not offer refunds are exchanges for rain delayed games is another episode in a long history of the Nats PR struggles. The no refunds part is easy to understand. No one offers refunds for tickets. It has been on every single ticket I have ever gotten from Ticketmaster, Tickets.com, and Live Nation (while they still existed). No refunds is obvious, but it is the exchanges part people have an issue with.

Up until this season Nats fans could exchange tickets of rain delayed games for most mid-week games and some weekend games not labeled as premium or prime or whatever they called it. Now the Nats are not offering anything. First it is important to understand that this is an area deathly afraid of rain. As soon as one drop of water hits the pavement people are rushing to the grocery store to fill carts with milk, bread, and toilet paper. With this in mind if there is even one cumulus cloud in the sky walk-up sales are going to drop off the table and places like StubHub will be flooded with people desperate to move tickets to a game they are certain will be rained out.  

The fear of weather is just the nature of the Washington DC area and that has to be understood by the baseball team. The increase in attendance does make it more difficult to have an exchange policy, but not impossible, and not even all that hard. Just write it into the policy. I will even do it for you:

Tickets for games that have been delayed by weather may be exchanged for tickets of an equal or lesser value to select future games. Tickets not guaranteed to be in the same section, of the same value, and parties not guaranteed to be seated together. Unused tickets may also be exchanged for Nats Bucks equal to the face value of the ticket. Processing and transaction fees non-refundable. Certain blackouts and restrictions apply 

There you go. It is a more restrictive policy, but it is better than no policy at all, and right now the Nats look like the assholes. If they had this policy and someone exchanged a lower bowl ticket for a future game and ended up with a upper deck ticket to his selected game then he would look like the asshole when that is the policy, and at least the Nats gave him something and he had the option of receiving the face value of his ticket in Nats Bucks. PR has always been an issue for the Washington Nationals, and that isn’t likely to change soon. Get used to it though. If the team keeps winning beer and ticket prices will keep climbing and your individual business will be valued less as more and more people are waiting to take your place.  

One comment

  1. As of Monday morning, this was the official Nats rainout policy on their Web site:Rain Delays or Postponed GamesThe right to delay the start of a game rests with the home club. Once both team managers meet with the home plate umpire and exchange lineup cards, the right to determine whether the game will be interrupted or terminated is at the discretion of the Umpire-in-Chief. Under the provisions of the Official Playing Rules, the Umpire-in-Chief has sole and unquestioned authority to determine whether and when play is halted, when play will be resumed and whether and when a game will be terminated due to bad weather or unsafe playing conditions. In the event of a postponed or cancelled game, guests are advised to check the Nationals website at nationals.com, local newspapers, Nationals media affiliates or the weather hotline at 202-640-7575 for further information. Even with inclement weather, the Nationals will make every effort to play scheduled games. In the event a legal game is not played due to weather, guests are asked to retain their tickets. The ticket will serve as a rain check for that re-scheduled game or may be exchanged for the same priced seat at a future Nationals home game during the 2013 season. All rain check exchanges are subject to availability.Now, the last few sentences have been changed:In the event a legal game is not played due to weather, guests are asked to retain their tickets. The ticket will serve as a rain check for that re-scheduled game.To change the policy in the middle of a season after tickets have already been purchased is such a big "Ef you" to the fans.

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