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  1. #251
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Why Not?
    Teams rarely draw as many fans as they did in their first season. It's a somewhat predictable pattern. Washington looks more like Tampa Bay than the other expansion teams and nearly everyone admits now that putting a team in Tampa was a mistake. Shouldn't we expect an attendance drop in D.C. similar to the others? Why should we expect attendance to skyrocket when every other team's numbers go downhill?
    1) New stadium. RFK is decrepit.

    2) New ownership soon to be in place, meaning . . .

    3) Much better team likely to arrive soon, with more money for free agents (and a better GM!)

    4) Jettisoning the image of a moribund Expos franchise takes time

    5) Initial uncertainty over permanence of move should fade, as stadium/ownership squabbles cease

    None of these were issues for the teams you cite. The Nationals outdrew Baltimore despite a poor stadium and uncertainty over their future - for me, that's a success story.

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  2. #252
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxmania
    1) New stadium. RFK is decrepit.

    2) New ownership soon to be in place, meaning . . .

    3) Much better team likely to arrive soon, with more money for free agents (and a better GM!)

    4) Jettisoning the image of a moribund Expos franchise takes time

    5) Initial uncertainty over permanence of move should fade, as stadium/ownership squabbles cease

    None of these were issues for the teams you cite.

    Be seeing you,

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    Agree on all points, plus you also have to consider the fact that aside from local news coverage, there was virtually no marketing behind the team last year. Once the team is sold and a new owner puts a real promotional strategy in place, the Nationals will thrive in DC. Frankly, I'm amazed at how well the team drew last year given everything that was working against them. As I stated earlier, the majority of the DC region could not even see the games on TV during the week.
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  3. #253
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxmania
    1) New stadium. RFK is decrepit.

    2) New ownership soon to be in place, meaning . . .

    3) Much better team likely to arrive soon, with more money for free agents (and a better GM!)

    4) Jettisoning the image of a moribund Expos franchise takes time

    5) Initial uncertainty over permanence of move should fade, as stadium/ownership squabbles cease

    None of these were issues for the teams you cite. The Nationals outdrew Baltimore despite a poor stadium and uncertainty over their future - for me, that's a success story.
    Again, outdrawing Baltimore isn't the issue.

    Of the four teams I mentioned, only Arizona had a new ballpark. Florida, Tampa and Colorado all played in existing and uninspiring ballparks (though none as old and crappy as RFK). Like RFK, nobody went to those teams' games the first season because of a particularly inviting stadium.

    But even when the new park is built, how much will that really help? New ballparks create a spike, but if you look at the figures for the newer ballparks (Pitt, Cincy, Detroit, etc.) the excitement for the new parks is pretty short-lived. The new park, if it's ever built, will help the Nats' economically, but it won't have a drastic, long-term effect on how many people show up.

    As for point No. 4, I think spending much of the season in first place goes a long way toward making people forget the Expos and their history. Honestly, I don't recall anyone talking about the Nats as the "old Expos" or anything like that.

    Having real ownership and stability will help, but I don't know how many people based their decision on whether to go see a ballgame in 2005 on factors like ownership or even who was wearing the uniforms. The Nats were a genuinely competitive team last year before taking a nosedive, but they still finished at .500, much better than any expansion team could hope for.

    But the novelty alone should have drawn more fans to RFK. I think it spells trouble down the road.

  4. #254
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Why Not?
    Again, outdrawing Baltimore isn't the issue.
    It's interesting, I believe. More interesting is the fact that Baltimore's attendance only dropped by about 100,000. So moving the franchise to DC created about 2 million more net baseball games attended, even including the knock-on effect on Baltimore. Sounds good to me.

    Of the four teams I mentioned, only Arizona had a new ballpark. Florida, Tampa and Colorado all played in existing and uninspiring ballparks (though none as old and crappy as RFK). Like RFK, nobody went to those teams' games the first season because of a particularly inviting stadium.
    I had thought Colorado's was new, but you're right. Anyway, RFK's the worst of the lot, as you acknowledge. It can't help repeat attendance.

    But even when the new park is built, how much will that really help? New ballparks create a spike, but if you look at the figures for the newer ballparks (Pitt, Cincy, Detroit, etc.) the excitement for the new parks is pretty short-lived. The new park, if it's ever built, will help the Nats' economically, but it won't have a drastic, long-term effect on how many people show up.
    All three teams you name sucked badly when their new ballparks came in, and haven't recovered. I'll bet in the next few years Milwaukee builds on their attendance spike, as will DC. Interestingly, one of the teams not to lose their new-ballpark spike rapidly? Baltimore. A new ballpark increases attendance when the team is competitive. More money will help drive that.

    As for point No. 4, I think spending much of the season in first place goes a long way toward making people forget the Expos and their history. Honestly, I don't recall anyone talking about the Nats as the "old Expos" or anything like that.
    I just Googled and found a few, although probably mainly from Oriole fans.

    Having real ownership and stability will help, but I don't know how many people based their decision on whether to go see a ballgame in 2005 on factors like ownership or even who was wearing the uniforms. The Nats were a genuinely competitive team last year before taking a nosedive, but they still finished at .500, much better than any expansion team could hope for.
    Ownership affects many things, particularly spending on the team and facilities at the ballpark, plus (as Nelson pointed out) promotional work. A new network will help too.

    But the novelty alone should have drawn more fans to RFK. I think it spells trouble down the road.
    Then we'll agree to disagree. 5 years down the road, I'm confident that DC will be in the middle tier for attendance in the NL, which - from a standing start in Montreal - would be a great result. Baltimore may decline a bit, but mainly because it might end up 5th in the AL East once Tampa Bay's prospects kick in and if Toronto keeps spending.

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  5. #255
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by sprucemoose
    Puddy. But he's the only one I know of......
    Don't forget though, Puddy grew up in New Jersey.
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  6. #256
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    I think Why Not is just showing that he has no faith in Orioles fans. If they were as loyal as some claim to be and as loyal as I think they are, the O's will be fine.

  7. #257
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by YankyDave
    I think Why Not is just showing that he has no faith in Orioles fans. If they were as loyal as some claim to be and as loyal as I think they are, the O's will be fine.
    I have faith in Orioles fans, but the loyal fans might not be enough. In addition to the loyal fans, we need the family from Falls Church, Va. to come and buy $100 worth of soda and baseball caps and we need the group of 10 guys who drive up from Univ. of Maryland and spend $250 on beer and, most importantly, we need corporations to keep buying the skyboxes. I think that's where the Nats will hurt the Orioles, because the "non-loyal" fans have another option for their entertainment dollar. Those people are the difference between getting 30,000 a night and 40,000 a night.

  8. #258
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Why Not?
    I have faith in Orioles fans, but the loyal fans might not be enough. In addition to the loyal fans, we need the family from Falls Church, Va. to come and buy $100 worth of soda and baseball caps and we need the group of 10 guys who drive up from Univ. of Maryland and spend $250 on beer and, most importantly, we need corporations to keep buying the skyboxes. I think that's where the Nats will hurt the Orioles, because the "non-loyal" fans have another option for their entertainment dollar. Those people are the difference between getting 30,000 a night and 40,000 a night.
    Well you, Angelos and chicken little can all cry that the sky is falling but that won't make it true. The huge drop didn't come last year as predicted and won't ever come because it's a bogus argument. The O's don't need the family from Falls Church and never deserved them in the first place.

  9. #259
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by YankyDave
    Well you, Angelos and chicken little can all cry that the sky is falling but that won't make it true. The huge drop didn't come last year as predicted and won't ever come because it's a bogus argument. The O's don't need the family from Falls Church and never deserved them in the first place.
    Whether deserved or not, the Orioles DID have those fans. Now those people are up for grabs again. I hope I'm wrong and my team is wildly successful. But I don't appreciate having another hurdle thrown in the way....a hurdle that tilts the financial table against my team in the already lopsided landscape of the AL East.

    I suspect fans of other teams would feel the same way. It's clear from the reaction on this board that many Yanks fans would be aghast at the thought of a team in Jersey or Brooklyn, though the negative effect on the Yanks and Mets would be less than the Nats' effect on the Orioles. Would Cubs fans welcome another team in Chicago? What would Sox fans think if there was a team in Providence?

    Why shouldn't I be concerned?

  10. #260
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxmania
    All three teams you name sucked badly when their new ballparks came in, and haven't recovered. I'll bet in the next few years Milwaukee builds on their attendance spike, as will DC. Interestingly, one of the teams not to lose their new-ballpark spike rapidly? Baltimore. A new ballpark increases attendance when the team is competitive. More money will help drive that.

    Then we'll agree to disagree. 5 years down the road, I'm confident that DC will be in the middle tier for attendance in the NL, which - from a standing start in Montreal - would be a great result. Baltimore may decline a bit, but mainly because it might end up 5th in the AL East once Tampa Bay's prospects kick in and if Toronto keeps spending.
    Baltimore undoubtedly hit the jackpot when OPCY opened in 1992. But remember that it was the first in the new class of ballparks. It was must-see TV for baseball fans. By the time the newness wore off a bit and fans stopped coming for the spectacle alone, the Orioles put together good teams in 1996-97, keeping attendance up for a couple more years.

    The new ballparks since then haven't had the same success.

    Miller Park went from 34K per game its first year to 24K in 2002 then 20K in 2003. It's climbed a bit since then but still hasn't approached the first year.

    Comerica in Detroit had 30K its first year but hasn't topped 24K in six years since.

    Safeco Field in Seattle has stayed more steady, but the Mariners put up four straight 90-win seasons (and a 116-win one!) before tailing off the last two seasons.

    PNC Park in Pittsburgh drew 30K its first year, no more than 22K since.

    Considering the higher-than-average level of no-shows last year, I will guess that the Nats will draw no more than 25K per game in 2006 and drop to near 20K in 2007. The new park will pump it back up a bit, but I don't think the Nats will ever regularly draw more than 30K per game.

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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Why Not?
    Whether deserved or not, the Orioles DID have those fans. Now those people are up for grabs again. I hope I'm wrong and my team is wildly successful. But I don't appreciate having another hurdle thrown in the way....a hurdle that tilts the financial table against my team in the already lopsided landscape of the AL East.

    I suspect fans of other teams would feel the same way. It's clear from the reaction on this board that many Yanks fans would be aghast at the thought of a team in Jersey or Brooklyn, though the negative effect on the Yanks and Mets would be less than the Nats' effect on the Orioles. Would Cubs fans welcome another team in Chicago? What would Sox fans think if there was a team in Providence?

    Why shouldn't I be concerned?
    You keep mentioning cities with two teams or cities that aren't looking for a team. Washington wanted its' own team and now has it. Many people who used your same argument were Baltimore fans who were up in arms about Jack Kent Cooke marketing the Redskins in Baltimore.

    Funny how Angelos didn't act on the television thing until D.C.'s money was there for the taking. Of course, MLB gave it to him too. You think it's bad now, wait until the new owner sues Peter the Greed for thier television rights back.

  12. #262
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by YankyDave
    You keep mentioning cities with two teams or cities that aren't looking for a team. Washington wanted its' own team and now has it. Many people who used your same argument were Baltimore fans who were up in arms about Jack Kent Cooke marketing the Redskins in Baltimore.

    Funny how Angelos didn't act on the television thing until D.C.'s money was there for the taking. Of course, MLB gave it to him too. You think it's bad now, wait until the new owner sues Peter the Greed for thier television rights back.
    Other cities want MLB teams and will perhaps get them when Oakland and Florida (and maybe Washington) move. None of those markets will affect an existing franchise like moving the Expos to Washington will affect the Orioles.

    Baltimore fans didn't care about Cooke marketing the Redskins in Baltimore. He was selling out his stadium(s), so there really wasn't much of focus on Baltimore anyway. The Redskins didn't and don't need Baltimore as much as the Orioles need Washington.

    Baltimore fans did, however, get a little upset when Cooke made sure expansion teams went to Jacksonville and Charlotte instead of Balmer even though Maryland had a top-notch stadium deal ready to go. It wasn't until Cooke died and Art Modell called in a lifetime of favors among fellow owners that Baltimore got an NFL team back.

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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Why Not?
    Baltimore fans did, however, get a little upset when Cooke made sure expansion teams went to Jacksonville and Charlotte instead of Balmer even though Maryland had a top-notch stadium deal ready to go. It wasn't until Cooke died and Art Modell called in a lifetime of favors among fellow owners that Baltimore got an NFL team back.
    Sounds a lot like what you wish Angelos would have been able to pull off. I love the hypocrisy that eminates from Baltimore. They want to keep a team from Washington but whined when Cooke did the same thing and also stole Cleveland's football team but still hold Irsay up as satan incarnate. You'd think the number two city would just accept that it is number two, just like Providence is to Boston.

  14. #264
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by YankyDave
    Sounds a lot like what you wish Angelos would have been able to pull off. I love the hypocrisy that eminates from Baltimore. They want to keep a team from Washington but whined when Cooke did the same thing and also stole Cleveland's football team but still hold Irsay up as satan incarnate. You'd think the number two city would just accept that it is number two, just like Providence is to Boston.
    I'll be the first to admit how hypocritical it is. I'm fine with that. I'm also fine with the notion the DC is a bigger, more cosmo city that Baltimore. Nevertheless, Baltimore is MY city, so I don't like to see it get screwed.

    Baltimore was and is largely irrelavant to the Redskins' finances. Even after the Colts moved, few Baltimorons embraced the Redskins. Many folks hated the Skins (and to some extent the NFL) even more than they did before. But Baltimore remained a viable football town, drawing 35K to CFL games for two seasons. The NFL disallowed the CFL team from using "Colts" and insisted that Indy carry the uniforms, history and records that were born in Baltimore.

    Even so, Baltimore made plans to draw an NFL expansion team...passed legislation that would begin building a stadium the moment the NFL made its announcement. The people of Baltimore willingly bought PSLs, giving them the RIGHT to buy tickets. Baltimore had a long and successful football history and was the obvious location for NFL expansion, but Cooke nixed it. The commish told people to spend the money on a "factory or museum". So when Modell essentially went broke and Cleveland wouldn't built a new park, Baltimore pulled the trigger. Folks in Baltimore still feel badly about it, but the NFL had screwed the city in so many ways in the past, it was clear this was the only way to get a team.


    Meanwhile, Washington embraced the Orioles in a way that Baltimore never did with the Redskins. I'm not saying everyone in DC became an Orioles fan, but the support was significant. DC had no ownership and only vague plans for a ballpark as well as a history of NOT getting things done (which is why the Redskins play in Maryland).


    In short, Baltimore did everything required and didn't get an NFL franchise because of Cooke. Washington has done very little to acquire an MLB team except exist as a large, theoretically untapped "market".

  15. #265
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Why Not?
    The new ballparks since then haven't had the same success.

    Miller Park went from 34K per game its first year to 24K in 2002 then 20K in 2003. It's climbed a bit since then but still hasn't approached the first year.

    Comerica in Detroit had 30K its first year but hasn't topped 24K in six years since.

    Safeco Field in Seattle has stayed more steady, but the Mariners put up four straight 90-win seasons (and a 116-win one!) before tailing off the last two seasons.

    PNC Park in Pittsburgh drew 30K its first year, no more than 22K since.
    The pattern I see here is that good teams draw fans, bad teams do not. Baltimore and Seattle retained a lot, whereas the others didn't. Washington won't be great for a while, but the increased revenues from a TV network and the vastly greater number of fans compared to Montreal, plus new ownership, will make a massive difference.

    Considering the higher-than-average level of no-shows last year, I will guess that the Nats will draw no more than 25K per game in 2006 and drop to near 20K in 2007. The new park will pump it back up a bit, but I don't think the Nats will ever regularly draw more than 30K per game.
    Not ever? That's a bit of a bold statement (sorry!), given that the team is likely here to stay, and that Washington/Baltimore (if you insist on calling them one market) is about as big as Chicago, with probably as much money.

    I'd lay money that within 20 years, DC will have experienced three consecutive years of +2.5m attendance. And even if they don't, it's still better than where they were - drawing 600k per season in Montreal. That's under 10k a game.

    Aren't we always told that competition is the lifeblood of business and a functioning economy? Competition's come to town. For the record, I'm all in favor of moving the Marlins to Brooklyn, but - unlike DC - there was no popular outcry for another MLB team in New York. Washington had petitions, websites, media coverage, and a stadium lying empty, as well as probably the single largest metropolitan population without franchises in both leagues.

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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Why Not?
    I'll be the first to admit how hypocritical it is. I'm fine with that. I'm also fine with the notion the DC is a bigger, more cosmo city that Baltimore. Nevertheless, Baltimore is MY city, so I don't like to see it get screwed.
    There's where your argument gets lost. If you have paid any attention to the Washington baseball situation you would see that D.C. has tried to get a team since the 80's but always ended up being a pawn in MLB's game to rip off other cities.

    Baltimore lost their football team for the same reasons Washington lost a baseball team. The only difference is Washington didn't cry and blame everyone else. Another reason Baltimore never accepted the Redskins was mainly due to an inferiority complex. Washington doesn't have one so hopping on another baseball team's bandwagon wasn't so surprising.

  17. #267
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by YankyDave
    There's where your argument gets lost. If you have paid any attention to the Washington baseball situation you would see that D.C. has tried to get a team since the 80's but always ended up being a pawn in MLB's game to rip off other cities.

    Baltimore lost their football team for the same reasons Washington lost a baseball team. The only difference is Washington didn't cry and blame everyone else. Another reason Baltimore never accepted the Redskins was mainly due to an inferiority complex. Washington doesn't have one so hopping on another baseball team's bandwagon wasn't so surprising.
    Washington didn't cry when it lost its team because relatively few people cared that it left....twice. And they didn't blame everyone else because in reality, D.C. never supported the Senators in great numbers.

    I have followed D.C.'s baseball attempts for 20 years and I wouldn't consider any of them all that hopeful. Franchise moves to D.C. were somewhere north of a pipe dream but someplace far south of reality. When the White Sox got new Comiskey built, they threatened a move to Tampa, not D.C. Nobody ever presented MLB with a decent plan for a DC or Virginia ballpark or put together a watertight ownership group. Baseball went with Washington ONLY when their attempts at contraction failed and they got stuck running the Expos. In ownerships' perfect world, the Expos/Nats would not exist and owners in Tampa and Miami would be threatening to move to D.C.

    The inferiority complex, by the way, is 100% true, undeniably.

  18. #268

    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Why Not?
    Moving the team to Jersey really wasn't an option at the time, but doing so in the future might help level the financial playing field.
    According to the Washington Post, MLB was negotiating with the NJSEA. That's one of the reasons that DC had to come up with such a lopsided sweetheart deal.

  19. #269

    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee
    As to the Expos moving to NJ, perhaps you need to put down your calculator for awhile and just use your noggin. Both George and Wilpon would've vehemently vetoed such a move. Figuratively speaking, had that happened, do you really think that the Yanks and Mets would *BOTH* lose a full 1/3 of their fan base to a team formerly in Montreal, to which they had no prior connection?
    They said the same things when first the Islanders and then the Devils came to town.

    As for vetoing it, neither Steinbrenner nor Wilpon has a veto, as I understand it. They may have enough influence to deny a team moving to NJ the necessary votes (you need 3/4, or 23) but I don't think they could out-and-out veto it.

  20. #270

    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxmania
    I would think that was partly due to the fact that RFK is pretty old and lacks modern ballpark features. It's also a little smaller than Camden Yards (or whatever the Orioles are calling it at the moment), which would suppress attendance during sellouts.

    To spin it another way, despite the Orioles having 18-20 visits from two of the biggest names in baseball (the Yankees and the Red Sox), a far bigger payroll, a better park, a marquee baseball name in Tejada, and a team that was also strong in its division for the first half of the year, they still were outdrawn by a franchise decimated by poor trades and lack of payroll, in a delapidated park, and with an entrenched competitor 50 miles away.

    Cuts both ways.
    I would question that "dilapidated." RFK is certainly not modern, but it's not falling apart. It's maintained. It's been in use for the DC United soccer team, so they have had to maintain it.

    But add to what you said, iffy concessions, a whisper of a radio station (a situation that is being corrected this year with the move to 1500 -- you can get in in NY at night), a TV outlet that almost nobody could see, virtually no promotion, questions about the stability of the ballpark deal, no real owner, no real marquee players (although Washington fell in love with the ones they had), and a crummy schedule that packed home games into July and September, and look at the attendance figures in that light.

    The Orioles still have a store in Farragut Square (essentially downtown), for goodness' sake!

    And the Nats still outdrew them.

  21. #271

    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Why Not?
    Both teams are going to draw fewer fans because of the presence of the other team.
    The Orioles' attendance was virtually the same in 2005 as in 2004. And the Nationals drew more than the Orioles. Teh two are not going to suffer; the market was greatly underserved.

  22. #272
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Why Not?
    I have faith in Orioles fans, but the loyal fans might not be enough. In addition to the loyal fans, we need the family from Falls Church, Va. to come and buy $100 worth of soda and baseball caps and we need the group of 10 guys who drive up from Univ. of Maryland and spend $250 on beer and, most importantly, we need corporations to keep buying the skyboxes. I think that's where the Nats will hurt the Orioles, because the "non-loyal" fans have another option for their entertainment dollar. Those people are the difference between getting 30,000 a night and 40,000 a night.
    I live in Northern VA and deal with a lot of vendors in the DC area. I know several who started giving up their Orioles season tickets as far back as 2001 (long before the Nats came to town). Their clients were simply not interested in Orioles tickets anymore. The reason -- traffic. In rush hour it can easily take 3 hours to drive to Baltimore from northern VA. You literally need to leave by 4:00 to ensure that you arrive in time for a 7:00 game during the week. It's just too much of a hassle.

    With or without the Nationals, Baltimore was going to see a dropoff in attendance from the northern VA fanbase. Angelos needs to forget about the DC market and concentrate on putting a better product on the field to draw more from his own market.
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  23. #273
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    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    If the Oriorles put a competitive team on the field, their attendance would be fine.



  24. #274

    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Socal Pinstriper
    If the Oriorles put a competitive team on the field, their attendance would be fine.
    you're right Baltimore was doing really well in the mid to late 90s.

  25. #275

    Re: Angelos: Orioles Tough Times Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Socal Pinstriper
    If the Oriorles put a competitive team on the field, their attendance would be fine.
    The presence of the Nationals will help that happen. As long as they had the Baltimroe/Washington region to themselves, they didn't have to compete. Now, they have to compete for fans with the Nats, especially in that no-man's land between teh two cities: Montgomery, Prince Georges, Anne Arundel, Howard Counties, etc. To do that, they will have to put a competitive team on the field, or the Nats will dominate the region in a few years. They already have a better team and better attendance, and they have no owner and have done virtually no promotion. The Nationals also had essentially an extremely minimal media presence (TV/radio) last season. Once those things are fixed, the Nationals will pull even further ahead in teh competition for the fans of teh region. The Orioles' only hope is to get competitive on the field and remain that way.

    Of course, thankfully, Havana Pete doesn't see it that way.

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