In The Defense Of Nationals Fandom: Part III

DC Sports Nexus ---- Thursday, May 24, 2012

Each Thursday We Let A Nats Fan Sound Off, Because Quite Frankly, The Fans Know More Than We Do
This Week's Entry Is a 3-Parter Written By A Huge Nats Fan From Twitter:  @TClippardsSpecs
Part III: The Phuture (Part I, Part II)
“I Never Think Of The Future.  It Comes Soon Enough.”
-Albert Einstein

What does the future hold?  Let's take a look at some more recent statistics to find out.  Because the Vet was so terrible, and the new Citizen's Bank Park is such a better/cozier place to watch a ballgame, we will look at some numbers for CBP:

Since Nationals Park only has 4 years of existence under it's belt, let's only 
considered the first four years (2004-2007) for Citizens Bank Park.

Keep in mind, these are the years prior to their 2008/2009 World Series appearances, as well as their 102 win 2011 season.  The average attendances from 2008 forward are in the 42,000-47,000 range. Think about those numbers, compared to Veterans Stadium averages – quite a difference a new stadium makes.

Winning also plays a role, but in this comparison it's somewhat irrelevant, if you consider the history of the Phillies at the Vet. In 33 seasons at the Vet, the Phillies had 3 World Series appearances, winning in 1980, 13 winning seasons, with 2 of them being 100+ win seasons -- very comparable to their CBP years thus far.

So where does that take us, and what does the past tell us about today?

Comparing losing seasons between the two teams shows that in spite of what Philadelphians might think, their accusations of bad Nats fandom should fall on deaf ears. If they need confirmation, they need look no further than the Phillies of the 1990's. While a number of fans showed up to root for a losing team, they didn't do it with the dedication that Nationals fans had.

What we currently see also gives hope to the Nationals fan. A flirtation with first place, the promise of a great pitching staff, all combined with a highly regarded farm system bodes well for the future. With the Nats on the up & up, and the Phillies at a injury plagued crossroads, will the tables turn for these teams?

Things Are Looking A Bit Different Nowadays

In 2012, the Phillies/Nats series drew on average almost 10,000 more fans in Philly than it did in DC.  And DC's series was a beautiful weekend, and in Philly it was rainy weekdays.  I think many more Philly fans traveled down here than vice versa.  So it isn't close yet...but winning consistently can cure all ails.

Will we ever see Nationals Park at 83% capacity like Citizens Bank? Will Philadelphia see a return to 1990's misfortunes and a concomitant drop in attendance again? Will the Nationals find their most recent fortunes to be the springboard to years of success and winning?

If showing up is half the battle, the future looks bright for Nats fans...

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