Friday, May 15, 2009

The Dreaded Nationals

The WaPo:

Through 13 home dates, the Nationals, at 11-21 baseball's worst team, are averaging just 19,409 fans per game, which ranks 28th out of the 30 teams in the majors, behind only Pittsburgh (15,300) and Oakland (18,030). At their current rate, the Nationals would draw a total of fewer than 1.6 million fans, which would be the fewest since the team arrived in Washington from Montreal in 2005.

The 19,409 average attendance also represents a drop-off of 35.2 percent over the Nationals' first 13 home dates of 2008, by far the largest decrease this year in major league baseball, which is experiencing a decline of nearly 5 percent across the board.

Forbes magazine:
"The owners of the Washington Nationals have badly botched the job thus far of trying to successfully bring Major League Baseball to the nation's capital for the third time. Blame the Lerner family, who bought the team in 2006 for $450 million and dominate the ownership group. Managing Principal Owner Theodore Lerner and the four other family members who are principal owners furnish one of the league's lowest payrolls despite a new, taxpayer-financed stadium."

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