December 16, 2004

Washington Nationals close store; begin refunding ticket monies

The Washington Nationals, after being dealt a significant blow by the DC City Council with regard to construction of a new stadium, shuttered the one memorabilia store they had opened, and began refunding money paid for season tickets today.

Major League Baseball has told its vendor to suspend sales of the items indefinitely. The temporary Washington Nationals store set up near RFK Stadium is now closed.

The team has also suspended the hiring of front office and support personnel. Major league Baseball officials have said the Expo's baseball operations will continue but efforts to sell sponsorships. arrange broadcast deals and conduct other marketing efforts are all on hold.

Washington Mayor Anthony Williams was quoted as saying that the deal would have to be fixed within the next two weeks if it could be at all.

It is unclear whether the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos will play this season in Washington, Montreal or some other city.

Posted by mhking at December 16, 2004 10:22 AM

Seems like it would be wise to snatch up all the memorablia you can get your hands on. Definite collectors items.

Posted by: King of Fools at December 16, 2004 10:49 AM

That didn't take long. The jerseys linked to below are now out of stock. You better get a hat while you can.

Posted by: Keith at December 16, 2004 07:35 PM

I understand the key to the failure was the city council's voting to not spend a beaucoup of public funds on it. Interesting.

Posted by: Chap at December 17, 2004 03:27 AM

How about moving them to the Dominican, to cut down on the commute of MLB's shortstops?

Or, to New York. We once had three teams--and maybe by splitting the market a bit it will help even out resources. Besides, even with Pedro, the Mets are still going to be a good AAA team, and I'd like watch some Major League baseball this year!

Posted by: Tony Iovino at December 17, 2004 07:25 AM

Meanwhile, we can all get to work on that time machine, which we can use to go back in time and torment that owner of the Senates team who stole it from us. :-((

Posted by: Lola at December 17, 2004 10:55 AM

Chap, that is correct. The mayor told MLB the city would happily build a stadium. One of the councilmembers (Kropp, who I normally wouldn't give the time of day to) inserted language at the 11th hour stating 50% had to be paid by private funds. With no time to get that funding before the deadline at the end of the year ran out, there probably won't be a stadium deal at end-fo-year. I happen to agree with Kropp; the mayor can say all he wants about how much money it'll bring into DC but in the past it's shown to be a bust. Take a look at Pittsburgh: shiny new stadium and the city is barely solvent because of the funds they paid, but at least they kept their teams! DC is in a bitch of a lot worse shape than the Pitt was. Believe you me.

I bought my father-in-law a hat for Christmas online two days before the vote, and I hope it'll still get delivered.

On another note, does anyone get today's Day by Day (Ukraine elections and soup)?

Posted by: LCVRWC at December 17, 2004 11:38 AM

I'm rooting for Vegas.

Posted by: Laurence Simon at December 17, 2004 11:41 AM
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