I recently read on the Washington Nationals website that the Nats Express is being discontinued for 2010. While I understand it, it’s too bad. I was looking forward to my first ever trip to Nationals Park, parking for free at RFK and taking the shuttle to the beautiful new ballpark in D.C.
The Nats Express was a free service that the Nationals offered in an effort to get fans into Nationals Park and spend money on hot dogs. Folks parked their cars at RFK Stadium (the Nats former home), and hopped on a free shuttle that dropped riders off a couple of blocks away from the center field entrance. All free. Air conditioned and everything. This is something I’d have paid a couple dollars for too, but it’s apparently not worth it to the Nats. Nuts.
I suppose we have “superagent” Scott Boras to thank for this, like we have him to thank for a good part of the skyrocketing prices of just about anything baseball. The Nationals made a big deal out of signing Boras-represented pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg, at the staggering price of $15.1 million over four years. This for a pitcher who has not yet thrown a pitch to a major league hitter. Anyone remember the J.D. Drew fiasco in Philly? I sure do. Turns out that guy wasn’t worth $11 million just to sign a contract after all.
To soften the blow, the Nationals have made $5 parking available in Lot HH, and $10 parking is available in Lot W. Both of these lots are the farthest ones from the park that are run by the team. Lot HH is a good 5-6 blocks north. Fine with me, let the people paying $30 to park not get any exercise and miss out on the Five Guys outside.
Anyway, the Nats are spending some money trying to put a competitive team on the field after two straight 100-loss seasons in their brand new digs. So I suppose it’s understandable that there won’t be any free rides to Nats Park anymore.
But can’t we at least use the Express on days that Strasburg isn’t pitching?