In defiance of an effort to limit their presence at this weekend’s away series against the Washington Nationals, Phillies fans are flocking to the nation’s capital today for the second game of the series. One company had to find creative solutions to get their customers into Nationals Park.
It’s happened at every matchup in Washington to date: a sea of Phillies fans overwhelming the hometown crowd, which doesn’t exactly turn out in droves. But this past winter, one Nationals executive said he’d had enough, and instituted a policy now known as “Take Back the Park,” offering tickets first to residents of D.C., Virginia, and Maryland.
“Our rep reached out to us and said: we’re going to be taking this ‘Take Back the Park’ seriously, and we cannot sell you these tickets any longer,” said Marilyn Minda, Vice-President of Phils Fever, a company that provides bus packages to Phillies away games. She says her company tapped its network of customers to see who might have relatives with Virginia, Maryland, or D.C. addresses, to buy blocks of eight tickets in the company’s usual outfield section.
“Eventually, after the first 50 or 60 people, they started saying, okay, well, now you can only buy six tickets instead of eight, or you know, the section is starting to get limited, but we kept at it and were able to continue to get to where we are,” said Minda.
Phils fever will transport 800 fans to today’s 1 p.m. game.