WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The first few days of the Nationals' "Take Back the Park" promotion have been a success for the team. It's sold thousands of tickets to a May series against the Phillies and hopes to sell thousands more.
In the first five days of the pre-sale the team has had an "unbelievable response." Nationals Chief Operating Officer Andrew Feffer said "thousands of fans have purchased tickets."
The Nationals want to bring some swagger back to their ballpark when those dastardly Phillies fans invade. "This is Washington," Feffer told 9NEWS NOW. "This is our town, our fans, our park, and now it's our time with this team and it's about time we did something [about Phillies fans coming to Nationals Park]."
The team is holding a pre-sale of tickets to the May 4-6 series against the Phillies. For a limited time, only people with a credit card linked to an address is Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia, along with season ticket holders, will be eligible to purchase tickets to the series. The games available include a national ESPN game on Sunday, May 6 at 8:05pm. The special pre-sale will continue at Nationals.com/ourpark until single-game tickets go on sale to the general public in March.
The Nationals took the season series from their NL East rival in 2011, 10 games to 8. But each game at Nationals Park looked and sounded like a home game for the Phillies. Thousands of Philadelphia fans were seen in the stands and heard cheering their players.
Some Nationals fans choose not to attend home games against the Phillies because of the invading hordes. Feffer agrees: "I'm tired of seeing Phillies fans... every year in our ballpark," he said.
Feffer pointed to the recent signings of pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson as reasons for Nationals fans to be optimistic for a chance at contending in the National League East.
Last year, the Nationals were 44-36 at home. They were 36-45 on the road, giving them a season record of 80-81. That clinched third place in the National League East, 21.5 games behind the Phillies. The Nationals had the same 10-8 winning record against the Phillies and Mets. They were 9-9 against the Braves and 7-11 against the Marlins.
The Nationals' home opener is Thursday, April 12 against the Cincinnati Reds.
Written by Dan Guzman
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com