There are a lot of pros and cons to being a Season Ticket holder (as well as just being a member with other folks in a larger group).
Some of the common negatives fans say they don’t want to become a season ticket holder include:
- I only want to go to a few games.
- I want to pick the the games I want to go to and not worry about conflicts.
- The folks I know who have season tickets have more/less seats than I want.
- I don’t like paying upfront.
- I think I can get a better deal on StubHub or SeatGeek for the less desirable games.
- And so on, and so on . . . .
As someone who was a Season Ticket (ST) plan holder starting in 2005 thru 2022; and now a member of another ST group, permit me to address each of these in turn. But first, I have to address the obvious question – why did I stop being a ST plan holder. The answer is simple. Over time I just had too many drop-outs from my group. Most of the historical members of my group got 4-5 games; some got 10. Over time folks left for a variety of reasons (and some were replaced); mostly related to work and personal commitments that made it difficult to attend games.
So let me address each of the above first 5 points. But first let me say that the key to many of these concerns is that the Nationals allow exchanges of your season ticket seats. And last year they updated the policy that you can do an exchange up to 4 hours before the game you are exchanging. And the best part of the exchange policy is that there are no ticket fees. When you do an exchange, either for different seats for the same game or a different game:
- Exchange for the same price ticket – no charge.
- Exchange for a more expensive seat – just pay the difference.
- Exchange for a less expensive seat – no refund – but the funds go to Nationals Philanthropies (or whatever it is called now).
I only want to go to a few games.
Some groups can accommodate partners who only want a few games. Full season, half season and quarter season each have a different number of allowed partners. However if you can’t joing the group because of those limits, you can still agree with the plan holder that you only want X games. The plan holder can then do exchanges for and send your tickets – again with no ticket fees. When I was a plan holder I had a few folks who only wanted a few games. I would just send them their tickets. The only downside is they did not get the eCash discount. But if you only want a couple games, that is not a big deal.
I want to pick the the games I want to go to and not worry about conflicts.
Again, the ability to do exchanges makes this pretty much moot. If there are multiple requests for the same game, just do trades to get extra tickets. And when you do those trades, you can use games no one wants (e.g., Wednesday afternoon get-away game against a team no one cares about). When I had to do this, I just balanced who go the regular seats vs. somewhere close. Most partners, if they know in advance, don’t care.
The folks I know who have season tickets have more/less seats than I want.
Again, not a problem due to the exchange policy. The group I am in now has 4 seats. But I, alone with the rest of the folks from my former group who joined, only want 2. We get two seats; someone else can get two; or they can be exchanged. Easy/Peasy. And when I was a season plan holder, we originally had four but changed to two when the folks that needed 4 wanted less games. We just did exchanges of two tickets for two games for four tickets for the folks who wanted four tickets for a game.
I don’t like paying upfront.
No one does. But the plan holder has to start paying (the Nationals 10 have a payment plan) around Sept/Oct. But most plan holders only want the dollars for your seats. One of the partners from my prior group loves the FIS club and uses changes for every game. She pays over the winter for the much less expensive seats in the season ticket plan and then when she does the exchange for the FIS club, she pays the difference – again with no ticket fees.
My wife and I do the same. We love to collect bobbleheads and want to get there early. We enjoy spending time is the FIS club before the game starts and just pay the (roughly) $90 difference when we upgrade two seats/tickets. Works for us. YMMV.
I can get a better deal on StubHub or SeatGeek.
Perhaps. But if you are a partner with access to the eCash discount (30% for full season plans, 20% for half season and 15% for quarter season plans). And remember that StubHub and SeatGeek have fees.
Considering the above, perhaps joining or creating a Season Ticket plan works for you. Obviously, YMMV.
I will do my best to answer any questions you may have. And I know there are more than a few Season Ticket Plan holders who are regulars here and can perhaps weigh in. And perhaps some of them are looking for parters. There are also a few FaceBook Nationals related groups of folks who share/sell parts of their season ticket plan.