Hey, I'm all for the small time entrepreneur, but there's a limit on everything. Which brings me to the issue of ticket brokers outside the Metro station near Nats Park.
I've heard it from dozens of fans over the past couple of years, and now I'm hearing it from some of the big league scouts who come to town and take the train to the ballpark. I spoke with one this evening before the game who said he encountered not a handful of sellers, but what "had to be 60 or 70" of them.
"I came out of the station and they were everywhere," he said, "offering seats, or offering to buy mine. It was annoying as hell. I even tried to cross the street to get away from 'em, but they were over there, too."
I have to wonder, number one, why they thought there's much of a market for that many seats to a team that was coming off of back-to-back 100+ loss seasons, or number two, if there's that much of a profit margin when you buy seats in groups and re-sell them at face value. I see the logic of re-selling seats at a premium if it's a Strasburg start - or a Phillies' game - but not much beyond that.
Can the Nationals do anything about it? I'm sure there's a minimum distance the brokers need to keep from actual ballpark property, and perhaps there's some kind of business license required, but beyond that, I'm really not aware of any specific regulations.
Maybe it's a bigger market than I think. I mean, it stands to reason that if these folks were losing money on the deal, they wouldn't keep showing up.
If the experience ends up detracting from overall ballpark ambiance, I've got to believe the ballclub will figure out a remedy.