There’s been little to smile about with the Washington Nationals since the club was relocated from Montreal to DC in 2005. But, that’s all changed since the Nats drafted Stephen Strasburg with the overall first pick in last year’s First Year Player Draft. Interest has been high during his minor league stint (see Stephen Strasburg is Marketing Gold for the Minors), and the Nationals and MLB Network have gotten into the mix.
But the real indication of interest in Strasburg might lie in the secondary ticket market.
According to ticket reseller and forecast company SeatGeek.com, since Strasburg's debut was officially announced on June 1, Nationals tickets are transacting at $105.87 since the announcement. Prior to that, Washington Nationals tickets sold for an average of $51.11 this season, half the entrance price on the resale market to see Strasburg's debut.
The hype around Strasburg's MLB debut drove Nationals ticket prices up over the last few weeks. For the first half of May, Nationals tickets sold at $42.28 and from May 15th to June 1st they went up to $61.15. Ticket sales for the Nationals moved them from the 19th most popular team in MLB on the resale market during the first half of May to the 7th most popular team (sandwiched between the Phillies and the Twins).
The larger question will be, can Strasburg handle the pressure, and how will sales go once the inevitable off-game(s) come?
The Biz of Baseball will begin a "Strasburg Tracker" beginning on June 8th looking at attendance and other factors in the highly touted pitcher's debut season.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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