The Washington Times - February 9, 2012, 09:03PM

When the Washington Nationals announced a new ticket initiative for the first home series of the 2012 season against the Philadelphia Phillies, aimed at stopping the onslaught of Philadelphia fans who overtake Nationals Park each summer, they were met with mixed reviews.

Some Nationals fans liked the team’s attempt to fire up the fanbase and allow a pre-sale for local fans for single-game tickets to that series. Others were puzzled why there still appeared to be plenty of tickets already on the secondary market for group trips to Philadelphia.

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Either way, one thing is for sure: the ticket initiative certainly got under the skin of the Philadelphia fans who’ve made it an annual pilgrimage to Washington to root on their team. Things reached what one can only assume is an apex on Thursday with U.S. Senator Robert Casey sending a personal letter to Nationals owner Ted Lerner in protest of the presale. The letter was also apparently copied to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig as well as Nationals COO Andy Feffer.

Presented below without comment is that letter, courtesy of Philly.com:

 

Dear Mr. Lerner,

I write regarding the recently announced “Take Back the Park” ticket policy

at Washington Nationals Park and to respectfully request its elimination. I

am concerned that dedicated Philadelphia Phillies fans will be unfairly

denied access to games when their team plays against the Nationals.

 

It has come to my attention that residents of Washington, DC, Virginia and

Maryland have been given special priority access to tickets sales on the

dates in May when the Nationals and the Phillies compete. According to the

team’s website, only credit card billing addresses from these two states and

the District of Columbia will be processed for the presale, effectively

blocking thousands of Phillies fans who root for their team by visiting

Nationals Park. I appreciate the desire to enjoy a home field advantage, but

this unprecedented policy solely and unfairly targets Phillies fans.

 

As the Nation’s capital, Washington DC uniquely plays host to visitors from

across the country. In addition to the fans who visit exclusively for

Phillies games, tourists from the Commonwealth who hope to include a game on

their Washington, DC itinerary could be blocked from attendance. In the

spirit of good sportsmanship and healthy competition, I urge you to

reconsider the policy and immediately allow Phillies fans equal access to

ticket sales at Nationals Park.

 

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator

cc: Allan H. Selig, Commissioner, Major League Baseball

cc: Andrew Feffer, Chief Operating Officer, Washington Nationals