- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Washington Nationals announced Wednesday that ticket prices for individual games will remain flat or drop slightly for the 2010 season, and the team said fans now can park near the stadium for as little as $5.

However, the team will discontinue its complimentary shuttle service to Nationals Park from free lots at RFK Stadium.

For most fans, the cost to attend a game at Nationals Park will be about the same as in 2009, but there will be price reductions on about 3,000 outfield seats. Tickets in the lower right field terrace seats will be reduced from $18 to $17 for most games, and tickets in the new Outfield Reserved section usually will cost $24. Those seats had been split into three sections, some of which had higher prices in 2009.

The team said there will be 12 “value” games in which single-game tickets can be purchased for the same price given to partial season ticket holders. There also will be 15 “prime” games against marquee teams; those tickets will have slightly higher prices.

The Nationals will continue to sell $5 tickets on game days for upper-deck seats at the far end of the left field line. On the opposite end of the price spectrum, tickets to the Presidents Club behind home plate will cost $325 on a single-game basis. Single-game tickets are expected to go on sale in February.

Lower-cost parking near the stadium is a new wrinkle. Fans can park in Lot HH - northwest of Nationals Park on South Capitol Street SW - for $5. They also can pay $10 to park in Lot W on M Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets SE. Nationals president Stan Kasten said the new lots were introduced because the Nats Express shuttle service from RFK was not used as widely last season.

“Over the past two seasons, there has been a decrease in the use of RFK parking lots and the Nats Express,” he said. “We feel our fans deserve economy parking near the ballpark, which will reduce travel time and enhance the overall fan experience at Nationals games. We believe it will be easier than ever to get to Nationals Park and that the new parking options will please those fans who prefer to drive.”

The free parking at RFK Stadium was a source of tension between the team and the city, which controlled the lots and had sought to charge the team for their use.

• Tim Lemke can be reached at tlemke@washingtontimes.com.

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