By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —
The Washington Nationals decided they’d like fewer Phillies fans in their ballpark, so they came up with a plan to ‘Take Back The Park.’ Now, they’ve apparently decided they’re no longer going to sell tickets to Phillies fans they’ve already taken deposits from.
When the folks over at Integrated Project Services Inc. in Lafayette Hill were deciding on a company outing, a baseball trip seemed like a perfect fit. “We’re big Phillies fans here. It’s fun during the baseball season in our office,” Chuck Stock, Senior Vice President at IPS Inc. said.
In December they contacted the Andrew Ascienzo, a ticket sales account executive for the Washington Nationals. “We put an order in and a deposit on tickets, and were guaranteed the tickets, got a signed contract. We were told that by January, we picked where we’d want to sit, but by the end of January we’d confirm where the seating was, and [the Nationals would] forward us the tickets,” Kate McCorriston, Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications at IPS Inc., said. “So we ordered a bus, put a deposit down on a bus, and notified employees to save the date, that we were going to the park on May 5th, to see the Phillies.” They were guaranteed the ability to purchase 100 tickets, with the possibility of ordering more depending on availability.
An email from Ascienzo said “attached is the invoice for your deposit. I will reach out to you when it is your turn to be seated.”
It was almost the end of January, and neither Kate or Chuck had heard a thing from the Nationals about their tickets. “we had tried to contact the Nationals because we thought by the end of January we were suppoesd to know,” McCorriston said. “So we called and emailed and called and called and emailed and called, this had been going on for two and a half weeks, and they finally just notified us and said ‘well sorry, we have to take back our park, you know, you can’t have the tickets, there aren’t any tickets left, and we’ll refund your deposit. That was it.”
The Nationals introduced their ‘Take Back The Park’ program earlier this month, allowing only people who lived in general area of Nationals Park to pre-order tickets. It was a reaction to the large groups of Phillies fans who have flooded the stadium in recent years. “When we purchased those tickets back in December, this hadn’t come up,” McCorriston said.
When Jennifer Wagner at IPS Inc. told Ascienzo in an email that they had already put down a $400 deposit on a bus, he replied “at this point, there is nothing we can do for this game. I can refund your credit card the $200 deposit that you initially put down.”
Stock said he was disappointed that his employees wouldn’t be able to go on the trip and see their favorite team. He then laughed and said, “and there’s a bus deposit we can’t get back.”
The Nationals have not responded to requests for comment.