Congrats, Stan, Jim, Ted, and Mark, you did it. You so completely bored, turned off, alienated and disgusted your potential fanbase that you have achieved a unique level of fan disinterest never before seen in the last 30 years of major league baseball.
Last night, you needed to draw a piddling 20,660 to stay ahead of the 2003 Cincinnati Reds for worst new stadium average attendance ever. But you couldn't even draw that many. On a gorgeous night with no NFL or college sports on TV, no Olympics, nothing really at of note to distract fans, a mere 20,657 showed up.
You have now drawn 2,297,101 fans for the year, a per-game average of 29,077.23, the worst ever for a new stadium in its first year since the new generation of ballparks began in 1989. Click here for the full list of 17 new parks that drew better--most much, much better.
You did it despite a massive subsidy in the form of a publicly financed stadium. You did it despite thousands of Phillies, Mets, Cubs, and other out of town fans pouring into the stadium each night. You did it despite none of the anticipated problems with traffic or parking around the stadium. You did it despite minimal competition for fan loyalty from the nearly as awful Baltimore Orioles. You did it despite 30 years of pent-up desire for a hometown nine of our own.
In good weather and bad, wins and losses, day games and night--the stadium remained unfilled. It's a true testament to a level of organization-wide, day-in and day-out incompetence that few if any thought possible.
Oh, I give JimBo a lot of grief here, and indeed if it wasn't for four years of sub-par player evaluation and schizophrenic roster construction strategy, we couldn't have achieved this level of putrescence on the field. Even the Expos in their last quarter-century, in all their years under MLB stewardship with a salary cap playing home games in Puerto Rico--even those wayward, orphan Expos never lost as many games as the Nationals have this year.
But no, Jim couldn't have achieved this dubious record alone. To achieve this level of failure you had to stiff the city's taxpayers (aka your potential fanbase) of millions in stadium rent, refuse to sign your number one draft pick apparently out of some principled objection to the existence of player agents, decline to sign any recognizable 'name' free agents, unceremoniously dump one of the team's most popular players on sports talk radio, build an eyesore of a parking garage blocking the Capitol view that you marketed so aggressively to season ticket-holders, cut corners on off-season fan forums and botch the marketing of the team in innumerable ways, provide slipshod customer service to season ticket holders and others, embrace Exxon-Mobil--one of the nation's most hated corporations--as your most high-profile sponsor, hold your annual charity gala in Maryland not DC, get mixed up in a bonus-skimming scandal... and so many other things I'm sure I'm missing.
Congrats, boys. And yes, Jim, I'm being sarcastic.