Thursday, May 17, 2007

Can the Nationals Help Beleaguered DC Schools?

I found something interesting while reading the comments of one of the best Washington Nationals blogs out there Captiol Punishment. There is a "proposal" for the Ted Lerner, principal owner of the Nationals, who since the Nats are tanking the season as it is and since attendance has fallen below last years average, to donate every dollar from ticket sales above last year's average attendance mark to the DC Public School System. Here's the idea:
Last year the Washington Nationals drew an average of 26,582 fans to each game at RFK; this season, without stars like Alfonso Soriano in the house, we may do worse. Although we anticipate staring at a sea of empty seats at RFK this summer, all is not lost. Maybe there’s another way to win this year. To that end, I hereby make the following pledge to Nationals fans and to the people of the Washington area: For the remainder of the 2007 baseball season, the revenue from the first 26,582 tickets sold for each home game belongs to the Nationals. But every dollar from every ticket sold thereafter will be deposited in a trust dedicated to rebuilding and reviving the DC school system.

In other words: As the city builds the Nationals a beautiful new ballpark, the Nationals will give something back by helping to improve the lives of children in DC whose schools are falling apart. It’s a way for you, and for millions of fans across the region, to send a message—in word and deed—to young people and families in the city’s neediest areas: You are not alone.
Interesting huh? No chance this version of the proposal goes through, slight if any chance that any version of this proposal gets accepted by the team, but if the Nat's did surrender a percentage of sales revenue past the 26,582 for help with the school system this would be an fun way to do a couple of things. 1) The Nationals would develop a ton of goodwill with a city that is divided over having to pay for a stadium thus becoming more a part of the community since they haven't done much else for the people of DC than add brisket to the menu at RFK (well ok, a little more); 2) They could fill a very empty stadium a bit more because people would know that instead of lining the pockets of the already rich owners while watching a farce of a Major League team play sub .375 baseball, they too would be giving back to the community. If the team sucks, that is not an incentive to go, giving back to the community while watching a game, might be enough for some. Everyone wins!

I kinda like it...although Kasten probably would rather spend this money towards more player development for "THE PLAN"©®. We shall see where this leads.

Full text of the proposal at


Anonymous said...

You say that Stan Kasten would rather spend the money on player development. But "the money" will not be there unless people show up at RFK. And they won't show up to watch a losing team. But, as you point out, they might buy a ticket if they've come for more than just a baseball game.
I'm with you. This idea is pretty interesting. Who out there in blog-land can help get this proposal moving?

Chimpanzee Rage said...

No idea, i'd think the more publicity it got, the more the Nats would have to pay attention to it. Or at least respond to it.

Rickey Henderson said...

The Nats can't even help themselves, let alone anyone else...

Chimpanzee Rage said...

They should sign you Rickey, that'd bring me to the ballpark every day.

Anonymous said...

Is this average attendence from hereonin or anything over 26,000 on any date. If the deal is the latter. Fans should organize to all attend on certain days and when you get 45,000 on one day and 18,000 the next night, it increases the revenue for the DC schools.

Commish said...

Instead of lining rich Ted Lerner's pockets, they could pour money into a school system that spends more per student that any other city.

Yeah, that's an improvement.

Anonymous said...

Commish says that spending more on a school system that's already spending a bundle is crazy (or at least that's what I think you're saying). But if you read the proposal carefully, it suggests the money be put into some sort of trust - that is, not given to the DC government.

There are tons of problems with the DC schools, and there is not one simple fix. But imagine Lerner created a multi-million dollar trust, and then used his real estate connections to renovate just the school buildings themselves.... The Nats are going to have a brand new house in which to play next year - even though their problems are also pretty big - so why shouldn't DC's school kids have a half decent structure where they can get try to learn?

Seems to me that This Could Be The Year isn't proposing an entirely new line up. It just envisions, say, a new set of educational stadiums.

If bricks-and-mortar matters to Ted Lerner and the Nats, then why shouldn't it matter to the kids?

Chimpanzee Rage said...

Hey is this the same Anonymous that wrote the letter in the first place? (the one talking to the commish)