WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals, and thousands of Nats fans, discovered firsthand that a Trea Turner bobblehead giveaway sandwiched between a split doubleheader leads to a clot of people around Nationals Park so large it inspires a Twitterstorm.
Nationals fans were stuck in lines as far as the eye could see before Sunday’s rescheduled game against the Philadelphia Phillies, waiting to get into the stadium and collect their bobbleheads before the game’s start time of 7:05 p.m.
Nats Park. Lines backed up around the stadium. Everyone’s looking for Trea Turner bobblehead @Nationals pic.twitter.com/fLkFcBnIEx
— CFTC Defense Man (@GregoryMocek) May 14, 2017
The team had planned to give away 25,000 Trea Turner bobbleheads on Friday, when the game was originally set to be played. But both the game and the giveaway were rescheduled to Sunday due to rain.
Following protocol, the Nationals announced the gates would reopen 90 minutes after the first game to allow time for crowds to find their seats before the first pitch. The day game ended with a 4-3 Phillies’ victory shortly before 4:40 p.m., giving fans until 6:10 p.m. to queue up outside.
But with the doubleheader, fans waiting to enter or renter the stadium found themselves in lines that stretched from the Center Field Gate to the Navy Yard Metro, all along N Street toward Potomac Avenue, and even on the stairs of parking garages near the park.
Slight wait to get into Nats Park for the night game. pic.twitter.com/cq62VVQGMB
— Heung-Min GustafSon (@kgustafson) May 14, 2017
30 minutes in line trying to get out of prkg C. Come on @Nationals get the line moving! pic.twitter.com/LOQXyHl2KE
— CUBuffNurse (@CherylSchmitzRN) May 14, 2017
Is this the best the @Nationals can do? pic.twitter.com/zqhA6kHo6a
— Bob Bradford (@rva_bob) May 14, 2017
On most bobblehead days, according to Federal Baseball, fans have around two hours to enter the ballpark. After the Center Field Gate opens at 5 p.m., everything else opens by 5:30 p.m., allowing everyone from super-collectors to first-time visitors to trickle in at their own pace.
On Sunday, fans had a little under an hour to get inside the ballpark and collect their bobbleheads, not leaving quite enough time for everyone to see Max Scherzer’s first pitch.
That’s a long line at 655 pic.twitter.com/MgM54cYAS0
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) May 14, 2017
WTOP has contacted the Nationals about the situation; the team did not have a comment.
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