For the first time, fans of the Washington Nationals make the list of most passionate in sports. A major milestone for everyone.
Washington Nationals fans are a serious force.
When FanSided releases their list of the 250 largest fan bases in the sports and entertainment world, the Nats will make that list for the first time. Those rankings are out on December 12. District on Deck, remember, is FanSided’s home for Nats coverage.
One of 11 Major League Baseball teams to make the list, recognition as a power has everything to do with you our readers. You are the fans with expectations of how this team performs and the Nats and the rest of the country are listening.
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Those all-important television ratings, how much commercials sell for, hit a record-high in 2017 of 2.91 on the MASN family of channels. An eight percent increase from 2016 according to The Washington Post. Attendance at Nationals Park increased 40,000 to 2,524,980. Although seventh in the National League, it is the sixth year in a row the Nats topped two million.
We know there is a potential championship team on the field, but the emergence of a huge fan base bolsters the team now and into the future. With the All-Star Game coming to Washington next summer, the country gets a greater glimpse of the things coming from DC.
Baseball and Washington have an unusual relationship.
First, regardless of their record, the Washington Redskins are the toast of the town. Three Super Bowl championships coming after the Senators left for Dallas cemented the burgundy-and-gold as Washington’s escape to success. Although RFK Stadium sits empty with D.C. United moves to their soccer-only place, “Hail to the Redskins” continues to echo inside.
Along with the hockey Capitals and Wizards of the NBA, playoff success haunts Nats fans like delays on the Metro after work.
What the Nats have done in the 13 years they have called Washington home is remarkable. Bad results or no, four trips to the playoffs in six years is tremendous. Homegrown talent like Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman, mixed with Jayson Werth and Max Scherzer make DC a destination players want to play at.
Since buying the franchise from MLB, the Lerner family has built a model franchise and their efforts are paying off. Slowly, the Nats are part of the conversation in town.
If our page records and social media tell us anything, you care in greater numbers about the Nats and how they do. We know it.
Making noise outside the beltway is another matter. Washington being a passionate baseball town is a surprise for anyone not paying attention. Congratulations!