No rainout for open house as FredNats fans brave conditions

by | Mar 9, 2024 | ALLFFP, Fredericksburg, Sports

An hour before the Fredericksburg Nationals open house on Saturday afternoon at Virginia Credit Union Stadium, fans lined up in the rain for the first opportunity to purchase single-game tickets. 

Hundreds of FredNats’ supporters flocked to the stadium in cold and wet conditions, including Trey Cordle, who traveled from Caroline County to score tickets for the Nationals’ matinee contests for himself and his two teenage sons. 

Cordle waited under his umbrella behind more than 50 others at the start of the open house. 

“For people to come out when it’s cold and wet, I think that means something,” Cordle said. “I think people enjoy the experience here. The FredNats put on good entertainment for the money.” 

Cordle lived in Richmond for 20 years and supported the Flying Squirrels – the Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants — before the FredNats debuted in 2021.  

“The Nats are my team, so this just makes sense to be out here,” Cordle said. “I’m Virginia grown and bred. We’re all-in on the farm team and this is a relatively inexpensive way to see Nats players up close.” 

Single-game tickets will be available online and over the phone starting Monday. The season begins April 5 at home against the Delmarva Shorebirds. 

The Nats had much more planned for fans Saturday, but they were stifled by the rain. A kids’ bounce house, a chance to play catch on the field and open concession stands were part of their intentions.  

The opportunity to play catch remained on the table but there weren’t any takers early on. Guests purchased tickets, perused the team store and glanced at a movie playing on the jumbotron. 

FredNats staff handed out free pizza and hot dogs to fans as a reward for braving the conditions. 

“They earned it. They’re out here sitting in the rain for an hour,” FredNats General Manager Robby Perry said. “I think it speaks volumes that we’re 27 days away from opening day and single-game tickets are on sale and we had a line in the pouring rain an hour before it even opened … These are radical fans in Fredericksburg. They love their baseball.” 

Dave Stadelmyer of Stafford County, who owns a mini package of 15 games, ventured to the open house since he was already in the area checking out the Lego BrickFair at the Fredericksburg Expo Center. Stadelmyer didn’t wait in line for tickets, but he wanted to see what was new in the team store. 

“We enjoy the Nats very much, so we thought we would come stop over here and see what was going on,” he said. 

The FredNats’ Booster Club was also present and attempting to recruit new members. The booster club is no longer tasked with securing host families for the players since the parent club, the Washington Nationals, took over that role. But they still raise funds to help care for players, including providing meals for road trips, monthly gift cards, birthday gifts, customized blankets and other benefits.  

Booster Club President Randy Newkirk noted that his organization contributed approximately $29,000 last year in food and gifts to the players, who earn between $11,000 and $26,000 per year. 

“Everything we do is for those 30 players,” Newkirk said. 

Subscribe To Daily News Updates

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news from The Free Press

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This