City Desk

The Needle: Tickets Available Edition

Plenty of Tickets Still Available: The Washington Nationals are off to a strong start, fueled by a roster full of popular young stars. That hasn't been enough to get butts in seats at Nationals Park, though: The team is 21st in the league so far this year in attendance, averaging a bit under 24,000 tickets a game, about the same as in previous years but well below the 33,000 they averaged in their inaugural season, according to a story the Postsplashed on A1 this morning. Still, we can't help but admire the timing of the piece: Just ahead of a home game on a beautiful night, the piece represented a giant reminder to buy tickets. Given that the Washington is hosting the Philadelphia Phillies, whose fans in previous years have outnumbered Nats fans at D.C. games, they'll need all the help they can get. +2

Posting Losses: This time last year, the Washington Post's newspaper division had just reported an operating loss of $12.8 million. Which was bad! Alas, their first quarter numbers for 2012 are worse, with the division–which includes the print paper, its website, and Slate.com–reporting a quarterly operating loss of $22.6 million. Print advertising is off by 17 percent. And even though the digital audience has grown, online revenue is down by 7 percent. Oh, and circulation is down, too. The (not so) bright side: The newspaper division spent $1.9 million on "severance and early retirement expenses," as the Post moved to shrink staff. That's money they won't have to spend again. -4

How Much Is The White House Worth?: About $110 million, according to Movato, a real estate site that must have a very dire outlook on the country's financial affairs. "I think just based on the size and location; the list price would be in the low $100 million range. It would probably be $110 or $115 (million). This would be an extreme luxury home." We are extremely surprised it's so low. -1

Drinko De Mayo: Tomorrow will be warm and well, what other reason do you need to drink tequila? D.C. Fab has a list of the hot parties happening this weekend, including one hosted by Mario Lopez at MIA Lounge. Though we may just stay home and watch the summer break episodes of Saved By The Bell on Netflix instead. +1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 41 Today's score: -2 Today's Needle rating: 39

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