Nationals Park, Washington, DC
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Despite the limited on-field success of the Nationals since moving to Washington from Montreal, the team in red has developed a following that is eager to see them become a winner. All you need do is see the crowds at Stephen Strasburg starts to see this.
And why not? It’s fair to say that both incarnations of the Senators had their troubles. In a city not far from a Baltimore team that frequently racked up division titles it’s not easy for a team in last place to continue drawing fans. After being given a third chance, the D.C. metropolitan area is eager to see a Washington baseball team succeed—and their chances are better given the Orioles performance in recent years. Northern Virginia stopped being Orioles country long before the Nats arrived.
It also doesn’t hurt that they have a fairly nice ballpark to play in. Nationals Park was one of the later ballparks to be built following the Camden Yards boom, and part of what makes it special is the architects’ refusal to copy anything from Camden. There’s no brick façade, no Eutaw Street equivalent like so many ballparks today, not even really an old-time feel. And yet it works.
The charm of Nationals Park is in its fitting in with a neighborhood rebuilding. It is very easy to reach by Metro subway, and the center field entrance is the most attractive of the ballpark. The walk from the Navy Yard Station to the gate is peppered with T-shirt vendors, party areas and promotions; Nationals Park has not taken long to build a pre-game baseball atmosphere.
But there’s neat stuff inside too; the Red Porch restaurant and the Red Loft above it, the party areas behind the outfield on the upper level, the kids play zone, and much more to keep you occupied if the game does not. But be in your seat for the fourth inning; the Racing Presidents are always worth watching, if only to see the foibles of Teddy Roosevelt.
And Nationals Park may have the best food options in baseball—in addition to an already first-class menu that included Ben’s Chili Half-Smokes and Hard Times Nachos, they have recently added all of the stars of Citi Field: the Shake Shack, Blue Smoke BBQ, El Verano Taqueria and Box Frites. There’s plenty of local flavor and choices for homesick Mets fans, even though yours truly isn’t thrilled about the Citi Field institutions at Nationals Park.
Baseball in Washington already has its own identity in a swell ballpark; now that the Nats are a contending team, this place gets rocking.
So you should go, and I’m here to help.
Washington Nationals Tickets: The Nationals offer plenty of bargains just buying through them, but sometimes you’ll get a better deal through a third-party seller. Here is my recommendation on third party ticket vendors.
Nationals Park Extras: Here are my three “don’t miss it”s at Nationals Park.
to visit Washington? Here is why I use Hotwire and where I like to
stay near a city.
Finally, here is my aforementioned objection to putting a Shake Shack in Nationals Park.
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I hope you find all of this helpful and entertaining, and if you’d like to really get to know Nationals Park, the Nationals Park E-Guide will tell you everything you need to know: how to get tickets, the different seating areas, the many ways to get to Nationals Park and the dozens of food items available there—with “Tightwad Tips” throughout to help you save money on everything. All for just $4.99! Be a smart fan in D.C.—click here!
Nationals Park E-Guide