Wednesday, March 7, 2018

FIELDS OF DREAMS: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

I have to confess. As an Angels fan, I have a hard time warming up to the Nationals. Mostly, this stems from when Frank Robinson was manager of the then Expos (who moved to DC and changed their name). Robinson knew how, and would take every opportunity, to push Angels' manager Mike Scioscia's buttons. 

That's the past, I need to put it behind me because a game at Nationals Park is one of the greatest events in baseball.

Moving from Montreal to our nation's capital, the now Nationals played in an old RFK stadium until this park was completed and opened in 2008. The major history of the nationals goes back to Canada as the Alou's both played and managed here. They played in the flawed Olympic Stadium until moving here.   Major League Baseball seriously considered folding the team until the deal for the move was made.

These days, superstars like Matt Scherzer, Bryce Harper, and Jayson Werth call this park their office.

Here are the stats:

Opened: 2008
Surface: Kentucky Bluegrass
Construction cost: $110 million
Capacity: 45,971
Field dimensions: Left field - 337 ft; Left center - 377 ft; center field - 402 ft; right center - 370 ft; right field - 335 ft.
Home team: Washington Nationals (National League - MLB) 2008 - present
Events attended: 1 game

Although there is loads of parking here in surrounding lots, the completely accessible DC Metro drops you off near the left field gate via the Navy Yard station.

Ticketing is problematic when calling 888-632-6287 where you are directed to go to Ticketmaster. If you do go to their website and are a Federal Employee, however (or have a friend willing to help you who is)...this being Washington, can pick up a sweet 30% discount on seats, which come with a $10 voucher for food or souvenirs, and be treated like a king. Go to when single tickets are on sale (during the season) to take advantage of this and other special deals.

Accessible seating is available throughout the stadium at all levels. Pricing for tickets is a bit more than other stadiums, such as nearby Baltimore, and season ticket holders lock out the seats behind home plate on the field level.

Beer selection is vast but is around $2 more than average. The regular hot dog is atrocious but the kosher dog is very tasty.

Some things that are unique to Nationals Park...

The president's race where people wearing giant rubber heads that look like some of our presidents race around the warning track.

Soft (and delicious) pretzels shaped like the team's logo which somehow reminds me of the Walgreen's logo.

An area beyond left field called the Fairgrounds that serves as a large, communal tailgate party before and after the game.

The concourses are open so you'll not have to miss the game while you go out for another beer.

We're calling in number four in our list of stadiums for now, just edging out nearby Camden Yards in Baltimore.

The friendly staff, fans, and festive atmosphere make this a great place to take in a game.

Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserve

Photos by Letty Musick\
Copyright 2015 - All Rights Reserved

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