Nationals Park opened in 2008, and is located on the Anacostia River in Washington, DC - the Washington Monument and Capitol Building are both visible from the upper deck on the first base side. Currently the home of the Washington Nationals of the MLB, Nationals Park is a beautiful stadium with lots of great amenities, but getting there can present a little bit of a challenge. It is located in a premium tourist destination, however, so it would easily complement a weekend (or longer) road trip.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Nationals Park has almost any type of food you could ask for, including Kosher and vegetarian options. Prices are a little on the high side, but not atypically so for a professional sports stadium.
Food options include all of the typical stadium fare, plus local items such as traditional country fare and seafood items. Main dishes include ham or chicken biscuits, crab cakes, pizza, chicken tenders, Cuban sandwiches, pulled pork, pastrami, nachos (with cheesesteak, chicken, or chili), bratwurst, Italian sausage, hot dogs, several varieties of grilled cheese, mac and cheese, and hot and cold subs. There is also a Kosher stand that offers hamburgers, schnitzel, smoked sausage, hot dogs, and other items, as well as a vegetarian stand that offers tacos, empanadas, sandwiches, wraps, and hot dogs.
In addition to the above, you can also find plenty of snack-type items, plus dessert items galore. As you make your way around the concourse, look for peanuts, pretzels, fries, and fruit cups, as well as several varieties of ice cream (including hand-scooped, soft serve, Dippin' Dots, and novelties like ice cream sandwiches), Cracker Jack, cotton candy, and a plethora of baked goods - Nationals Park offers brownies and several types of cookies and cakes. The Kosher stand even sells potato knishes. Prices for all of these range from $6 to $25 (chicken tender bucket with fries and two sodas).
The variety at Nationals Park continues into the beverage arena. Soda and bottled water are of course available, plus lemonade, coffee, and hot cocoa, as well as multiple types of alcohol. Alcohol selections include wine, beer on tap and in bottles, including several craft beers, plus Bourbon tea, margaritas, and even Bailey's hot chocolate. Prices start at $9 for alcohol and about $5 for other beverages.
If you are in the mood for something out of the ordinary while at the park, try a root beer float, or grab some Virginia Crunch, a delectable treat that mixes peanuts and popcorn with bacon and caramel sauce.
Nationals Park is a beautiful, modern stadium with plenty of great amenities, and comfortable seats.
Some of the park's most notable aspects are the decor and the myriad rest areas dotted throughout. The inside and outside of the park are both peppered with Nationals decor, including in-motion statues of former players, giant player photos, thank you plaques to donors and sponsors, colorful banners, a board showing a quote from Cal Ripken, and even baseball-themed artwork, including sculptures hanging from the ceiling in the concourse. The trash cans are even topped with Nationals helmets!
In addition to the great imagery, there are also "rest areas" all over the park, where you can sit and eat, or just hang out. These areas feature tables and giant cooling fans, which are a boon on hot days. The best rest area is probably the one on the second level in the outfield, because it has padded wicker couches and chairs. Nationals Park also has cell phone charging stations on the walls in the concourse, and even a nursing mothers lounge. You can also get some great views of the Anacostia River from inside the park.
The staff does a great job keeping the fans entertained during breaks in the action. The most well-known activity is the Presidents Race during the fourth inning, where likenesses of six of the presidents -- wearing period costumes and giant foam heads, no less -- compete against each other in a race. There are also more traditional activities, such as the dance cam.
All of the seats in Nationals Park are plastic bucket-style chair backs with cup holders, and a good number of them are covered, even in the upper deck. There are also lots of places where you can stand and watch the game, if you like to move around and take in different vantage points. The sight lines here are fine even in the upper deck or outfield, but of course the closer you get to home plate, the more your tickets will cost.
See a video of the stadium here:
Nationals Park is located in the Navy Yard neighborhood of Washington, DC, and it goes without saying that the entire city is an amazing tourist destination, with plenty of historic sites and museums within a few miles.
The most well-known, of course, are the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery, but there are plenty of other options, as well. If you are in town for the weekend, I would recommend the Pentagon Memorial or the International Spy Museum. The Pentagon Memorial is a small park designed for quiet reflection, but is beautifully designed with benches and shallow pools. Located right next to the Pentagon, it is not too crowded, and may provide a nice respite from some of the more bustling attractions, with their long lines and crowds of people. Admission is free, and the memorial is open 24 hours a day.
The International Spy Museum may sound kitschy, but is actually a lot of fun. There you can see devices used by the OSS during World War II, and learn about spying during the Cold War, including ways to detect listening devices, as well as ingenious ways to transport information and people. They sometimes have special exhibits, as well; for example, an expose on Bond villains.
The fans at Nationals Park are solid, and you will see plenty of red in the stands when you visit. The crowd will also be fairly large on most days; while you usually won't see a sell-out, you should see at least twenty-five thousand-plus at a typical game (about two-thirds capacity or more).
There will be a good bit of crowd noise during the game, and the fans have had a lot to cheer about in recent years, given the Nationals strong on-field performance. It is interesting, however, that the stands look emptier at times than they actually are; while the games have great attendance, you will see a lot of fans in the concourse during the game, either taking advantage of the rest areas and cooling fans, or waiting in the long lines at the concessions.
Perhaps the only downside to attending a Nationals game is actually getting to the stadium. Washington, DC is thick with traffic at the best of times, and there isn't really a direct route from the city center to the ballpark.
Fortunately, you can get to Nationals Park on Metro's green line, using the Navy Yard station. Plan for extra time if you go this route, and be cautious about taking the subway alone at night. On the plus side, taking the subway is much cheaper than parking, which can run $40 if you want to be right outside the gates, in one of the surface lots next to the park. Despite the expense, that is actually your best option if you choose to drive, because parking in one of the garages farther away and walking is a bit of a hassle, and is pricey, as well. One really cool feature, however, is that you can ride your bike to the game, and they even have bicycle valet, so your ride will stay secure while you are inside.
There are plenty of gates that go into the stadium, and the walkways are very wide, so there won't be much of a line getting inside. However, the concessions lines are very long, so you may want to wait for one of the vendors who walk around in the stands (or visit the less-popular Kosher and vegetarian stands). On the plus side, there are plenty of bathrooms, and the lines for those are not bad at all.
As with most stadiums, the closer you get to the action, the more you will pay for tickets, and parking and concessions are not cheap, either.
Tickets start at about $17 in the upper deck, and go up to $70 for regular seats on the lower level closer to home plate (and then a lot more for premium seats). Parking could run as much as $40, but you could save money by taking the subway. Concessions are pricey, which is normal for professional stadiums, so you may want to eat before you come.
Any park that offers Kosher AND vegetarian options deserves extra praise.
The decor is also great; the in-motion statues are a little disconcerting, but are interesting, and great fodder for selfies.
Having the subway AND bicycle options is a big plus, especially in a high-traffic city like DC.
The rest areas, nursing mothers lounge, cooling fans, and cell phone charging stations are brilliant touches, and really enhance the experience.
If you are wiling to spend the money, Nationals Park is a great baseball stadium, with some wonderful amenities, and a pretty good team of late. Getting to the park may be the only downside, but its location near all that Washington, DC has to offer makes it a perfect weekend destination to take in America's national pastime.
On approach, Nationals Park looks like a large, round office building. There is a real feel of the old 70's multipurpose stadiums like Veterans, Three Rivers and Riverfront Stadiums. But once inside, it is clear that this is every bit the modern stadium, complete with great food, drinks and activities. Oh, yeah, they play baseball here, too. The best way to describe it would be to imagine that Three Rivers and Camden Yards got together and had an ugly baby with a great personality and disposition. It never cries, is always happy and laughing, but, man, is it hard to look at.
This could be a great place for baseball. The food is fantastic and if/when the team puts something competitive out there the city could be a wonderful town. For now, this is a great park to work in during a visit to the nation's capital.
The Nationals have seriously upgraded their digs since the days of RFK. I had the opportunity to see a game there a number of years back, and if the baseball team wasn't bad enough, the aesthetics made it a less then pleasurable experience. However, their new park has all the beautiful views and amenities that all of today's parks do, a fact that makes it a bit cookie-cutterish, but the game viewing-experience is nice enough you forget about that. There are not many bad vantage points I could see (though the friends I went with said that the back of the upper deck does not make for a good view at all), and bargains can be had quite easilyâ?¦we sat along the first base side in the 200 level ($32 a ticket face value) for well below that via StubHub. I would imagine that until the team becomes relevant for a while that these bargains will continue to abound. Getting to the ballpark is very easy from all areas of D.C. The Metro drops you off right outside the park, and extra trains run the day of game. The view of the Potomac was quite nice, though if you are looking for a bar after the game, good luck. Foodwise, I had the best thing I ever eaten at any park here, at a place I believe was called Jammin' BBQ, though don't quote me on the nameâ?¦just know it's located behind the left field side of the main scoreboard. I had the jerk ribs, which came with some potato wedges and fried plantains, and a dish of cole slaw. The cost was high at $16 (especially as there were only 6 ribs) but they were meaty, and absolutely mouth-watering, with a great dry rub combined with an amazing sauce. The hot dogs were good; Washingtonites must love their dogs, as the lines for them were huge park-wide, while lines for BBQ pulled pork and brats were walk up and order. There are many decent beer selections, especially if you are like me, a beer snob who would rather go without then lower myself to cheap Bud or Miller swill. They had Leinie's, Sam Adams, Newcastle, Guinness, Bass, and many others, as well as the choice I went with, a house Home Run Ale, which the vendor said was "sort of like Bass"â?¦it was good. No matter the beer, they cost $8, so you might as well get the good stuff. Beyond the game, you have the D.C. equivalent of the Milwaukee Sausage race, the Presidents Race. I wondered why all the souvenir stands sold the Teddy Roosevelt stuff for $2 more then Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson, and found out that Teddy is everyone's favorite, because in the year's since the park has opened, he has never won a race, making him infinitely popular as a lovable loser. (as a Cubs fan, I could appreciate this) Walking in the main gate is a great view, with cherry trees and player sculptures in the foreground, and the full view of the park in the background. Nats fans are starting to come aroundâ?¦they seem to like the manager and the fact the team spent some money in the off-season. It's easy to see the fans start really coming if the team stays over .500 for any length of time. All in all, the experience is a bit over-priced, but if you are smart, you can get in cheap and add quality baseball to your D.C. trip.
Nats Park is nice, but does not stand up to Camden Yards which is just up I-95. It is difficult to get to by car, the METRO is OK but a zoo after games if there is any crowd. While I enjoyed my visit, I still prefer Camden Yards to catch a game.
With a winning team I might be more willing to make the journey, it might just make the difference.
I gave up on MLB after the strike (believe it or not, I generally don't hold grudges, but that's a different story.) So, despite living an 8 minute walk from the stadium, I've only been there twice--for the annual Congressional baseball game.
Don't go for the baseball--go for a cheap chance to wander around the park, contribute to a good cause, and witness a truly decent aspect of American politics. Despite "politics as usual," this annual event has been running strong for decades, and it symbolizes pure decency and bipartisanship, reaching across the aisle, sportsmanship, and setting differences aside.
Sadly, the event isn't widely publicized outside of Congressional circles. But do a little googling and you'll find the date. Then just show up. You won't need a ticket in advance. There will be maybe 5000 other people there cheering for democracy. Considering that, in any given year, there are usually a few former athletes in Congress, you'll get to see a couple of people who understand the game at least. And it's always fun to see what local team's uniform your Congressman has chosen to wear.
The stadium itself is a nice, new, modern stadium. It's everything you'd expect from a 21st Century stadium, but nothing that will wow you. The Stadium site was chosen to revitalize a bad neighborhood. It's definitely doing that, but much more slowly than many would have hoped. The Metro is a convenient option, but parking at Nationals Stadium has proven to be much less of a hassle than many originally feared.
Beatiful park but the crowd seemed to be more interested in talking about business rather than cheering on the team. Ben's half smoke chilli dog is a sign from god. It's messy and georgious. The president's race is truily unique and the field and sightlines are perfect. Neighbourhood is lifeless.
The stadium is very nice and the fans are excited now that the team wins. Even with the team's success, you can get cheap tickets on StubHub a few days before the game. DO NOT buy from the Nationals, especially since they raised prices in 2013.
Strasburg. Harper. Zimmerman - the young studs of the Washington Nationals, who play their home games in Nationals Park, one of the youngest stadiums in the majors. Opening in time for the 2008 season, the home of the ‘Nats’ is a tremendous upgrade over their previous residence, RFK Stadium. At a cost of $700 million, the Nationals home is a first class facility located in the Southeast waterfront area of the Anacostia River.
The Nationals have found recent success by building through the draft and some key free agent acquisitions. 2012’s playoff run has pushed attendance at Nationals Park to an all-time high, drawing over 32,000 fans a game in 2013, up from 24,000 two seasons prior. Overall capacity is a little over 41,000, so there is still some work to do to fill up the stadium on a nightly basis.
As a fan, this is one of my favorite stadiums. Overall, it delivers a great experience and with a few tweaks, it could be best in class.
If visiting from out of town, stay at the Marriott Courtyard. It is only a few blocks from Nationals Park (walking distance) and just one block from the subway station. The neighborhood is safe. Washington DC does have one of the better subway systems so getting in and around the area is pretty easy and affordable.
I would recommend visiting Gordon Biersch for a pre or post game drink or meal. There’s a Red Porch Food & Spirits just inside the center field entrance gate at Nationals Park that is worthy of a visit for a beer and bite to eat.
There is a lot of construction around the ballpark (2014). They are knocking down a building and I’ve heard they will be constructing a retail outlet including a hotel, movie theater, and shops. I heard three different stories on what will be constructed in the area so we’ll see what finally gets built.
The fans (at least in the 300 section) are knowledgeable and very welcoming. Just near section 309 is a cart (Distinct Brews) offering craft beers and is worth visiting if local brews are your preference.
It’s hard to believe that 2014 marked the 10th season of Nationals baseball, and that four new ballparks have opened since their stadium in Southeast Washington became home to the Nats. Built as a complete opposite to their rivals in Birdland 45 minutes away, Nationals Park is a modern facility designed to mimic some of DC’s architecture. A proper home for America’s pastime in the nation’s capital certainly had close calls on whether it would materialize.
For much of the 1900s, baseball included a team in the District, and those squads certainly struggled. Referred to as both the Nationals and Senators, Washington only won a single World Series title and just three pennants over 70 years of play. The musical “Damn Yankees” embodies those times. The son of longtime owner Clark Griffith moved the club to Minnesota in 1960, while Washington received an expansion franchise. The new Senators did not last long, as they moved to Texas in 1972.
After a long period of time trying to figure out what to do with the Montreal franchise, Major League Baseball finally came to a decision and moved the team to Washington. The Nationals spent a few years in RFK Stadium (a horrible place for baseball) until relocating into their new home in 2008. The surrounding neighborhood seems to get better by the day and with a good team now in place, Nationals Park is underrated as a decent ballpark.
Moving a franchise and starting from scratch can't be easy. I went during the 2013 season and was disappointed. Everything in the stadium felt forced. The statues in centerfield, the speakers that stick out of the third deck, etc. Even the in between inning activities felt stuck somewhere painful between major league and minor league. The whole deal is just awkward
Nationals Park is one of the more recent ballparks to be built, and as a result has a sleek modern design. This actually fits very nicely, as the Nationals are a newer team without a lot of history yet. The open concourse around the park is a huge plus. From several areas of the upper deck, the capital building is visible. The fans are not bad, but the atmosphere can feel stale simply because such a young team does not have generations of fans like the Dodgers or Yankees do. Nationals Park has its moments when you might not be on the edge of your seat from feeling the tension in the place, but at the end of the day is a beautiful park to see a baseball game.
Nationals Park is still my favorite of any ballpark. Great food options, easy access from the Metro, and overall friendly fans and staff bring this park to the next level. Fans can get a bit heated if the Mets or Phillies are in town. Only con is that there isn't much around.
The Washington Nationals moved to Washington DC for the 2005 season. The team had previously called Montreal, Quebec, Canada home since 1969.
DC has had teams in the past as two sets of teams called the Senators called the nation's capital their home. The original Washington Senators started in 1901 but in 1960 moved to Minnesota to become the Twins. Major League Baseball decided to expand in 1961 and a new Senators were born. By 1972 they also moved away to Arlington, Texas to become the Texas Rangers.
The new Nationals team, now a National League based franchise, spent their first three seasons calling RFK Stadium home. Besides the second Washington Senators, the Washington Redskins used to call the stadium home. Currently the main tenant of that crumbling edifice is DC United of Major League Soccer.
Nationals Park opened in 2008. The park's name echoes the original name of the early-1900s ballpark used by the first Washington Senators, which was called National Park until it was rebuilt and renamed Griffith Stadium. Nationals Park is owned by the Washington Convention and Sports Authority.
The area around the stadium is called the Navy Yard area. The Washington Navy Yard is the closest major neighbor to the stadium.
As the neighbourhood around Nationals Park continues to evolve, this will become a premier destination. Both tickets and food are overpriced (a souvenir soda for $9?) which is a shame because there are some great offerings here. Smart fans can find deals like the designated driver (small soda) and free food outside the centerfield gate. The Navy Yard station can be extremely crowded after the game, but a mile north is Capitol South on the Blue Line, a nice walk if you attend an afternoon game. Lots of history on display, the Presidents on the concourse before the game, several good standing spots especially on the 300 level behind the plate, and friendly staff make this a good place to watch a game.
A very good park with few downsides.
Highly recommend a trip to Bluejacket Brewery for good food and outstanding beers...just a few blocks from the ballpark.
Nate Stadium is a bit pricey, but I very much enjoyed my trip there. I easily grabbed an Uber to and and from the park. DC is a great city and I give extra points for being able to compare beards with the Abe mascot.
1500 South Capitol St SE
Washington, DC 20003
300 Tingey St SE
Washington, DC 20003
300 Tingey St SE
Washington, DC 20074
100 M St. SE
Washington, DC 20003
14th Street & Independence Avenue
Washington, DC 20560
1 Rotary Rd
Arlington, VA 22202
1000 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20001