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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Capital One Park - Potomac League


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43

Capital One Park 1600 Scotts Crossing Road McLean, VA 22102

Year Opened: 2023 Capacity: 300

 

Northern Virginia's Hidden Baseball Gem

Located in Tysons, Virginia, bounded by elevated metro tracks and a highway interchange, Capital One Park is Northern Virginia's newest baseball stadium. Opened in 2023, the ballpark is located in Capital One Center, a mixed use development adjacent to Capital One Headquarters that also includes a hotel, a concert hall, shops, and restaurants. During the summer, Capital One Park is home to the Potomac League, a summer collegiate baseball league consisting mostly of players with ties to the area. Similar to the United Shore and Mavericks Leagues, the Potomac League consists of seven teams all playing at one centralized location. Two or three games are played per day, creating an opportunity for a day full of baseball.


Food & Beverage 3

Concessions are sold out of the Plates Loaded food truck behind the grandstand. Although it has a limited menu, the food is high-quality. Burgers are $5 (add $1 for cheese) and are big and juicy, hot dogs are $4, pretzels are $4, chips are $2, and water and soft drinks are $. The service here is very quick, our food was ready and waiting for us at the next window before we even finished paying.




Atmosphere 4

Capital One Park is a small, intimate ballpark, with 300 chairback seats located behind home plate. Some of the upper rows are in the shade, which will come in handy on a hot summer day. There are also some picnic tables located down the lines for groups. No matter where you sit, you will have a great view of the action.


The league organizers do a great job getting fans involved. There are between-inning contests for kids every two innings or so, and with so many contests and so few fans, and with so many contests and so few fans, if your kid wants to participate in one, they will probably be able to. There are also giveaways such as t-shirt and sunglass tosses, and given how small the ballpark is, your chances of getting one are better than they'd be almost anywhere else.


Elevated Metro tracks run beyond the first base line, making this one of a handful of ballparks around the country where you can see trains pass during the game. Trains will pass by frequently throughout the game.


Neighborhood 5

Although Capital One Park has a McLean address, the area surrounding the stadium is more properly classified as Tysons, one of the fastest growing business districts in the country in the heart of Fairfax County.. Tysons is regarded as a classic example of an edge city - an area of the suburbs that feels more comparable to the downtown area of a city. In fact, due to severe restrictions on heights of buildings in the District of Columbia, this feels more like a classic downtown than Downtown DC does.


As mentioned above, the park is part of Capital One Center, which also contains a concert hall, several shops and restaurants, the Watermark Hotel, and Capital One headquarters itself. The Perch is located on the roof of Capital One Hall and features food trucks, a beer garden, a putt-putt course, and more open space to hang out. Several other restaurants will be opening soon in Capital One Center but are not open as of time of writing, including a pizza place and a taqueria.


There are plenty of other places to hang out in Tysons as well. The area is famous for not one but two giant shopping malls, Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria, which offer a wide variety of shopping and dining including the original Apple Store. Founding Farmers is a popular American restaurant, and Fogo de Chao is a Brazilian steakhouse famous for its large salad bar. Whatever you want to do, you will probably find it in Tysons.


Fans 2

Most of the fans are friends or family of the players on the teams, although there are some families with young children as well. As most of these players played high school ball locally and have family in the area, the crowds can decently fill the 300-seat stands, although it does tend to empty out between games before the new fans come in. That being said, based on the overall numbers, this is not a large crowd at all and it seems most locals don't even realize this place exists.


Access 4

How easy it is to get to Capital One Park depends on what time of day you are coming. Rush hour traffic in Northern Virginia is some of the worst in the country, and it is especially bad in Tysons, where numerous highways converge with not enough space to accommodate all movement between them. If you are coming any other time, traffic should probably be lighter, and you can take your choice of the Capital Beltway, State Route 267, or State Route 123, among others. We suggest using a GPS app such as Waze to take you around traffic and on the best possible route.


Once you arrive, parking is available in a lot next to the stadium for $5 for one game or $10 for the whole day. A garage near Wegman's is available if that lot fills up.


The Silver Line of the Washington Metro runs right by the stadium, with the McLean station a short walk away. Unfortunately this does mean people will use the lot for Metro parking even though they are not supposed to, and if coming on a weekday, you may find the it full even if you arrive well in advance.


Restrooms are available, including a family restroom, and are of a sufficient size for the crowd, although the metal toilets and sinks are an odd touch that seems out of place here.


Return on Investment 5

Tickets are just $5 and get you into all games played that day, making this an excellent value. The ticket booth only takes cash, so be prepared, although the food truck accepts credit cards.

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Extras 1

Look on the concourse for the statue of Bruno the Bear, the official mascot of Capital One Park. Bruno is based on a real bear who made headlines in October 2022 after he was spotted roaming the streets of Tysons and the surrounding area.




Final Thoughts

Capital One Park is situated in an odd location, surrounded by highway interchanges, elevated train tracks, and numerous mixed-use buildings. Few Northern Virginia residents know it exists, and even those who work in Tysons and drive by it every day may not give it much thought. However, the Potomac League has found a way to create a great atmosphere her. With two or even three games played back-to-back, you can take in a whole day of baseball here and have a great time.




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