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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy - Georgetown Hoyas


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00

Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy 3675 Ely Pl SE Washington DC, 20019

Year Opened: 2014 Capacity: 500

 

Baseball With the Blue and Gray

Located in Southeast Washington, DC, the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy Opened in 2014 and is a complex consisting of three fields. The main, larger baseball field plays host to several areas high school and college teams as well as the summer-collegiate DC Grays of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League.


There is also a softball field, used by high school, college, and youth teams, and a youth baseball field. The complex was built to serve DC’s underprivileged neighborhoods and provide a place for area children to study and play baseball after school.


One of the baseball teams that call the academy home is the Georgetown Hoyas. The Hoyas previously played at Shirley Povich Field, and briefly split time between several minor league and summer collegiate venues in the DC area, but beginning in 2023, they moved into the Nats Academy full-time. The Georgetown campus is on the other side of town in the neighborhood of the same name, but they have no on-campus home.


Food & Beverage 3

There is one concession stand at a window down the right-field line in between the three fields, which offers a basic menu. Hot dogs (cheese and chili optional), burgers, and chicken sandwiches make up the meal options, although not all of them will be available every game. Nachos, hot pretzels, soft drinks, and bottled water are also available, as are a wide variety of packaged snacks comparable to what you might find in a vending machine. Credit cards are accepted, but there is a $1 service charge for purchases under $5, so group your purchases or bring cash if you do not want to pay this.


Atmosphere 3

The Hoyas play at the main field at the Nationals Youth Academy, in the far back of the complex. There are several rows of bleachers surrounding the field, all with an excellent view of the action. There is also room for fans to stand down the lines if they want. A scoreboard beyond the outfield fence shows the linescore and other basic information.

There is not much going on here besides the game. Music is played during breaks in the action, and can also sometimes be heard when the games on the other fields have a break in the action as well regardless of what is going on on this field. This can create an odd dissonance between what you are seeing on one field and hearing on another. While the action on other fields can be a distraction, all that is going on on this field in the Georgetown baseball game is the game itself.


Neighborhood 2

Although many parts of D.C. are great, the Nationals Youth Academy is not located in the best neighborhood. This choice of location makes sense, as the complex was intended to help inner-city children play baseball. The area directly around the stadium is safe enough, and expect some police presence during night games to make sure it stays that way, but as always in an urban environment, be aware of what is going on around you. You probably don’t want to venture too far away from the stadium though.

Many more options are available downtown, but unless you want to drive down there and try to find parking, you’re probably going to have to take an Uber or Lyft.

Fans 3

The Hoyas will typically draw a couple hundred fans a game. Some of them are friends or family of the players while others are just general fans of Hoya athletics. Given the long distance from campus, few if any Georgetown students attend. The Hoyas softball team plays at the academy as well, and when both are playing simultaneously it is not uncommon to see fans wander from one game to the other.


Occasionally a bored sibling from a little league game will come by and watch an inning or two as well. Although the makeup is unusual, the fans are otherwise what you'd expect from college baseball in the Northeast. At times, they can be loud, but at other times, they are barely audible. Of course, that does not mean it is quiet here, as the fans on other fields may still be making their presence known there, but that just makes this an even odder experience.


Access 3

The Nationals Youth Academy is conveniently located a short drive off either I-395 or DC Route 295 (which is the only “state” highway in the District of Columbia.) Parking is available for free in the complex lot, although you will have to walk past the other fields to get where you need to go. Unfortunately, the Academy is not easily accessible by any D.C. Metro line, but free parking is a rarity in this city so take it where you can get it.

The concourses are more than wide enough to accommodate the crowds. The restrooms are of sufficient size as well, although the men’s room is tucked away in a corner under some stairs, so you may have to look around a bit for it.

Return on Investment 5

Admission to all Hoyas games is free of charge. Concessions are affordable, and parking is free, a rarity in a major city such as DC. This makes a trip to a Georgetown game a great value for fans.


Extras 2

There are batting cages located on the concourse behind home plate where fans can watch the Hoyas and their opponents take some batting practice. A second star for the opportunity to also check out a Hoyas softball game or one of the other college teams to call the Academy home during the same visit.



Final Thoughts

Georgetown baseball has had many homes over the years, but they seem to have settled into the Nationals Youth Academy. It's an unusual setting where a Division I college baseball game is going on steps from a Little League game, but real estate is at a premium in DC and the Hoyas will take whatever field they can get. Although most fans would not think to check out a Hoyas game at the Nationals Youth Academy, they are missing out on a fan-friendly and enjoyable experience.




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