Your Gameday Guide: Washington Nationals at Nationals Park
Nationals Park is an impressive modern stadium that does Washington, D.C proud. Some might not notice unless the home plate entrance is used or the color of the seats are taken notice of but the architecture imitates some of what you will see throughout the city. Nationals Park has been a huge upgrade from RFK Stadium, which was outdated and didn’t translate to baseball. The sleek looking park is definitely an enjoyable venue for die hard and casual fans alike.
Food & Bars
If you’re visiting D.C. from out of area then you have to try the Half Smoke at Ben’s Chili Bowl that is conveniently located at the park. Hit up Tingey Street and check out Bluejacket, which has taken on the very popular method of serving their own craft beer. You won’t be disappointed with the food and drink selection. Five Guys Burgers, which got its start in D.C., is also in earshot and probably familiar for many as it has expanded all across the country. The park food is the usual overpriced selection but its actually pretty good quality. Your best bet is probably to make the short walk to Tingey. Don’t forget to check out the Red Porch, which is also a great option if your seats are absolutely terrible.
Location & Seating
The location and area in Southeast has benefited greatly from Nationals Park. What once was rundown neighborhood on its last leg has seen relentless construction that has brought restaurants and people wanting to relocate and live in the area. You can see what once was and the upscale living spaces and establishments that are taking over now. The desirability and comfort level of the area has definitely improved tremendously. Inside the park seating is solid with good sightlines throughout. If you ever feel unsatisfied and there’s no extra open seats then head to the Red Porch and set up shop there. Luxury suites are stacked which pushes everything higher. You can get 400 level tickets for a decent price although the higher than usual set up may annoy some. The concourse is wide and easy to navigate which is welcome news to those who have dealt with some stadiums tight and claustrophobia inducing concourses.
The atmosphere and fans are laid back and remind me of my high school football, lacrosse and college lacrosse games at times because of the complete disregard to the outcome of the game and how drunk they are. The truth is a good number of people that attend Nationals games are less than casual to casual fans that aren’t greatly affected by the wins and losses. You won’t hear or experience a lot of noise, clapping or enthusiasm. This is great news for those with little ones that are bothered easily by loud noises. Tough luck if you get stuck next to the fat guy with his shirt off screaming after every pitch and call by the umpire. With that being said, there is a good following and true die-hard fans. The Nationals following isn’t up there with New York or Boston in terms of fandom but I believe it is heading that way and it will be in years to come. The Nationals have adopted the color red in a big way just like the Wizards and Caps. Be sure to don the red when you go the game! Don't leave without checking out the Red Porch. It really adds something special to the experience and gives you the option to watch the game somewhere other than your seat. You can't beat the sight lines from the outfield and all around atmosphere.