Stadium Opened: 2008
Dimensions: LF- 336 ft. CF- 402 ft. RF- 335 ft.
Surface: Natural Grass
Former Names of Ballpark: None
Parking: Parking ranges from $10-$40. The cheaper lots were several blocks from the stadium. Fans can park for free at RFK Stadium and take the Nats Express shuttle bus to the park.
Hungry?: There is a wide variety of concessions to choose from at Nationals Park. Here is a link to the concessions guide on the team's website: Concessions Menu. There was also chili, burritos, crab cakes, fish and chips, italian sausage, coffee & Cappuccino's, and "W" shaped soft pretzels. A popular concession stand was the "Five Guys" stand.
Aisle Policy: A rare, but courteous policy: " As a courtesy to others, guests are requested to refrain from walking in the aisles during at-bats. Ushers will ask guests to voluntarily observe this policy" . I also saw this policy at The Rogers Centre and it worked well.
Family Fun Area: Play area includes Build-a-Bear Workshop, Batting/Pitching Cages, Playstation Pavilion, Geico Racing Presidents, Family Picnic Area and a kids concession stand.
Nat Pack: The Nationals' entertainment crew which interacts with fans through various promotions and contests throughout the game. I wish these types of activities were left only to Minor League parks, but I understand that given the Nationals' record, they need to do everything possible to encourage fans to come out to a game.
....And they're off: The Geico President's race takes place in the middle of the 4th inning. The race features George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. These mascots have huge heads, I am surprised they don't fall over. I can see why this race is a crowd favorite, these mascots are definitely cool looking!
Free Programs!: A Major League Stadium with free programs is hard to come by. There are a few, but they are few and far between.
A to Z Guide: Just by reading through the Nationals "A to Z Guide" on the team's official website, fans can see the type of pleasant atmosphere the Nationals try to create at their park. In addition to the "Aisle Policy" mentioned above, there are some other statements in the guide that I think shows the classy atmosphere the Nationals would like to have at their park. For example, there is a section of the "A to Z Guide" that states: "Visiting Team Fans-Visiting Team Fans are Nationals Park guests, Harassment of the visiting team or their fans will not be tolerated and may result in ejection". Another section is titled "You". The section states: "You, our guests, are the focus of everything the Washington Nationals strive to do. Nationals employees are here to make your Nationals Park experience a special and memorable one".
HD Video Board: Nationals Park features a very large, crystal clear HD video board. The video board is almost the same size as the monstrous video board at new Yankee Stadium. Nice!
Spacious Outfield Concourse: Nationals Park has a similar outfield concourse to Progressive Field. Stadiums that are designed this way earn major points in my book. I love large outfield concourse areas.
Are We in Washington, D.C.? Unfortunately, the Capitol Building can barely be seen from the stands. There are buildings blocking it from view. Also, the Washington Monument can be seen while walking down the ramps from the upper deck, but not from your seat. It would have been nice to have a better view of downtown D.C., but there was nothing the Nationals could have done to improve the view. It's still a shame though.
Even though the downtown view couldn't be incorporated into the park, the Nationals still tried to make sure the historic/presidential theme still existed throughout the park. Below is one of the alcohol stands:
Other historical references are: the luxury suites bear President's names, the Lexus Presidents Club is located behind home plate, and the Stars and Stripes Club is a two-story dining lounge in the park.
Statues: In 2009, three statues were placed in the outfield concourse area: Frank Howard, Walter Johnson, and Josh Gibson. I'm not a big fan of the design of these statues. They are actually kind of creepy looking.
Washington Baseball History: Throughout the park, there are references to baseball history. Fans entering through the main entrance will notice dates printed on the sidewalk that correspond with significant dates in Washington, D.C. baseball history.
Red Porch: Seating in centerfield.
My Favorite Garbage Cans: Nationals Park also features my favorite garbage cans. Citi Field also has similar cans.
The Upper Deck: The upper deck is similar to that of Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati which also has a gap to see out of the park.
Nationals Park is a nice, relaxing place to watch a game. The Nationals did a good job of incorporating unique regional elements into the park, but as far as the structure/design of the stadium goes, it's similar to other parks.
Review is based on my visit on 7/18/09.
Overall Rating: 8
Questions? Comments? E-Mail me:firstname.lastname@example.org