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Ballpark Game Plan: Washington Nationals & Nationals Park

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Field: Nationals Park

Official Site:  

Year Completed: 2008

Capacity: 41,339

Covered: No – Postponement/Rainout Policy

Mascot: Screech

The Game We’ll See: Friday, August 11: Oakland Athletics vs. Washington Nationals (see all 30 here!)

Parking & Transportation:

Fans in the Ballpark Chasers Facebook group caution that parking around Nationals Park is expensive. If you do decide to drive in, make sure to purchase parking in advance. There are also several public transportation options linked to the official Nationals website.

All lots open 2.5 hours prior to the start of the game and close 1 hour after the end of the game. Tailgating is not permitted.

Oversized vehicle: Lot W accommodates buses and other oversized vehicles.

The nearest Metro stations are the Navy Station and the Capitol South Station, and 44 Metrorail stations offer daily or hourly parking. On weekends, parking is free.

Stadium Tours:

Pregame tours visit the clubs, suites, concourse and more with a tour guide who is ready to tell you all about the history of the franchise and the facility. The tour begins three hours before first pitch, but are only available before select 7 p.m. games. Tickets are $35.

General Information:

Bags: Bags larger than a clutch (5” x 7” x ¾”) must be clear and may not exceed 16” x 16” by 8”. This includes clear backpacks. There are lockers for people who bring in items that aren’t permitted.

Food & Beverages: Fans may bring in their own food and non-alcoholic beverages. Foods must be in personal serving sizes and may not be packed in metal or glass containers. Each fan is allowed to bring in one, factory-sealed bottle of water that is 1 liter or smaller. Empty plastic water bottles are also allowed.

Cashless transactions: All transactions are cashless.

Signs: Signs are permitted if they are baseball-related, and don’t block views, interfere with the game, contain advertising, or contain offensive materials. Their construction must also not include wood or metal.

Foul Balls: Fans may generally keep foul balls, unless the Nationals or the visiting team specifically request that they be returned. Fans may not interfere with play or enter the playing area to retrieve a foul ball. If you catch one, head on over to the Guest Services desks to get a certificate commemorating your catch.

Cameras: The Nationals allow cameras. However, lenses may not exceed 8” in length. In addition, the field prohibits monopods, tripods, and selfie-sticks.

Umbrellas: The stadium allows fans to bring small, collapsible umbrellas. They must fit within the bag allowance and be used respectfully.

Gates: Gates generally open 95 minutes before scheduled first pitch.

Where to Sit:

The best values at a mid-point price are the Left Field and Right Field Baseline Boxes, in Sections 111 – 113 and 132 – 134, and the Outfield Reserved, in the lower rows of Sections 101 – 103 or 137 – 140.

You might also try the upper rows (KK and above) of Sections 109 to 117, or row E and back in Sections 201 to 209.

For a lower investment with a good view, try the upper fright field terrace in Section 222.

For shade, try the third-base side. While higher sections have more of a breeze and a view of the river, the upper decks have limited protection. Try 306 to 314 for the best chance at shade at a good price. Sections 406 to 409 (row J and back) and 416 to 420 are also possibilities.

Want cheap seats and a party atmosphere? Try sections 101 – 103.


  • According to InsideHook, the Washington National’s trademark dish is the Crab Grilled Cheese, available from the Chesapeake Crab Cake Company behind Section 109.
  • The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip and Eater Washington DC disagree. They recommend the Half-Smoke at Ben’s Chili Bowl behind Sections 109, 140, and 307. The Half-Smoke is a sausage topped with brown chili, mustard, and onions.
  • The Nats Dog is the traditional, all-beef dog and is available in Section 229.

You can save time and avoid lines by ordering your food ahead of time on your phone. Use the Mobile Order feature on the MLB Park App.

First Time Visitors:

First time visitors can get a certificate at any of the three Guest Services locations. You can find those behind Sections 103, 131, and 320.


Sundays are Signature Sundays at Nationals Park. Two players will be on hand to sign autographs, but fans must have a free voucher to participate. They are distributed on a first come-first served basis starting 90 minutes before first pitch. Unfortunately, the website doesn’t say whether autographs are available on other days.

Other Stadium Tips & Highlights:

An unoccupied, reserved Chair of Honor commemorates military personnel taken as prisoners of ward or listed as missing in action.

On the rooftop across from Section 105, the Nationals host a Giving Garden that produces crops year around for distribution via the Building Bridges Across the River Farm Share Program. This innovative program feeds underserved communities in Wards 7 and 8.

Check out the mural commissioned by the Washington Nationals in 2019. The local artist group, No Kings Collective, incorporated symbols of both baseball and the greater area into the mural.

If you enter through Home Plate Gate, you can stroll backwards through Washington DC baseball history, with displays featuring the Nationals, the Senators, and the Homestead Grays.

In the Centerfield Plaza, check out the statues of the Negro League star hitter Josh Gibson, Walter “Big Train” Johnson, and the “Capital Punisher,” outfielder Frank “Hondo” Howard.

The GEICO Presidents Race takes place in the middle of the 4th inning. During the race, oversized George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Bill Taft figures race around the field. Afterwards, these oversized characters, reminiscent of bobble-heads, pose for photos with fans.

The Nationals’ retired numbers include:

  • 11 – Ryan Zimmerman
  • 42 – Jackie Robinson (retired by the MLB, and displayed on the Terrace Level facade)

On the second deck façade behind home plate, you can see retired numbers from the Expos and the names of prominent players from the historic Senators and Homestead Grays teams.