Complete Nationals Park Guide – Seating, Parking, Food + Saving Money

Nationals Park


Complete Nationals Park Guide – Seating, Parking, Food + Saving Money

Posted by Kurt Smith

So you want to visit Nationals Park? You came to the right place…this complete Nationals Park guide will tell you everything you need to know, especially about how to save money at Nationals games, from tickets to transportation to food.

If you don’t have time to digest all of this, you can check this shorter post for newbies. I’ve also written shorter posts about cheap seats, the Ballpark Bus, nachos and other foods to try. But what you’re reading now should cover everything you need.

nationals park guide panorama

The home of the 2019 World Champions, in all its glory.

I’ve even broken it down into parts, so you won’t want to break me into parts:

Finding Cheap Nationals Tickets
Choosing A Seat At Nationals Park
The Best And Other Ways To Get To Nationals Park
Nationals Park Food
Bringing The Kids
Nationals Park Accessibility
The President’s Race and Other Stuff

Stop paying ballpark prices for your Nationals gear, carry-in bags, and souvenirs!

macombs dam bridge
Order your essential Nats game items before you go at Amazon.com, pay far less than you would at the game, AND get free shipping on orders over $25…

Order your swag for the 2019 World Champion Nationals today!

OK then, let’s get you started with killer Nationals Park tips!

 

Nationals Park Guide, Part 1 – Finding Cheap Nationals Tickets

cheap nationals tickets

I’ll bet you would surprise the crap out of an operator by actually calling and asking about tickets.

Finding cheap Nationals tickets – or at least finding the best deal – is all about choosing the right avenue for buying them.

Say you’re looking for a high demand game…such as Opening Day, July 4th, or when the Yankees, Phillies, or Orioles are in town on a weekend. Your best bet is usually to pay face value for tickets, either through the Nationals website or their box office.

So do this right now: subscribe to the Nationals e-mail newsletter here.

The Nats will make you aware of ticket deals, pre-sales, fan club memberships, giveaway nights, etc. It’s a very easy way to score much better deals on Nationals tickets.

nationals park guide group tickets

Well worth the effort to park a bus in D.C.

Here’s just a few things the newsletter has informed me about: free tickets for military members; the very cool NatsPass; Value Days with discounts on everything for families; sweet deals for group tickets; you get it. It never hurts to check your newsletter.

If you’re confident the game won’t sell out, visit the box office on game day and save considerable cash avoiding online fees.

For low demand games – weeknight games, April games, etc. – you can often save on face price through a third party, like StubHub or SeatGeek. I’m a big fan of SeatGeek, and they’re an affiliate of mine, so if you want to add them to your ticket searches, be sure to use this link. (And thanks for your support!)

Looking for cheaper Nationals tickets? Try my friends at SeatGeek!

Washington Nationals tickets seatgeek
Click on the logo to find deals on Nats game tickets, and tell them Kurt sent you!

One caveat though. Don’t buy from third parties before tickets go on sale to the public. The only seats available will be from people that have bought from pre-sales, and prices could be ridiculously inflated. Your best bet with third parties is to generally wait until game day a few hours before the game.

nationals park scalping tickets

Counterfeit merchandise? You mean the peanuts aren’t real?

As for scalpers, you can usually find quite a few of them, especially on Half Street leading to the ballpark from the Metro station. Check out this bit from my buddy Andrew Van Cleve about haggling with scalpers…he’s the best at it.

And if you’re considering trying Craigslist for tickets, check out my advice here about that.

five dollar nationals tickets

Never mind the view from the seat. Check out that price!

Here’s a great Tightwad Tip…as of this writing, the Nats still offer a limited amount of $5 tickets at the box office, on game day, for almost every game. The seating is in Sections 401-402, among the worst seats, but you should be able to move to a better upper level seat. Nationals Park also has some of the better standing room in baseball. (More about that in a minute.)

Five dollar tickets can’t be beat, especially in an expensive town like D.C.!

So remember, subscribe to the newsletter, check SeatGeek, and use the box office instead of the website if you can.

 

Nationals Park Guide, Part 2 – Choosing A Great Seat

nationals park guide seating chart

The Nationals apparently forget about the demographic that just wants to know where Ben’s Chili dog is.

There’s a wide variety of seating sections and prices at Nationals Park. I have provided helpful advice elsewhere on this site…check out this about the cheap seats, or this post about expensive seats, or this post about what to avoid and the great standing room.

But for here and now, I’ll just break it down into budget levels.

Nationals park guide premium seating

You wouldn’t pay more for seats this size on an airplane, but in a ballpark? Heck yes!

Really expensive seats at Nats Park include the Delta Club seats behind home plate, PNC Club seats behind them, and the recliners in the Dugout Club that you need to lose a lot of money in a casino to get.

All of these include access to really fancy clubs and great food, in-seat wait service, all of which is nice. In my opinion, though, they’re overpriced for any team, and if you’re looking to score a seat in these sections try looking elsewhere, even though technically the Nats don’t allow resales of premium seats. If you can score a deal, it’s worth it, especially with parking thrown in.

nationals park infield club

Unfortunately this nifty scoreboard is gone, but the Infield Club still has made-to-order nachos AND carpeting!

The mid-range priced seats at Nationals Park include Infield Club on the mezzanine level, and most of the field level seating, especially in the infield.

Given D.C. weather in the summer, I would choose having access to a climate-controlled club to field level seats if you’re comparing similar costs. It gets very hot in this place. Plus the Infield Club features great eats with shorter lines, such as brick oven Enzo’s pizza, sushi, a carvery etc., all with places to sit and enjoy.

screech

Field level tickets do offer proximity to NatPack girls. And Screech.

But seating on the field level does offer some fine views, and this is a place where you’ll want to stay low. If you can score tickets in, say, Sections 118 or 127, you can almost reach into a premium seat holder’s lap and grab a hunk of “complimentary” grub that they paid twice the price for. (Don’t actually do this.)

Low budget seating includes outer mezzanine seats, upper deck (Gallery) seats, scoreboard porch seats, etc. There’s a large number of cheap seats here, but most of them aren’t great.

The outer mezzanine seats aren’t bad for the price and offer decent shade for afternoon games, but you need to make a trek up or down to find any concessions, so just be aware of that and grab your grub before you sit.

nationals park cheap seating

At least they make sportswriters sit further back.

In the upper deck, the 300 level seats cost significantly more than the 400 seats, but they’re worth it. The 400 level here is sky high, and it also involves much more climbing of steps.

That said, I prefer 400 level seating to outfield seating…especially the Right Field Terrace and sections in front of the scoreboard, both of which are very far from the action. The lower level outfield seats under the right field overhang are probably the worst seats in the ballpark, except in the rain…you will have no view of the scoreboard or fly balls.

pavilion scoreboard nationals

And in mere seconds after finishing your beer, you can be back at your seat!

One cool thing about upper outfield seating, though, is that it’s close to the upper level outfield concourse that is among the best in baseball…there’s a couple of bars (with drink specials even), and eateries like the Shake Shack and a BBQ joint that shouldn’t be missed. If you’re a ballgame socializer, it’s not a bad spot.

Finally, there’s lots of quality standing room at Nationals Park, should your seat not meet your dreams. In the upper outfield level especially, there are counters to rest your elbows and your grub, mist spraying fans, even some stools if you’re early enough.

If you’re on a strict budget, try the aforementioned $5 ticket and stake out a spot.

 

Nationals Park Guide, Part 3 – Fastest, Cheapest, and Some Unusual Ways to Get to Nationals Park

nationals park metro

It’s what Nats fans do.

Driving to Nationals Park isn’t the worst as big city ballparks go, but it’s expensive, and chances are you’ll be sitting in traffic if you don’t arrive early. Most people recommend the Metro, but we’ll cover all the bases here. (Check out this post if you’re coming from Baltimore.)

The Navy Yard – Ballpark station on the Green Line of the Metro (officially the WMATA, but it’s the Metro to everyone here) is just steps away from the ballpark. It’s also a neat approach, probably by design, with the inside of the ballpark in full view from Half Street and a plethora of cheap vendors lining the path to the entrance. It’s baseball as it should be.

center field entrance nats park

Wait! You forgot your cheap peanuts!

You’ll need a “SmarTrip” card both to ride the trains and pay for parking at a station. Needless to say, have enough value on it for the trip back, rather than wait in line behind folks who can’t figure out the machine. (There’s always one.) Parking at Metro stations is relatively inexpensive and free on weekends.

If you’re planning to drive to the game, let me start with this key suggestion: book your parking beforehand with ParkWhiz.

Book your ideal Nationals Park parking spot ahead of time…with my friends at ParkWhiz!

nationals park parking parkwhiz
Click the ParkWhiz logo and find great deals on Nationals game parking!

OK, now then. The Nationals provide directions from every direction on their website, along with this nice interactive map to help you get to the game easily.

washington nationals parking

“Keep driving. I know there’s an R lot somewhere.”

Currently the Nats run seven official lots: the Geico (formerly “B” before the B people pulled out) and C lots attached to the ballpark, which are ultra-convenient and ultra-expensive; Lots L and H a block away on Half Street which cost almost as much; and the more distant T, U, and W lots east of the ballpark. You can buy parking passes through the Nats, but you’ll pay a fee for that. Check your third parties; you might find a deal.

The W lot is the cheapest, most tailgate friendly, and one of the easiest to exit back onto the highway, but it’s a good hike away.

marc parc parking

“Yeah, pay Marc. He’s that guy in the phone booth with the funny mask on.”

There are a few independent lots too. The former HH lot some blocks north on South Capitol is still there last I checked, and it’s among the cheapest you’ll find. Long walk, though…longer than the W Lot even.

The best deal for something less than a half mile away is probably off of Tingey Street east of the ballpark. Just east of Lot W are more cheap lots, but they’re also a lengthy walk.

Want to try free street parking? Don’t. Or at least, I highly recommend against it. The city of Washington works hard to ensure you pay out the wazoo for meters during games.

Ballpark E-Guides is all about what you didn’t think of – Here’s a few cool and unusual ways to get to a Nats game:

dc circulator

Less crowded than a subway car, cheaper, and a better view. But slower.

The D.C. Circulator bus is a cheaper way to travel around the city; great if you’re making a day around town. The Circulator’s Blue Route stops at the Navy Yard/Ballpark Station entrance. The Blue Route (but only the Blue Route) extends service on game days.

The Ballpark Bus is a shuttle service that carries Nats fans west of D.C. to weekend games. The buses will run if there is enough demand–and there usually is–and the stations are local establishments like Tavern 64 in Reston, making it easy to enjoy a pre- or post-game meal.

ugly mug washington dc

It doesn’t look like much, but they’ve cornered the market on Nationals Park shuttles!

The Ugly Mug is a tavern on 8th Street about a mile from the ballpark. They will run you to the game in a golf cart with a proof of purchase, and they have game day specials. Parking is not free or easy to come by, though, so this is best for folks wanting a meal and a drink before or after the game.

There is a specific location for Lyft and Uber riders, on the west curb of New Jersey Avenue between M and N Street. Ride sharing is expensive here, especially with surge pricing. If you can get someone to go in with you on the cost, though, it might work for you, and you won’t have to worry about service being available after the game…like you sometimes will with Metro.

You can even take a water taxi from Alexandria or nearby docks, courtesy of the Potomac Riverboat Company. The price for two is reasonable…about what it costs to park at the game. If you print out the ticket online, parking at the Chadwicks Restaurant is free.

capital bikeshare

A bicycle valet may be nice, but a rented bike allows for a quick escape without tipping!

Should you decide to bicycle to Nationals Park, the Nationals actually have a bicycle valet in Garage C. It starts two hours before gametime and closes one hour after the last pitch. The Riverwalk along both banks of the Anacostia makes for a swell bike ride, but I have read about some incidents, so keep your wits about you. I’m told it’s very cool lit up at night, if you’re comfortable cycling then.

Finally, you can borrow a bicycle from Capital Bikeshare; there are several stations near the ballpark, including right across the street.

 

Nationals Park Guide, Part 4: Food + Drink

bud brew house washington

I’ll take the table by the window, and watch the grounds crew.

Since the Nationals Park food menu changes so frequently, I’m just going to cover my favorite mainstays here. You can read about nacho choices here, or some other things to try here. But here’s the truly good stuff:

The Budweiser Brewhouse is the restaurant behind the red seats in left center field. It has indoor and outdoor seating, and it’s best to go either just after the gates open or around the fifth inning if you want a seat.

The Brewhouse sells quality food like steak salad or jerk chicken at ballpark prices. The menu changes a lot, and there’s usually something unusual. It all can be washed down with Bud-owned microbrews like Goose Island and Shock Top. Upstairs is the Bud Light Loft, with a full bar, misting fans, and a bird’s eye view of the game from left center.

nationals park bens chili bowl

This chili dog will escalate your opinion of Nationals Park.

The Chili Half-Smoke from Ben’s Chili Bowl is a spicy sausage, with Ben’s special recipe chili piled on, along with cheese, chopped onions and yellow mustard. It’s a truly amazeballs chili dog, just grab some napkins and maybe a spoon for the abundant chili. Ben’s also has chili cheese fries, and they don’t skimp on the chili or cheese.

While we’re talking encased meat, Haute Dogs & Fries has some truly innovative offerings of gourmet beef dogs on New England rolls, including the Haute dog with brown onion relish, mayonnaise and celery salt, and a Banh Mi dog with jalapeno, carrots, cucumber slaw, cilantro and sriracha mayo. That’s just some examples…they might be different when you visit.

see you tater

And you thought Max Scherzer was a good acquisition.

I’ve loved me some smothered tater tots at See. You. Tater., named for Bob Carpenter’s signature home run call. Get a bowl of tots covered with Buffalo chicken and blue cheese, crab meat and crab queso, or whatever else they may be offering.

Steak Of The Union stands still manage to hang around Nats Park, selling the classic Philly cheesesteaks, and they keep it simple: just beef, onions, peppers and Cheez Whiz. Or get some cheesesteak nachos. I would get a fork for the spillage either way.

enzos pizza

This dude knows good pizza.

For pizza, Enzo’s serves up decent pizza in my opinion, at least by ballpark standards, with thin crust and ample pepperoni. It’s greasy stuff though…pat it with a napkin if you care about that.

The Scoreboard Pavilion in right field is home to some cool spots:

The Shake Shack is a Citi Field staple (there’s one in Philly now too) but it is equally popular here; lines get very long for the Shackburger, a fresh beef patty topped with lettuce, cheese, tomato and Shack Sauce on a potato roll. There’s also milkshakes excellent enough to have a separate line, and I can vouch for the quality of the fries too.

box frites nationals park

Even the sign looks appetizing.

But if you like fries, Box Frites (another Citi Field delicacy, SMH) is it…crispy boardwalk-style fries with several dipping sauces that change periodically. You might find smoky bacon or black pepper parm sauce or something like that. Try the garlic parmesan fries…you’ll thank me.

The Old Hickory BBQ Grill is fairly new, but Nationals Park’s BBQ has always rocked it. Old Hickory has smoked hot sausage with slaw and BBQ sauce, pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, and pulled pork nachos with house made chips.

You also have some healthy choices of course:

field of greens nationals park

Featuring Kevin Costner as Ray Kinshallot. (Admit it, you laughed a little bit at that.)

There’s a Field of Greens stand with mushroom burgers, salads, wraps, and hummus; it’s a good spot for vegan sorts. They also have a Gluten Free Grill in the center field plaza, featuring hot dogs with gluten-free rolls, burritos and pizza; Nats Park has a larger selection than most ballparks with GF stuff.

dolci gelati

Is it appropriate to have gelato at a ballgame?

Finally, if you want something different for dessert, try Leilani’s Shaved Ice or Dolci Gelati…Dolci has gelato in multiple cool flavors like “Stracciatella”.

I’m really just scratching the surface here; Nationals Park has a seriously long menu. But I still want to talk about beer and drinks very briefly.

You can find some excellent brews at District Drafts from local breweries like Atlas, DC Brau, Mad Fox and others. Atlas created a special brew sold only at the ballpark called 1500 South Cap Lager, named for the address of Nationals Park.

devils backbone

This is right there at the $5 section…so your craft brew could cost twice as much as your ticket. Baseball’s weird.

Or try the Devil’s Backbone offerings at their lodge in the upper left field corner. They’ve developed a brew exclusively for Nats Park called “Earned Run Ale”…a light IPA with a lemon and grapefruit taste to it.

For other mixed drinks, there’s some cool offerings at Distilleries of the DMV and District Coolers spots. Or at any of the bars around the concourse and in the clubs.

Thanks for sticking with me; here’s some Tightwad Tips for Nationals Park food…

half street vendors

Notice the people walking past the vendors? You’re about to be smarter.

$You can bring your own food into Nationals Park; they allow a 16*16*8 bag (no backpacks). Coming from the train station, there’s a bunch of vendors with hot dogs, peanuts, bottled water etc. I always fill up a goody bag with a big bag of peanuts and a few big waters for less than $10. Well worth it.

$ – If you’re ordering tickets through the Nationals website, you can add concession credit to your ticket, and they’ll give you a few extra bucks’ worth. Not big savings, but there’s no reason not to use it.

five dollar beer nationals game

Not even the Budweiser sign scared off these gentlemen from an ice cold $5 ballpark beer.

$ – In the upper outfield concourse behind the Big Board, the bar features a Happy Hour with discounted beers ($5 as of this writing) that ends 45 minutes before game time. Well worth getting to the ballpark early, even if it’s Budweiser products.

 

Nationals Park Guide, Part 5: Bringing The Kids

I’ve dedicated a separate post to bringing the kids to a Nats game, but here’s a few things worth knowing.

nationals park guide kids

The real Nats Park “Rookies” are the adult fans that paid more than $5 for beer!

The Family Fun Area has simulated pitching and batting cages, a nice kids’ playground area with a jungle gym, a picnic area, photo booths and penny press machines. The racing presidents greet fans here and pose for photos.

Kids can run the bases after Sunday games, and if you enter the kids in the Jr. Nats MVP Club, they’ll get front of the line privileges for this (and believe me, that’s worth the price). Kids club membership also includes team store discounts, a lanyard, and lots of other cool stuff. Definitely look into it for your offspring.

You can get your kid tagged at Guest Services just inside the center field gate, in case he decides to migrate. If it’s the kid’s first game, ask for a certificate.

nationals park with kids nursing lounge

Now featuring the seal of approval from Mrs. Ballpark E-Guides.

Recently the Nats added a nursing lounge on the first base side, a private area with comfy chairs, a play area for toddlers, and TVs for busy moms to watch the game. My wife tested it out (she was legitimate) and had nothing but nice things to say about it.

 

Nationals Park Guide, Part 6: Accessibility

nationals park handicapped seats

Thankfully, they placed the disabled seats in front of the counter.

There are handicapped seating areas all over the park, with folding chairs included. There are also plenty of elevators to get to the upper level, and you’ll need them. You can also borrow a wheelchair at the Guest Services locations.

The Ballpark Metro Station is fully accessible, with a brand new elevator. Should you require the elevators elsewhere on the Metro, check WMATA’s website before you go, since they do have occasional issues with them.

You can drop off people by car at most entrances, but after the game, they can only be picked up from South Capitol Street on the first-base side. There are no curbs between O and P Streets on South Capitol, but there is a walkway on South Capitol to ease crossing the street.

 

Nationals Park Guide, Part 7: The President’s Race And Other Stuff

racing presidents

He may not win much, but Teddy is clearly the most jovial of the Racing Presidents.

The President’s Race in the middle of the fourth inning (and the 13th, if the game goes that long) is always entertaining, although it was a little more fun when Teddy Roosevelt never won for various reasons. Teddy’s long losing streak finally ended in 2012, not coincidentally the first year the Nationals won the NL East. (Check out this excellent blog about the President’s Race.)

Remember, once the visiting team is finished batting in the top of the fourth, get your camera/phone out to video the event.

Throughout the season the Nationals have theme nights, like “Pups In The Park”, “Stitch N’ Pitch”, LGBTQ “Nats Night OUT”, or Georgetown cupcake night among many others. Special nights are listed on the Nats website, and they’ll be in your newsletter.

Before Sunday games, two Nationals players will sign autographs for about 20 minutes, so get a voucher at Section 103 (free) and arrive early.

n-a-t-s nats nats nats woo

Just in case anyone forgets the words.

There is a cool cheer for when the Nats score: a group behind home plate in the upper level chants “N-A-T-S Nats Nats Nats Woo!”, and repeats it twice for two runs, three times for three runs, etc. The words are now displayed behind Section 313, but it’s grown to other parts of the ballpark and it’s unique to D.C.

Finally, I can’t think of a ballpark I’ve been to with nicer staff than at Nationals Park, and I expect it’s part of their training. Everyone is extremely courteous and friendly and willing to help with any sort of need; and they’re plentiful to boot. Kudos to the Nats for this.

Visiting Washington, DC for a Nationals game? Get 4-star hotels at 2-star prices from my friends at Hotwire!

Click here to book your DC stay today!

There you are my friend…your complete, detailed Nationals Park guide, for fans who do live baseball right. I hope this helps you save some money and enjoy a much better experience; be sure to click here for still more great Nationals Park tips!

kurt smith nationals park

You’re welcome…see you at the yard!

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

Nationals Park With Kids – 3 Things To Know (+1!)

Posted by Kurt Smith

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

If you’re visiting Nationals Park with kids, take advantage of all of the cool stuff the team offers for parents and young fans. Here are my three favorite tips for parents, plus an extra for nursing moms:

 

nationals park with kids fan club

Endorsed by Screech!

Nationals Park With Kids, Tip #1) Join The Club. If you sign up the kids in the Junior Nationals MVP Club, in addition to the lanyard, hat, duffel bag and other goodies, you’ll get offers for discounted tickets, and a coupon book with discounts on food and other stuff in the ballpark.

The free membership includes e-mail offers, which would certainly be worth the couple of minutes to sign up. But the paid membership is worth the small price too, if only for front of the line privileges on Run The Bases days. If you plan on having the kids run the bases, sign up…you’ll thank me.

Looking for cheaper Nats tickets? Try my friends at SeatGeek!

seatgeekClick on the logo to find deals on Nationals game tickets, and tell them Kurt sent you!

 

Nationals Park With Kids Racing presidents

They even pose with big kids.

Nationals Park With Kids, Tip #2) The Presidents’ Race. In the 4th inning, and the 13th if the game goes that long, the likenesses of the Mount Rushmore presidents race from the right field warning track to the finish line near first base.

Be sure to tell your kids not to root for Teddy Roosevelt, because he rarely wins, as documented in the excellent “Let Teddy Win” blog. His defeats are always for some wacky reason…unauthorized use of a feline, pre-game warmup injuries, or dive-bombing a racing sausage when the Brewers come to town.

Book your ideal Nationals game parking spot ahead of time…with my friends at ParkWhiz!

parkwhiz

Click the ParkWhiz logo to find great deals on Nationals game parking!

nationals park with kids play area

Because every kid loves the jungle gyms and sugar combination.

Nationals Park With Kids, Tip #3) The Family Fun Area. The kids play area here is impressive…it has simulated pitching and batting cages, a playground area with a very cool jungle gym, a picnic area, photo booths and penny press machines. There’s also a “Rookies” concession stand for kids with smaller portions and prices.

Get here early if you can…the racing presidents greet fans here before the game. There are even bobblehead replicas for photo-ops.

Don’t pay ballpark prices for your Nationals gear and souvenirs!

Order your essential Nats items before you go at Amazon.com, pay far less than you would at the ballpark, AND get free shipping on orders over $25…order your Nats swag today!

 

nationals park with kids nursing lounge

I didn’t take any pictures inside. I’m sure you understand.

Nationals Park With Kids, Bonus Tip! The Nursing Lounge. On the mezzanine level in right field is a very comfortable nursing lounge. It’s a private area with comfy chairs, a play area for toddlers, and TVs for busy moms to watch the game.

My wife tested this room out (she’s legitimate) and had nothing but nice things to say about it. Nice that the Nats are looking after moms for us dads.

There’s three things to know for parents at Nats games, plus one for moms of tiny ones. If you’re looking to save money on Nationals tickets too, be sure to check out this post.

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

4 Ways to Score Cheap Nationals Tickets

Posted by Kurt Smith

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

So you’re looking to score some cheap Nationals tickets? Like with most teams, the Nationals offer ways for you to save a few bucks, especially going to multiple games.

Here’s a few tips for both Nats fans in the area and other Nationals Park visitors:

 

cheap nationals tickets newsletter

Or you could just use the phone I guess.

Cheap Nationals Tickets, Tip #1) Team Newsletters. The Nationals make a lot of ticket deals available in their e-mail newsletters, including tickets that include concessions, discounted theme nights, group discounts, etc. You’ll get a weekly e-mail with some offers; check that out before buying from the team website.

Be sure to sign your kids up for the Fan Club memberships too…they’re free and you’ll receive some exclusive offers for them in your inbox too. Well worth a few minutes to sign up.

Looking for cheaper Nats tickets? Try my friends at SeatGeek!

seatgeekClick on the logo to find deals on Nationals game tickets, and tell them Kurt sent you!

 

cheap nationals tickets natspass

“I remember the good old days when you had to actually remember to bring your tickets!”

Cheap Nationals Tickets, Tip #2) The NatsPass. For big time fans who can attend a few games, the NatsPass allows you to see as many games as you want for a monthly price. You download the MLB Ballpark app, order the pass, and then you’ll have the barcodes on your phone. You won’t even have to remember to bring the tickets.

It’s standing room, but standing room here is actually pretty good and the price is well worth it if you attend, say, three games against the Phillies or Braves.

Click here to check out the NatsPass…

Book your ideal Nationals game parking spot ahead of time…with my friends at ParkWhiz!

parkwhiz

Click the ParkWhiz logo to find great deals on Nationals game parking!

cheap nationals tickets pick em plan

Harper may be gone, but they still have 81 home games!

Cheap Nationals Tickets, Tip #3) Go In With A Friend. The Nationals also now have a very cool “Pick ‘Em” plan, where you buy 20 or 40 tickets at a discount and choose how many you want to use (up to eight) at almost any matchup during the season (excepting Opening Day and very popular contests). You can share with a friend or two and save a bunch just going to a few games.

There’s lots of added perks too: Higher priced tickets for this plan include concession credits, it includes Opening Day and concert ticket opportunities, and you’ll have postseason priority should the Nationals so thrive. If you plan on spending a lot of time at Nats Park this summer, definitely check this out.

Don’t pay ballpark prices for your Nationals gear and souvenirs!

Order your essential Nats items before you go at Amazon.com, pay far less than you would at the ballpark, AND get free shipping on orders over $25…order your Nats swag today!

 

cheap nationals tickets community

In case you didn’t notice that ballpark standing to your left.

Cheap Nationals Tickets, Tip #4) Help Your Fellow Washingtonian. The Nationals will have a blood or food drive at the ballpark on occasion; donors receive tickets and a T-shirt. You can tell someone you literally bled for their ticket.

The Nats also give away tickets and other prizes for charitable groups, military types (the Nats are very good about appreciating the military), and other philanthropic folks. Check out the “Community” section of the Nationals website; you may find something you can participate in and be rewarded by the Nats with some tickets.

There’s four helpful tips for saving some cash at your next few Nationals games. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line.

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

Cheap Seats at Nationals Park

Posted by Kurt Smith

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

Nationals Park has a wide range of seating options for every budget. You can get into the ballpark for as little as $5 or spend triple digits on premium seats. If you’re looking for cheap seats at Nationals Park, you do have some options…here is what you should know about the budget-priced seating in the place.

 

cheap seats at nationals park scoreboard pavilion

Note the complete absence of fans basking in the late afternoon sun.

Cheap Seats at Nationals Park, #1) The Scoreboard Pavilion. Scoreboard Pavilion seats are underneath the scoreboard and cost about the same as the outfield seats below them. You can see the Big Board if you’re willing to turn around, but these seats are the furthest from home plate in the ballpark. Like the right field mezzanine, these are the last to see shade, too.

It’s good for ballpark foodies though…the Pavilion is close to the Danny Meyer eateries, including the Shake Shack, Box Frites fries and El Verano Taqueria nachos. You can also go for some amazing jerk chicken from the Jammin’ Island BBQ.

Looking for cheaper Nats tickets? Try my friends at SeatGeek!

seatgeekClick on the logo to find deals on Nationals game tickets, and tell them Kurt sent you!

 

cheap seats at nationals park upper level

Hey, at least you’re not sitting higher than the sportswriters.

Cheap Seats at Nationals Park, #2) Gallery (Upper Deck) Seats. The Upper (400 Level) seats at Nationals Park in general are a bargain, especially when you get down the left field line to the sections past the bases. But be warned…these seats are really up there. At the top of them you can almost wave to pilots.

If you’re not in the best of shape, you can use escalators and elevators to get there, but you’ll still need to ascend a short flight of steps to get to the 400 seats. The concourses are also more subject to the elements…dress warm on colder days.

The concourse on the upper level offers some cool views…you can see the Capitol and Washington Monument on the third base side, and there’s a sweet view of the Anacostia River on the first base side.

Book your ideal Nationals game parking spot ahead of time…with my friends at ParkWhiz!

parkwhiz

Click the ParkWhiz logo to find great deals on Nationals game parking!

cheap seats at nationals park right field terrace

They’re closer than they appear, but not by much.

Cheap Seats at Nationals Park, #3) Right Field Terrace. The Right Field Terrace seats are up there and out there; don’t be fooled by the 2 in front of the section numbers.

These are among the cheapest seats, but be aware of a few things: you likely won’t be able to see the Big Board and even some of the outfield, these seats get baking hot on summer days and early evenings, and they are far from home plate. It’s especially a hike to get to the Upper Terrace.

You are close to the center field plaza and its food selection here, so it isn’t all bad for a cheap ticket if you’re into the party.

Don’t pay ballpark prices for your Nationals gear and souvenirs!

Order your essential Nats items before you go at Amazon.com, pay far less than you would at the ballpark, AND get free shipping on orders over $25…order your Nats swag today!

cheap seats at nationals park

The five-dollar view of Nationals Park.

Cheap Seats at Nationals Park, #4) The “Grandstand”. The Nationals don’t publicize it much, but about 400 seats in the Grandstand Sections 401 and 402 go for a very small price (as low as $5) on game day only. These seats aren’t the best obviously, but they’re the cheapest in the ballpark, and you can move around to plenty of acceptable standing room space on most weeknights.

They go on sale at the box office 2.5 hours before game time and you have to enter the park from there; for a low demand game you should have no problem getting one, but get there early for a summer weekend or Orioles matchup.

So if you’re squeezing your ballgame budget, there’s a few choices of cheap seats at Nationals Park. If you’re willing to shell out the cash for something nicer, check this out.

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

3 Nationals Park Seating Tips (For Larger Budgets)

Posted by Kurt Smith

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

Whatever your budget, I’ve got plenty of Nationals Park seating tips for you, whether you want to avoid the sun, be near the cool food choices, or have the best view of the Presidents’ Race.

But if you’ve got a few extra bucks laying around, here are some upper tier priced options for you and what you should know about them.

 

nationals park seating tips dugout seats

I think the usher has to give the ok before they can uncover the seats.

Nationals Park Seating Tips, #1) The Dugout Club. There is a small section of very comfortable and large luxury seats next to the Nationals dugout now, making your view even better than the players’. They include a secret entrance with a tunnel, wait service, etc. If you have to ask the price…

Currently these are sponsored by the MGM National Harbor, and are only available to “M Life Rewards Platinum” members. I expect you probably have to lose a lot of money in a casino to access these, but maybe you know someone with such a problem.

Should you be lucky enough to land a seat here, definitely keep an eye on foul balls. They come this way fast.

Looking for cheaper Nats tickets? Try my friends at SeatGeek!

seatgeekClick on the logo to find deals on Nationals game tickets, and tell them Kurt sent you!

 

nationals park seating tips delta box

Enjoy baseball the way it was meant to be enjoyed…in the exclusive club without using your seat.

Nationals Park Seating Tips, #2) Field Level Premium Seating. The padded Delta Club seats are the best butt buckets in the ballpark. They are 22” wide and directly behind home plate. Season ticket holders get parking passes and access to all the clubs, including the Delta Club. The Delta Club features a fine foods buffet and in-seat wait service, all complimentary, even the beer, wine and desserts.

These seats, even with D.C. parking thrown in, are still overpriced for any team in my opinion. You might be able to find a deal from SeatGeek; try to get tickets from a season ticket holder before buying from the team. (Note: that is an affiliate link you just passed. Thanks for your support!)

The PNC Diamond seats are about half the price of the Delta seats and allow access to the PNC Lounge. Only season ticket holders have access to the actual PNC Club itself, so try getting tickets from one through a third party. The PNC Club also offers a buffet, in-seat wait service, and complimentary beer and wine. The earlier you arrive, the better your chances at an outside table with a great view.

If you can stand looking at richer people sitting in front of you, the PNC Diamond seats are a better deal.

Book your ideal Nationals game parking spot ahead of time…with my friends at ParkWhiz!

parkwhiz

Click the ParkWhiz logo to find great deals on Nationals game parking!

nationals park seating tips club level

If a railroad-style scoreboard and a sushi bar aren’t worth the price of a club ticket, I don’t know what the heck is.

Nationals Park Seating Tips, #3) The Club Level. The cushioned club level seats are on the mezzanine level between the bases. These seats are reasonable given all the perks; the view is decent, for one, especially since the upper deck is way up there. The upper rows of seats past Row E are covered by the elements, no small thing on a D.C. summer day. Not to mention access to a climate-controlled club to escape the heat.

The Norfolk Southern Club is a large, indoor concourse with lots of food and drink options like pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, a carvery and sushi bar, and Enzo’s pizza. It’s decorated with a railroad theme, including a scoreboard with model trains to keep track of the action on the field. There is even a cool Homestead Grays Pub full-service bar, named for the Negro League team that played in Washington.

The food isn’t included with the ticket price like with the more premium seats, but you pay a lot extra for that “free” buffet there. And the Shake Shack and other cool food spots aren’t far away from the first base entrance of the Club.

There you go, some cool options for a Nationals game if you’ve got the means. If you still think it’s way too much to spend to see a ballgame, check out this bit about the cheap seats at Nats Park.

Don’t pay ballpark prices for your Nationals gear and souvenirs!

Order your essential Nats items before you go at Amazon.com, pay far less than you would at the ballpark, AND get free shipping on orders over $25…order your Nats swag today!

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

3 Brands of Nationals Park Nachos

Posted by Kurt Smith

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

I actually counted six…yes, six…brands of Nationals Park nachos in my recent review of the food, but three of them are kind of ordinary, so I decided to just talk about the unusual stuff here. Sadly, Hard Times isn’t one of them, and they were my favorite at the time, but you can still get a decent nacho fix at Nats Park.

 

nationals park nachos el verano taqueria

Apparently the price changes frequently.

Nationals Park Nachos, #1) El Verano Taqueria. The Taqueria in the upper concourse offers nachos topped with chicken mole, pork carnitas or beef barbacoa, topped with their roasted tomato salsa that they are proud of here. The nachos have essential ingredients like avocado, black bean relish and queso blanco.

Actually, I guess you could have read that in the photo of the menu. Anyway, I’ve read accounts that they’re the best nachos in the ballpark, but I’ve also read the chips are pretty salty, so decide for yourself.

Looking for cheaper Nats tickets? Try my friends at SeatGeek!

seatgeekClick on the logo to find deals on Nationals game tickets, and tell them Kurt sent you!

 

nationals park nachos chesapeake crab

Featuring Nationals logo emblazoned wax paper…a souvenir well worth the ballpark markup!

Nationals Park Nachos, #2) Chesapeake Crab Cake Company. The Chesapeake stands are more known for expensive and tasty crab cake grilled cheese sandwiches, but they offer an impressive plate of nachos too.

Here they eschew the typical tortillas for Old Bay kettle chips, topped with crab queso, roasted corn and salsa. It’s actually a bit like the Crab Chipper in Camden Yards, but with the added difference of corn!

Book your ideal Nationals game parking spot ahead of time…with my friends at ParkWhiz!

parkwhiz

Click the ParkWhiz logo to find great deals on Nationals game parking!

nationals park nachos cheesesteak

Don’t ask the guy to let you lick the ladle.

Nationals Park Nachos, #5) Steak Of The Union. The Steak of The Union stand is the spot for the Philly cheesesteak, since Nats fans love Philly so much. But you can also get that truly daunting plate of cheesesteak nachos, with the all-important whiz glop with your cheesesteak meat for that Philly flavor. I haven’t asked them about provolone.

There you are; three unusual types of everyone’s second favorite ballpark food. If you want to know more about what you can eat at Nats Park, read my posts here and here. And stay tuned for more…

Don’t pay ballpark prices for your Nationals gear and souvenirs!

Order your essential Nats items before you go at Amazon.com, pay far less than you would at the ballpark, AND get free shipping on orders over $25…order your Nats swag today!

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

The Best Way To Get To Nationals Park From Baltimore

Posted by Kurt Smith

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

For you Birds fans or other Baltimoreans looking for the best way to get to Nationals Park from Baltimore for a game, you have a few options.

Here I’m going to share some obvious routes…with a few things you should know.

 

best way to get to nationals park from baltimore greenbelt

So…is this Greenbelt Station?

The Best Way To Get To Nationals Park From Baltimore, Route #1: Take the Green Line Metro from Greenbelt. The Metro train Green Line runs from Greenbelt station, conveniently located off of I-95/495, to the Navy Yard-Ballpark station at Nationals Park in about 40 minutes.

Even with typical I-95/I-495 traffic, this is probably the easiest route for using Metro, but you should have a plan to get back just in case this rare but frustrating occurrence happens.

Looking for cheaper Nats tickets? Try my friends at SeatGeek!

seatgeekClick on the logo to find deals on Nationals game tickets, and tell them Kurt sent you!

 

best way to get to nationals park from baltimore marc

You want the one on the right. Unless you’re coming home.

The Best Way To Get To Nationals Park From Baltimore, Route #2: MARC and/or AMTRAK. Amtrak runs trains from Penn Station and BWI airport in Baltimore to Union Station (Red Line) and New Carrollton Station (Orange Line), both of which are a two train ride to Nats Park. The Camden-Washington MARC train runs from Camden Station to Greenbelt Station, requiring only one transfer, and the MARC is much cheaper.

Unfortunately MARC is only available during weekdays, so you’d need to use Amtrak (or a Metrobus, more likely, given their more frequent schedules) at least to get back after a night game.

MARC can be a nice option, sparing you traffic troubles, gas and parking money. Can be a little unwieldy though.

Don’t pay ballpark prices for your Nationals gear and souvenirs!

Order your essential Nats items before you go at Amazon.com, pay far less than you would at the ballpark, AND get free shipping on orders over $25…order your Nats swag today!

best way to get to nationals park from baltimore by car

One of these will do it.

The Best Way To Get To Nationals Park From Baltimore, Route #3: By Car. If you’re going to just drive, I highly recommend that you 1) book your parking beforehand, and b) avoid the most common highways like I-95, especially during rush hour.

Try using MD295, which is truck-free, or if you’re coming from a western suburb like Ellicott City, try using the six-lane U.S. Route 29 highway to I-95/495, and then to MD 295. Route 29 is less congested than I-95 and can save you some aggravation.

Those are three of the better ways to get to Nationals Park from Baltimore; if you want to know about avoiding the hefty Nationals parking fees, check out this post.

Book your ideal Nationals game parking spot ahead of time…with my friends at ParkWhiz!

parkwhiz

Click the ParkWhiz logo to find great deals on Nationals game parking!

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

5 Nationals Park Tips For Newbies

Posted by Kurt Smith

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

If you’re visiting the ballpark in our nation’s capital for the first time, or if you’re coming from out of town, there are definitely a few things you should know…here are five Nationals Park tips for a great ballpark experience.

 

nationals park tips tickets

Call for Walgreen’s tickets today!

Nationals Park Tips, #1: Check the Nats website for deals. The Nats offer some decent deals on tickets for a team that has been contending. If you subscribe to the team newsletter, they’ll send them to you in e-mails. For low demand games especially, the team will often offer buy one get one or discounted food deals, great for families.

Looking for cheaper Nats tickets? Try my friends at SeatGeek!

seatgeekClick on the logo to find deals on Nationals game tickets, and tell them Kurt sent you!

 

nationals park tips standing room

We all need something we can lean on.

Nationals Park Tips, #2) Consider standing room. I could give you some seating recommendations (I’ve done just that with this post and this post), but if you really want to go cheap, you can go to the Nats box office on game day and get those Grandstand seats for almost nothing.

But you don’t have to sit way up there…in the upper level in the outfield are some great food items and lounge areas, and quite a few spots where you can grab a stool and sit and rest your food on a counter. If you don’t mind standing, there are rails to lean on almost everywhere else in the ballpark, just make sure you’ve taken care of business before you stake a good one.

Don’t pay ballpark prices for your Nationals gear and souvenirs!

Order your essential Nats items before you go at Amazon.com, pay far less than you would at the ballpark, AND get free shipping on orders over $25…order your Nats swag today!

nationals park tips metro

The “alternate” entrance to the Navy Yard Station.

Nationals Park Tips #3) Take the Metro. Advice varies on the best way to get to Nats Park, but the parking situation there is among the worst of ballparks I’ve visited. There are a limited amount of lots, and even the ones that are a mile or more away can be $20. The traffic situation for games has been improved, but it’s still not much fun if you are there less than two hours before gametime. Even street parking is scarce and expensive.

Just take the Metro. It isn’t perfect, but it beats the traffic and parking prices, and it drops you off right there at the very cool center field entrance.

Book your ideal Nationals game parking spot ahead of time…with my friends at ParkWhiz!

parkwhiz

Click the ParkWhiz logo to find great deals on Nationals game parking!

nationals Park tips bens chili

Nothing like sloppy ballpark food.

Nationals Park Tips #4) Get a Ben’s Chili Half-Smoke. It’s not cheap…ballpark food never is…but save the Shake Shack and Box Frites and that Danny Meyer stuff for your next trip to Citi Field. Ben’s is a real, genuine D.C. institution, and their spicy sausages with chili and cheese are still a go-to item here if you can handle the kick.

There are lots of great choices for food at Nationals Park, like the Jammin’ Island jerk chicken and the unusual nachos, but try the Ben’s dog first.

 

nationals park tips presidents race

They would be proud of their legacy.

Nationals Park Tips #5) Be in your seat in the middle of the fourth. One of the stories you want to share with people about your first game at Nats Park, of course, is not only who won the famous President’s Race, but also the spectacular fashion with which Teddy Roosevelt lost. And you’ll want to read about it in the excellent “Let Teddy Win” blog the next day.

Finally, if you’re a visiting team fan, expect the locals to be respectful so long as you’re not in their face. Nationals fans have to deal with visiting Phillies and Mets fans, and they tolerate a lot. They’re nice people, but don’t push them. At least unless you plan on buying hot dogs for an entire section. (Yes, I saw a really loud and obnoxious Mets fan do that once. Baseball is a goofy goofy game.)

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

Nationals Park Seating: Two Helpful Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

The Nationals Park seating chart features a wide range of seating and a wide range of pricing. Here are a couple of tips…one to try and one to avoid.

 

nationals park seating standing room

As you can see, standing room is popular here.

Nationals Park Seating Tip #1: Use The Standing Room. Yeah, I know. You don’t want to stand for the whole game. I get that. I don’t either. But Nationals Park, in my opinion, has probably the best standing room options in baseball for several reasons.

The first is that unlike Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park, the standing room spots aren’t designated (and priced accordingly). You can pretty much choose any spot. At Nats Park, you not only have the open concourses in the lower level, but on the mezzanine in the outfield there are numerous places to sit on barstool type seating, and have a place to sit your food or beer. As far as I can tell, no ballpark has more places to sit and watch the game that aren’t designated paid seats than Nats Park.

The second Nationals Park seating tip is that up on that mezzanine level in the outfield is everything you need for that social scene that the millennial baseball fans love…there’s a full bar with occasionally discounted brews, several lounge areas with misters for hot days, and as great a food selection as you’ll find, with not only the popular Shake Shack and Box Frites, but also that Jammin’ Island BBQ.

If you prefer just a fun time to seeing the pitcher’s facial expression, the cheapest ticket to get into Nats Park works just fine.

Looking for cheaper Nats tickets? Try my friends at SeatGeek!

seatgeekClick on the logo to find deals on Nationals game tickets, and tell them Kurt sent you!

 

nationals park seating bud brew house

I’m sure they have “RBI Nachos” or something like that.

Finally, you also have access to the Budweiser Brewhouse (formerly the Red Porch) restaurant and the covered loft on the upper level. It gets packed during rain delays, but on a nice day in the later innings you may be able to snag a table or even outdoor seating with a center field view and have a decent meal with your baseball.

 

nationals park seating bullpen seats

Well, at least you’re in the shade.

Nationals Park Seating Tip #2: Avoid Lower Right Field Seats. The lower right field seats in Nationals Park are completely covered by the second deck overhang and certain sections are tucked underneath the second deck behind the bullpen. The only advantage of such seats would be being able to watch pitchers warm up, which isn’t a bad thing, but otherwise you should avoid these seats.

Book your ideal Nationals game parking spot ahead of time…with my friends at ParkWhiz!

parkwhiz

Click the ParkWhiz logo to find great deals on Nationals game parking!

It’s not a big deal to miss the flight of fly balls, but in today’s ballparks especially you’ll want a view of the entire field, and obviously you’ll lose a lot of it here. On top of that, you’ll have no view whatsoever of the big scoreboard in right field…and this is a key thing here, because I couldn’t see anywhere else where you can see who’s batting or what the score is. The LED boards surrounding Nats Park show mostly ads, even during play. There are TVs in this section to keep you posted on the action, but you probably have one of those at home.

So if you have a choice, you’re better off either sitting in the upper level in the infield, or in the left field seats if you’d like to be closer to the Bud Light Loft and such. But for viewing the game these are not good seats. Unless Strasburg is pitching and you want a close-up of his warm-up tosses.

That’s just two tips for finding the best spot to stay for nine long innings…for more Nationals Park seating advice, check out my tips here and here.

Don’t pay ballpark prices for your Nationals gear and souvenirs!

Order your essential Nats items before you go at Amazon.com, pay far less than you would at the ballpark, AND get free shipping on orders over $25…order your Nats swag today!

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

Get To Nationals Park: Avoid Parking Fees

Posted by Kurt Smith

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

There are plenty of generally easy ways to get to Nationals Park; you can drive and park of course, but the traffic is rough and parking rates are Fenway-level, so here are a couple of ways to avoid both.

 

get to nationals park wmata

You know exactly how long you have to stand around.

Get To Nationals Park, Tip #1: Use The Metro. The D.C. Metrorail system is one of the most highly regarded in the country. The trains are clean and comfortable, service is efficient and frequent, and the system covers most anything worth reaching in D.C. proper. If you’re staying in D.C. or live there, it should not be difficult at all to get anywhere in two train rides.

Even from outside the city it’s not hard to find a park-and-ride Metro station. Nearly all of the stations close to the I-95/495 beltway are park-and-rides, where you can park inexpensively and for free on weekends. There are some you might want to avoid for different reasons, but the majority of them are easy in and out.

Looking for cheaper Nats tickets? Try my friends at SeatGeek!

seatgeekClick on the logo to find deals on Nationals game tickets, and tell them Kurt sent you!

 

get to nationals park half street

Would be nice if you could park here.

Nationals Park is just steps away from the Navy Yard Station on the Metro’s green line. There are two entrances/exits to the station; coming from the train there are signs clearly showing the way. It’s so idiot-proof even a congressman could use it.

Upon emerging from the Navy Yard Station, Nationals Park’s impressive center field entrance is immediately in view—you can see the seats inside the open-air facility—and you pass by numerous food vendors on Half Street hawking hotdogs, water, peanuts and any other snack that you can bring into the ballpark.

It’s not terribly difficult to drive to Nationals Park, and there is a fair amount of parking. But it is still driving in the city, and not only might you get frustrated with traffic, but you will pay a nice chunk of change to park anywhere that is less than a mile walk to the park. Coming from a park-and-ride or from another station in the city, you’re spared all of that.

And the station platforms are pretty cool looking too.

Book your ideal Nationals game parking spot ahead of time…with my friends at ParkWhiz!

parkwhiz

Click the ParkWhiz logo to find great deals on Nationals game parking!

get to nationals park ballpark bus

Tell your friends! And it’s Ladies Night!

Get To Nationals Park, Tip #2: The Ballpark Bus. The Ballpark Bus was hatched by one Brian Bowman, a Nationals fan who doesn’t live close enough to a WMATA Metro station to make taking the train convenient. So rather than complain to the Metro people or the Nationals, Bowman came up with his own solution for Nats fans that share his dilemma.

The Ballpark Bus runs from Ashburn and Reston, two areas west of the District that are not covered by the Metro’s tentacles. Bowman worked out deals with local taverns and restaurants for the pickup areas, and some of these establishments will offer food specials with the ride…winners all around.

It’s affordable too…cheaper than driving and especially parking. Just reserve a spot ahead of time, and if the demand is high enough the bus will roll; and if not, you won’t be charged.

What I love about the Ballpark Bus is that it’s a private enterprise—“mass transit on demand” as they call it. I understand that cities require taxpayer-funded ways for people to get to the ballpark and I‘m not knocking it—especially in Washington, where local taxpayers footed the entire bill for the place. The city has to recoup its investment and no one will go if it’s too difficult to get there. But the Ballpark Bus is an independent solution, to a problem that many Nats fans still have.

Check it out here: www.ballparkbus.com. (Logo courtesy of Ballpark Bus.)

Don’t pay ballpark prices for your Nationals gear and souvenirs!

Order your essential Nats items before you go at Amazon.com, pay far less than you would at the ballpark, AND get free shipping on orders over $25…order your Nats swag today!

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

Nationals Park Food: 3 Things To Try

Posted by Kurt Smith

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

The Nationals Park food menu is as diversified as just any ballpark’s; you have an awful lot to choose from, and most of it is very good.

But since I’ve already covered the Shake Shack and Box Frites in the Citi Field section of this website, here are some things at the home of D.C. baseball for you to try on your next trip.

 

nationals Park food bens chili

Yes, there is a smoked sausage in there.

Nationals Park Food, Tip #1: The Ben’s Chili Half-Smoke. Ben’s Chili Bowl is a well-known D.C. institution. Its founder, Ben Ali, started his own chili business following his inability to finish dental school after falling down a broken elevator shaft. Eventually he turned a pool hall into Ben’s Chili, developed his outstanding spicy chili recipe, and the rest is history.

Ali passed away in October of 2009, but his greatness lives on in Nats Park. The Chili Half-Smoke “All The Way” is a sausage that is like a kielbasa (but beefier and spicier), topped with Ben’s famous spicy chili, cheese, onions and mustard. They are very generous with the chili, and you need a lot of napkins and a spoon.

Ben’s stands used to get crowded, but they have four locations in the park now and the Shake Shack’s appearance has taken over, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long to get one these days. And in my opinion, it’s still the go-to food item here.

If you want something local, this is still the best spot. Ben’s is uniquely D.C., and uniquely Nationals Park.

Looking for cheaper Nats tickets? Try my friends at SeatGeek!

seatgeekClick on the logo to find deals on Nationals game tickets, and tell them Kurt sent you!

 

nationals park food grilled cheese

If you make it look delicious enough, you can charge almost any price.

Nationals Park Food, Tip #2: Chesapeake Bay Crab Cake Grilled Cheese. Baltimore isn’t the only city close enough to the Chesapeake Bay to make it a crab town, and Nationals Park does quietly have a few crab items of its own at the Chesapeake Bay Crab Co. stand.

I couldn’t help but notice this particular sandwich, a grilled cheese with crab meat on a hefty piece of bread. It comes with chips, which somewhat softens the blow of the price tag. Ballpark + seafood = really expensive.

But if you can splurge, and you’re hungry, grab a bite of the crab grilled cheese. If not, try the crab nachos.

Book your ideal Nationals game parking spot ahead of time…with my friends at ParkWhiz!

parkwhiz

Click the ParkWhiz logo to find great deals on Nationals game parking!

nationals park food jammin island

The only thing missing is Bob Marley music.

Nationals Park Food, Tip #3: The Jammin’ Island Jerk Chicken Sandwich. I wasn’t lucky enough in my last visit, but employees have been known to pass out samples of the Jammin’ Island jerk chicken, which often results in sales. I have tried the chicken…it’s seriously spicy but delicious stuff.

Spicy jerk chicken goes great with beer, and on some nights you can get a beer cheaper than usual at Nats Park. The sandwich has cole slaw piled onto it. It doesn’t include sides, but you can get them added for a fee.

There are two Jammin’ Island outposts, one near the Bud Light Loft in center field. If you know to get a discounted beer, that’s the place to be.

Don’t pay ballpark prices for your Nationals gear and souvenirs!

Order your essential Nats items before you go at Amazon.com, pay far less than you would at the ballpark, AND get free shipping on orders over $25…order your Nats swag today!

There are three Nationals Park food items to try, but I don’t mean any disrespect to some of the other choices…there are great Virginia Ham & Biscuits, the intriguing Haute Dogs, or try foods I’ve listed here and here.

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

What To Eat At Nationals Park – 3 More Foods

Posted by Kurt Smith

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

I’ve partially answered the question of what to eat at Nationals Park with this post about Ben’s Chili and Jammin’ Island BBQ, but the Nationals Park food menu is too diverse and high end for one post. Here are three more great foods to try at the home of the Nats:

 

what to eat at nationals park enzos pizza

This guy was far less enthusiastic when he was serving Papa John’s.

What to Eat at Nationals Park, Tip #1: Enzo’s Pizza. The Nationals wisely decided to eschew Papa John’s in favor of Enzo’s recently, which is a move we can all applaud. If a ballpark is going to represent local foods, that should include pizza.

This writer tried a slice of Enzo’s in a recent visit to Nats Park and was well pleased, and it isn’t easy to please a South Jersey guy when it comes to pizza. In fact, it might be the best slice of pizza I’ve had at a ballpark. The crust is thin and it comes with an ample amount of pepperoni. It’s on the greasy side, but you can pat it with a napkin if you care about such things.

From Papa John’s to Enzo’s. +1 Nats.

Looking for cheaper Nats tickets? Try my friends at SeatGeek!

seatgeekClick on the logo to find deals on Nationals game tickets, and tell them Kurt sent you!

 

what to eat at nationals park tater tots

Baseball gets better all the time.

What to Eat at Nationals Park, Tip #2: Loaded Tater Tots. In the left field corner, there is a stand called “See. You. Tater.”, a play on MASN announcer Bob Carpenter’s home run call. “Tater”, of course, is baseball slang for a home run. And any stand with a cool name like that is worth checking out.

Your pile of tater tots in this joint can be smothered with Buffalo chicken and blue cheese, pork belly and picked cucumbers (the “Intentional Wok”), BBQ sauce and mac and cheese, or my personal favorite, the Chesapeake Bay edition with crab meat and crab queso.

If you think of it, it’s probably a good idea to grab a fork to eat these. And share, since you’ll need some room for a dessert, like…

Book your ideal Nationals game parking spot ahead of time…with my friends at ParkWhiz!

parkwhiz

Click the ParkWhiz logo to find great deals on Nationals game parking!

what to eat at nationals park district doughnuts

You gotta be slick to nail down a photo before they disappear.

What to Eat at Nationals Park, Tip #3: District Doughnuts. The District Doughnuts stand was added in 2015 I believe; it’s from a Barracks Row store that is very well known with locals for their hot and crispy donuts.

The District Doughnut people admit that their doughnuts are smaller than the industry average (seriously…one of their reps told me that)…but that’s on purpose. It helps the flavor, see. As a doughnut lover, I can vouch for the value of small and toasty doughnuts.

At the Nats Park edition of DD, you can get the simple vanilla, cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar doughnuts; they might have an unusual flavor like their popular Dulce De Leche when you visit.

There you go folks…but I’ve only covered a small sampling of the phenomenal food selection at the ballpark in D.C. Stay tuned…don’t miss out on the cool stuff.

Don’t pay ballpark prices for your Nationals gear and souvenirs!

Order your essential Nats items before you go at Amazon.com, pay far less than you would at the ballpark, AND get free shipping on orders over $25…order your Nats swag today!

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

What Happened To The Montreal Expos?

Posted by Kurt Smith

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

Like most baseball fans, I didn’t know the full story of what happened to the Montreal Expos. When I read a bit about it, it turned out to be very different than what I thought.

In May of 2004 I took a long weekend and made a trip to Montreal, to see a game at Olympic Stadium before the Expos moved to Washington to become the Nationals.

 

what happened to the montreal expos mount royal

I made it to the top before I realized there was an elevator.

I had a very enjoyable time in Montreal. First there was the very pleasant ride on I-87 through parts of New York state that people don’t know about, and the even more enjoyable ride home on 9N. And Montreal is a neat city—there is Mount Royal and its terrific view of the skyline, the smoked beef sandwich from Schwartz’s, the fine public transit system, and the incredible Notre Dame Basilica cathedral, a church so stunningly beautiful that I did not bother trying to do it justice with photos.

So being in a city that I held in fairly high regard, it was sad to see how interest in baseball was barely moving the needle. The game I attended was against the St. Louis Cardinals, and it drew a crowd of about 5,000—probably 2,000 of which were Cards fans. The Expos won an exciting contest with the help of star shortstop Jose Vidro, and I remember hearing a radio show afterward with the host expressing hope against hope that the city could keep its baseball team.

Looking for cheaper Nats tickets? Try my friends at SeatGeek!

seatgeekClick on the logo to find deals on Nationals game tickets, and tell them Kurt sent you!

 

what happened to the montreal expos empty seats

When lower level sections are blocked off, there’s a problem.

The Expos’ departure from Montreal is often summarily dismissed as being the result of the city being obsessed with its hockey team and just not caring about baseball. I thought this myself before taking an interest in the subject recently, and I’ve since taken a different tack, to the point where I’d like to see baseball return to the second largest city in Canada.

Baseball in Montreal drew some nice crowds once—in fact the Expos outdrew the New York Yankees for a couple of seasons in the 1980s. The team was competitive in those years, almost reaching the World Series in 1981 and falling a game or two short of winning the NL East in a couple of other seasons. The Expos finished second in 1980 and in 1993 to Phillies teams that just happened to be loaded.

In 1994, however, the Expos had put together the best team that Montreal had seen yet. This is a team that featured Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom, Moises Alou and Ken Hill, and they had some pretty good arms on the mound, too: names like John Wetteland, Jeff Fassero, and a guy by the name of Pedro Martinez. By August, the Expos were leading the National League East with a 74-40 record. And we all know what happened then.

Don’t pay ballpark prices for your Nationals gear and souvenirs!

Order your essential Nats items before you go at Amazon.com, pay far less than you would at the ballpark, AND get free shipping on orders over $25…order your Nats swag today!

what happened to the montreal expos stade olympique

The announcer was really good at both French and English.

The strike of 1994, that killed the rest of the season and the World Series, instilled great anger in baseball fans everywhere, and it showed in the attendance in 1995. But it was particularly hard on Expos fans who had possibly been rooting for the best team that had ever been fielded in their city. (Larry Walker believes unequivocally to this day that the Expos would have won the World Series.)

The Expos were drawing 34,000 a game at the time, not spectacular for a contending team, but certainly better than any attendance average figure the Rays have ever managed. And this in Stade Olympique, which was one of the most unappealing venues in baseball.

The strike was the first of several blows that would eventually drive the Expos out of town.

After a season that had given more hope to Expos fans than any season ever had only to deprive them of an ending, Expos’ owner Claude Brochu ordered GM Kevin Malone to slash the payroll, and the Expos started their next season without Larry Walker, Ken Hill, John Wetteland and Marquis Grissom.

Depleted and discouraged, the Expos finished last in 1995. Soon later, Moises Alou, Jeff Fassero and Pedro Martinez would all be gone.

 

what happened to the montreal expos olympia

Paid attendance for this game: 5,332. They didn’t put that number on the scoreboard.

If you’ve ever been a fan of a team that has a fire sale after a winning season, you know what it does to attendance. Fans hate that. For a team to lose two-thirds of its gate is not unusual. Imagine the effect on fans when the best team that the town had ever seen has been gutted. The fire sale happened in 1995…after the Toronto Blue Jays had won back-to-back titles, establishing them as Canada’s premier MLB team. It is something like the Red Sox having broken their long-standing curse a year after the Cubs fell just short of breaking theirs.

The Expos never really recovered. Jeffrey Loria purchased the team in 1999 and instantly became unpopular with Expos fans by not renewing the television and English-speaking radio contracts. From what I’ve read, the terms of the deal Loria wanted were such that their stations walked away from the table without bothering to negotiate.

As a result, if you were an English-speaking Expos fan, your choices to know what happened in a game were to either go to the ballpark or read about it on the Internet or the paper. This isn’t something fans today are willing to tolerate, and nor should they.

Loria then went about attempting to secure funding for a new ballpark. Labatt Park had some fine innovations…it wasn’t designed by HOK, so there were some new ideas…and for a while the team looked like it could get its wish. But eventually the premier of the province of Quebec, Lucien Bouchard, decided that he couldn’t in good conscience spend taxpayer money to build a new stadium in a city where hospitals were closing.

In retrospect, if Montreal baseball had been revived, the tax revenues the team brought in could have saved some hospitals, but the Expos couldn’t justify that with the attendance at the time.

 

what happened to the montreal expos expos photo

So who is the beer sponsor?

The death of the ballpark deal probably rightly convinced Expos fans that baseball in Montreal was now on life support.

Animosity towards the ownership—which eventually became Major League Baseball, so that Loria could buy a team in a city that would gladly spend taxpayer money for a ballpark for him—along with a team that showed so much promise only to be gutted, and being forced to attend the game to see it live, all of these things turned off Expos fans so much that by 2004 they were showing up in record low numbers, and 3,000-5,000 per game was common.

After being insulted and taken for granted on so many levels, Montrealers may have been wishing the Expos and Major League Baseball good riddance by 2004, but one could hardly blame them.

They had seen greed destroy their most promising season, ownership that was willing to sell off the team’s biggest stars and not allow fans to watch games on television or listen on the radio, and refuse to even try to negotiate with a city on new ballpark financing, which might have been possible had Loria been willing.

The blame for the Expos’ departure belongs not on Montreal fans as a group or Montreal as a sports market. A combination of factors that would have destroyed fan support anywhere conspired to victimize a city that, until August of 1994, had been building a strong baseball tradition.

The strike of 1994 angered a lot of baseball fans, but ultimately its biggest toll was on the fans in Montreal. It set the wheels in motion for the sad, drawn out ending, the only upside of which has been the return of baseball to Washington, D.C.

Book your ideal Nationals game parking spot ahead of time…with my friends at ParkWhiz!

parkwhiz

Click the ParkWhiz logo to find great deals on Nationals game parking!

what happened to the montreal expos fans at nats park

The movement to bring the Nationals back to Montreal!

Perhaps baseball will have an opportunity to return to the great city of Montreal; I hope so. As I hope I’ve illustrated here, to say the market won’t support baseball isn’t true.

Want to know more about Nationals Park? Sign up here for my completely free Nationals Park e-mail newsletter series, and score some seriously valuable info about tickets, seating, transportation and food…see you at the Yard!

Paste your AdWords Remarketing code here