Best Ways To Get To Nationals Park | Washington DC

Washington Nationals


Best Ways To Get To Nationals Park | Washington DC

Posted by Kurt Smith

Hello Baseball Fans! I’m here to help you with all of the best ways to get to Nationals Park in Washington D.C., at least if you’re not driving, which you shouldn’t.

I promise I’ll cover driving and parking when I can (use SpotHero to book your parking if you must), but this post contains lots of info on your alternatives, especially public transportation…which is almost always the best way.

I’ve broken your routes down so you can skip to what you want to know:

(Need more Nationals Park help? I got ya! Check out this complete guide to D.C.’s ballpark, this list of great food items at Nats baseball games, and some tips for scoring cheap tickets! And click here if you’re coming from Baltimore.)

From Metro D.C.: Using Metro Rail / WMATA To Nationals Park
Parking at Metro Stations
From Inside D.C., Part 2: Metrobus
From Suburbs (On Weekdays): VRE / MARC
From Other Cities: Amtrak, Megabus
For A Day in The Capital: D.C. Circulator
Something Different: D.C. Pedicabs
Green and Healthy: By Bicycle
Capital Bikeshare
Taxicab / Rideshare

So here we go, after a quick word from our friends at Gametime:

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best way to get to nationals park metro

Thankfully, Metro is no longer using “Unsafetrack”!

The Best Way To Get To Nationals Park: WMATA. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority, known almost exclusively here as the “Metro”, operates an efficient and reliable network of trains and buses that gets high marks for being clean, safe and easy to use. Metrorail is particularly nice if you’re staying in the city within walking distance to a station, and it’s the favorite choice of Nationals fans.

If trains aren’t running for whatever reason, free (but slower) buses are provided.

Riding WMATA requires a “SmarTrip” card, which you add value onto and use to pay for each ride and for parking. Definitely make sure you have enough value on your card after the game.

 

half street vendors Washington Nationals

Setting up a hot dog stand on the way to the ballpark from the train station. It’s…it’s…genious!

Tip #1) Metrorail. The Navy Yard-Ballpark Metrorail Station on the Green Line drops riders off at M and Half Street, a block from the center field gate. This stop can handle up to 24,000 riders per hour, so crowds don’t usually delay things for long. From the station, it is a short walk past inexpensive chili dogs, water bottles, souvenir vendors and a beer garden to easily Nats Park’s most visually appealing entrance.

You can transfer to the Green Line for free from other lines at several locations. Transfer stations can be busy on game days. If you transfer from the Red Line, don’t stay too late. The last Green Line train does not transfer to the Red Line.

With multiple transfer locations, there’s no reason why you can’t skip the first stop and use the next one. If you’re getting on the Yellow Line southbound after the game, for example, you can go one stop past L’Enfant to Archives and transfer there. You’ll have better luck finding a seat before the large L’Enfant crowd gets on.

From the furthest stations, it’s usually less than an hour to the Navy Yard-Ballpark station. You’d do well to load value on your SmarTrip card beforehand, so you aren’t ferociously trying to make change with a bunch of patrons waiting behind you at the crowded ballpark station.

If you want to avoid Green Line game crowds, you can exit from Capitol South on the Blue/Orange lines and walk just under a mile from there. Or you can use the Red to Union Station and ride the D.C. Circulator (more on that in a bit). The Nats also suggest exiting the Blue/Orange Line at the Eastern Market Station and passing by a lot of restaurants, but this is a mile walk (uphill, both ways), so be sure you’re up for it.

 

nationals park metro crowds

Remember, approximately 30,000 of these people will be using the same method of transit as you are. Pay attention…

Here’s a key tip from WMATA’s website: during peak hours (which can include game nights), some Green Line trains run just two minutes apart. You can look at the message signs on the train platform and see if you only have a two minute wait for a less crowded train, and a better chance of landing a seat. Also, the last two cars on the train are usually the least crowded.

Crowds for the train start to thin out not long after the game ends, so you can spend 15-20 minutes buying a souvenir or two on Half Street. You can also use the far station entrance, just make a right turn on M Street and walk a couple of blocks east to the entrance just before New Jersey Avenue. It’s a longer walk, but you’ll get to the platform a little easier and avoid the masses.

Or scrap that and get on at Waterfront Station, about 3/4 of a mile away on M Street. The platforms aren’t any less crowded, but you pass by some fine eateries on the way.

In most cases, the last trains leave late enough that after the game you should have no problem. On weekends the last train leaves after 2:00 AM. But there have been complaints about the lack of service after, say, a rain-delayed game, so have a backup plan just in case. It may require an Uber or Lyft, which obviously wouldn’t be cheap.

On Sundays the last train leaves at 10:52 PM, so I would recommend a different route to get there for Sunday night games.

Important note if you’re heading to Greenbelt after the game (as Baltimore area fans probably would be): check the destination on the front of the train, because if it’s Mount Vernon Square you may have to get off and hop on another train to Greenbelt. Not a big deal, but it can be confusing.

 
parking at dc metro stations

Don’t be fooled by that fire hydrant there. This lot is legit. I’m almost sure.

Tip #2) Parking at Metro Stations. Metrorail’s tentacles have a long reach in Maryland and Virginia. On the outer reaches of most rail lines (near the I-95/495 Beltway) are ample park-and-ride stations. Parking lots are inexpensive compared to ballpark parking garages, and they’re free on weekends. The lots fill up on weekdays with commuters, so you’d do well to seek out the less popular stations unless you don’t mind a walk.

The WMATA website informs you how much it costs to park at each station (the Nationals list the stations on their website, but not parking prices).

You need to use your SmarTrip card to pay your way out of the lot. If you don’t have sufficient fare, there are Exitfare machines inside the station to add funding. Many stations have started accepting credit cards for parking, but not all of them, so be prepared.

 

fedex field nationals parking

The only venue in sports whose name changes less frequently than the home team’s.

One important note: should you use the Largo Town Center park and ride, be sure that there is not an event at nearby FedEx Field, which applies an “event parking” rate that you definitely won’t want to pay. You’ll also probably get towed if you try parking at the nearby mall. There are adequate nearby park-and-rides, like at New Carrollton Station, that are not far out of the way.

You might be able to find what the city deems “normal demand parking” near a station, where meters are $.75 an hour until 6:30 PM. The high demand parking is enforced until 10:00, so that wouldn’t be worth it.

The aptly named Anacostia Station just across the Anacostia River is not far at all from the ballpark, and has very cheap all day parking, but I’ve read some stories about this station not being in the greatest of areas. Maybe for a day game it would be okay and a good money saver (and not a bad walk on a nice day), but keep your eyes open if you try this one.

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metrobus to washington nationals game

Powered by clean hybrid technology, and of course, your Nats fandom!

Tip #3) Metrobus. Baseball fans don’t use Metrobus as much as the rail system, so they’re less crowded; unfortunately they are subject to the same traffic laws as the rest of us and can be a slow ride. Nice view of the city though.

The Metro website lists a number of bus routes as having stops at Nationals Park. Many routes pass near Nationals Park (or the Navy Yard, which isn’t far), and you can use them to get to a Metro stop or a parking area. Check the schedule of any route you plan to use and be sure that they will be available after the game. Most run until a little bit past midnight; a few have late night service.

You can jump on the N22 bus from the Red Line at Union Station, and use it to return to Union, saving yourself a transfer and the crowds on the Green Line. If you don’t have a SmarTrip card or pass, you will need exact change.

 
marc train camden station nationals park

Yep, you can do the double after an Orioles game! (You need another route back though.)

Tip #4) VRE/MARC. The Virginia Railway Express and Maryland Area Regional Commuter lines offer transit from Virginia and Maryland suburbs. These lines are for commuters, so you would only be able to use them for weekday games. But they are an inexpensive and very easy way to get to D.C. from further away points like Fredericksburg and Baltimore. Could be a great choice for Opening Day.

Both MARC and VRE trains stop at Union Station, from which you can use a Red-Green ride to get to the game (or a Blue/Orange train to Capital South); The Manassas VRE line stops at L’Enfant Plaza, a short Green Line ride away from the ballpark. If you don’t want the additional transfer after the MARC trip, the Camden Line from Baltimore stops at the Greenbelt station, and you can use the Green Line from there.

Again, this is only good for weekday games, but they’re great for that. To get from Camden Station in Baltimore to Greenbelt for under $10 one way can’t be beat. And most stations have free parking.

 
new carrollton station amtrak

As you can see, New Carrollton Station’s got you covered for trains.

Tip #5) Amtrak/Megabus. If you’re coming from out of town on an Amtrak train, there are plenty of points from which you can hop on a Metro train: New Carrollton Station on the Orange line; Rockville and Union Station on the Red line; and King Street Station on the Blue/Yellow line. From there it’s a two-train ride (see Metrorail) with a free transfer to Nats Park.

Megabus is a great low cost service that you can use from another nearby metropolis like Philly or even Atlanta, for as low as $1 if you book it early enough. Nice comfortable buses with wi-fi, and they stop at Union Station as well. From Baltimore, you can hop on at the White Marsh Mall easy peezy.

If you stop at Union Station, you could also hop on a D.C. Circulator bus for a cheap if slower ride to the park with a fine view.

 
dc circulator nationals park

“Thanks, Danny, I love Washington.”

Tip #6) D.C. Circulator. The D.C. Circulator bus is a cheaper way to travel around the city and recommended if you’re making a day around town. There are four separate routes, which take visitors to all of D.C.’s tourist destinations for just a buck per ride. A day pass is just $3. The Circulator drops riders off at the Navy Yard Station entrance.

You can see the National Mall, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and other sights using the Purple Route, and then transfer to the Blue Route to get to the ballpark. The Blue Route (but only the Blue Route) extends service on game days, running until midnight for night games or about 9:00 PM for day games, including on weekends. It only runs until 10:00 on Sunday nights.

You can use the WMATA SmarTrip card to ride the Circulator. Transfers are free from another Circulator or Metrobus, and very cheap from Metrorail, with a SmarTrip card. Good if you have more than one destination in mind. Again, the Circulator stops at Union Station, if you’re using the Red Line and want to avoid the Green Line crowds.

Circulator buses tend to circle their route every ten minutes or so. You can find out where yours is on their website.

Unfortunately the Potomac Riverboat water taxi to Nats games is no longer running; I’ll update this if I hear otherwise.

 
dc pedicab how to get to nationals park

A much better view of the city than from the train, and enough space for your date!

Tip #7) Pedicabs. There are now a few Pedicab companies available to take you to ballgames at Nationals Park. Pedicabs are rickshaws towed by fit cyclists; they generally take you wherever you need to go while avoiding traffic hassles, pointing out tourist sites and engaging you in friendly conversation. It’s a neat way to get around the nation’s capital without fuming at the gridlock.

There used to be several pedicab services that were free, and cyclists lived on tips, but nowadays they mostly offer fairly expensive tours of the city, and I’m not sure what they’ll do for baseball fans. There are sometimes cyclists available at the center field entrance or on New Jersey Avenue after games.

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how to get to nationals park by bicycle

If you can find the Anacostia River, you can find Nationals Park.

Tip #8) Bicycle. Should you two-wheel it to Nationals Park yourself, the Nationals actually have a bicycle valet in the Red Garage C, the ballpark garage on the corner of N and 1st Street. It starts two hours before game time and closes one hour after the last pitch. There are also plenty of bike racks outside to lock up your two-wheeler, if you don’t like the discomfort of feeling the need to tip your valet.

The new 28-mile Anacostia Riverwalk along both banks of the river makes for a swell bike ride, but I have read about some incidents, so just be sure to keep your wits about you. I’m told it’s very cool lit up at night, if you’re comfortable cycling then.

D.C. is a very bicycle-friendly city, with multiple bicycle lanes and trails; you can order a map from DDOT. You can also easily park your bike at most Metrorail stations, especially the outer perimeter ones.

 
capital bikeshare nationals games

A bicycle valet may be nice, but a rented bike allows for a quick escape!

Tip #9) Capital Bikeshare. Capital Bikeshare is a bicycle rental service that allows members to borrow bicycles from over 700 stations (!) all over D.C. proper, including a station on the east side of the ballpark where you can check it in and lock it. If they are all full, there’s other docks at 1st and K, New Jersey and M, and 3rd and Tingey Streets. You can even cycle from the Alexandria area and over the Williams Bridge.

The first 30 minutes are free if you’re a member (the cost of membership varies by length of membership), so if you hustle you can get a free ride to the ballpark and some great exercise to boot. I’ve read that you can take a Metro to the Eastern Market or Capitol South stations, and use a bike from there instead of standing on the crowded Green Line trains. Nice and less pushy alternative.

There are now a bunch of dockless bikeshare services in D.C, like Lime, Spin (with scooters!) and more…too many to list here. They don’t require finding a docking station, and you can download apps for them that can tell you where a vehicle is available.

You can download the “Transit” app to stay aware of them all.

 
taxi rideshare nationals games

I’m quite certain this is designed to be confusing.

Tip #10) Taxicab/Rideshare. There is now a specific location for Lyft and Uber pickups, on the west curb of New Jersey Avenue between M and N Street. There’s an additional one on New Jersey at the I-695 overpass. Uber listed Nationals Park as one of their top ten destinations of 2019, so clearly people with the means prefer it to Metro a bit.

Ride sharing and taxis are expensive, especially with post-game traffic and surge pricing. But it might be a little easier and quicker than using the Metro depending on where you’re coming from. If you can get someone to go in with you on the cost, this might work better for you, and you won’t have to worry about service being available after the game…like you sometimes will with Metro.

 

best way to get to nationals park metro

Sure, it would be nice if it were this easy.

Get all that? There you go…making it as easy as possible to get to your next game at the home of the Washington Nationals! If you’d like some parking tips, click here (or just use my friends at SpotHero), but I promise I’ll cover parking in more depth down the road.

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12 Nationals Park Food Options | Washington Nationals

Posted by Kurt Smith

The Nationals Park food menu offers a few items that are uniquely D.C., a few items that reflect the taste of the region, and a couple items that are popular in other National League East cities for some odd reason.

Below I’ve included some of my favorites here to help you decide what to eat at Nationals Park.

(Hey Baseball Fans! Get cheap Nats Park tickets, pick a great seat, get to the ballpark and choose what to eat…and save money on all of it! Check out my complete Nationals Park Guide here!)

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best food at nationals park washington ben's chili bowl

Now THIS is a ballpark food.

Nationals Park Food Tip #1: Ben’s Chili Bowl. The Chili Half-Smoke from Ben’s Chili Bowl is a spicy all beef sausage, with Ben’s special recipe chili piled on, along with cheese, chopped onions and yellow mustard. In my opinion, it’s the best food at Nationals Park.

It’s a truly amazing chili dog, just grab some napkins and maybe a spoon for the abundant chili. Ben’s also has chili cheese fries and chili burgers, and they don’t skimp on the chili or cheese. I persuaded my brother to try one at a game, and three innings later he was getting another.

 

best food at washington nationals park hard times nachos

Now this, my friend, is a plate of ballpark nachos.

Nationals Park Food Tip #2: Hard Times Café. Hard Times is a local chili and burgers chain, so most locals are familiar with it. Hard Times’ nachos—covered with spicy chili, real cheese, sour cream, jalapenos and onions—are one of the better food deals in Nats Park, with easily enough for two people. I’m a big fan.

Last I checked Hard Times also offers a popular Frito pie, chili dogs, chicken wings, and a Cincinnati-style “Chili Mac”, chili and cheese served over spaghetti noodles.

 

nationals park food chesapeake crab company sandwich

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

Nationals Park Food Tip #3: Chesapeake Bay Crab Company. Since crabs are a thing in the area, the Nats have a stand selling crab cake grilled cheese sandwiches on large slices of buttered bread. Ballpark plus seafood equals very pricey, but it is a big sandwich.

You can also get crab balls or crab nachos. The nachos are Old Bay kettle chips topped with crab queso, roasted corn and salsa. They’re not as big as the Hard Times nachos, but it’s definitely something different and worth trying.

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haute dogs and fries baseball

A partial list of toppings for your hot dog.

Nationals Park Food Tip #4: Haute Dogs & Fries. For the classic ballpark food, Haute Dogs & Fries has some 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. Hand cut fries too. Haute Dogs is one of those cheap hot dog joints that is popular enough that even when they’re not cheap at the ballpark they’re still good.

 

washington nationals park food tater tots

Baseball gets better all the time.

Nationals Park Food Tip #5: See. You. Tater. See. You. Tater. is named for MASN announcer Bob Carpenter’s signature home run call. This joint is about chicken wings and tater tots: wings come in flavors like Buffalo, sweet & spicy BBQ, lemon garlic butter, Old Bay or mango Caribbean jerk.

The tots are the big draw though…a pile of tater tots can be smothered with Buffalo chicken and blue cheese, pork belly and picked cucumbers (called the “Intentional Wok”), BBQ sauce and mac and cheese, or my personal favorite, the Chesapeake Bay with crab meat and crab queso.

Again, probably a good idea to grab a fork to eat these.

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washington nationals park food enzo's pizza

I doubt this guy would be as enthusiastic serving Papa John’s pizza.

Nationals Park Food Tip #6: Enzo’s Pizza. Enzo’s serves up pretty good 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.

At present there is only cheese and pepperoni, if I see any specialty pizzas I’ll let you know. The pepperoni slice is only slightly more expensive than the cheese slice. Or you can get a full pie for a head-shaking price.

 

la casita pupuseria baseball

We need something with a lot of ingredients.

Nationals Park Food Tip #7: La Casita Pupuseria. Yep, seven items in I’m already up to three stands serving up some variation of nachos (and I’m not done yet). La Casita Pupuseria is a popular chain in the area with five locations in Maryland, plus a food truck.

Okay so maybe pupusas aren’t exactly nachos…they’re somewhere between nachos and gyros, a thick tortilla covered with typical burrito fillings like chicken or pork, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese etc. It’s a great ballpark snack, easy to carry around if a bit messy.

 

what to eat at washington nationals park cheesesteak nachos

Don’t ask the guy if you can lick the ladle.

Nationals Park Food Tip #8: Steak of The Union. I’m impressed that Steak of The Union has managed to stick around serving cheesesteaks, given how popular Philadelphia fans are here. But it’s an authentic Philly cheesesteak, “wit” fried onions, peppers and Cheez Whiz.

And of course, more nachos…you can get a truly daunting plate of cheesesteak nachos here, with the all-important whiz glop and cheesesteak meat for that Philly flavor.

 

melissa's produce nationals park

Wait…what? There’s something healthy to eat at a ballpark?

Nationals Park Food Tip #9: Melissa’s Field of Greens. Field of Greens stand offers mushroom burgers, salads, wraps, and hummus; it’s a good spot for vegan sorts. Melissa’s Produce is actually a thing; they’re based in California and have a stand in Yankee Stadium too.

Last I looked, the stand had a Portobello mushroom burger with provolone and roasted red peppers, and they even had veggie cheesesteaks and crab cakes. The meat in the cheesesteak is wheat protein made by Vegadelphia; I’m guessing wheat protein isn’t gluten-free.

 

Finally, it takes some walking, but the Scoreboard Pavilion in right field is home to some cool spots:

nationals park food jammin island bbq jerk chicken

Don’t be a jerk…snap your photo and let the fan eat their chicken!

Nationals Park Food Tip #10: Jammin’ Island BBQ. The Jammin’ Island grill near the Loft has very spicy jerk ribs and chicken cooked on a charcoal grill, of which you can get a combo plate with sweet potato fries. You can eat while standing at ample counter space with a view of the field.

I’ve read a lot from Nats fans start declaring Jammin’ Island to be the hidden gem at Nats Park. Employees sometimes hand out samples, which frequently result in purchases.

 

shake shack washington dc

It’s a burger. And you’re an American.

Nationals Park Food Tip #11: Shake Shack. The Shake Shack is a Citi Field staple (there’s one in Philly’s ballpark 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 (thousand island style) Shack Sauce on a potato roll. Shell out a few bucks for an extra patty.

There’s also thick milkshakes excellent enough to have a separate (much shorter) line, and I can definitely vouch for the quality of the fries too.

 

box frites nationals food

When fries are good enough for neon, you should give them a try.

Nationals Park Food Tip #12: Box Frites. 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.

They have several unusual hot dogs here, like a Frites dog or BLT dog. For a fee you can get additional sauce.

 

I’m really just scratching the surface here; Nationals Park has a seriously long menu. But if you need help deciding what the best food at Nationals Park is, hopefully this helps.

Lots more tips where that came from…be sure to check out my complete guide to Nationals Park! Whether you’re a regular or first timer, there’s lots of tips to help you out.

Thanks for reading, and please support this great website’s sponsors!

(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!)

Complete Nationals Park Guide | Washington Nationals

Posted by Kurt Smith

So you want to visit Nationals Park? You came to the right place my friend…this complete Nationals Park guide will tell you everything you need to know, especially about how to save money at Nationals games, on everything from tickets to transportation to food. These are my best Nationals Park tips, both for newbies and regulars at the Washington ballpark.

 

nationals park guide panorama

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

Nationals Park Guide Sections

I’ve broken this extensive Nationals Park guide 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

Gametime has your cheap Nationals tickets…with a lowest price guarantee, panoramic seat view photos, and great last minute deals…even after the game starts!

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

 
cheap nationals tickets

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

Nationals Park Guide, Part 1 – Finding Cheap Nationals 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 TickPick. I’m a big fan of TickPick, 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!)

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. Treat scalpers with common sense, especially for high demand games…check the date and opponent and look for anything amateurish.

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 TickPick, and use the box office instead of the website if you can.

 

 
nationals park guide seating chart

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

Nationals Park Guide, Part 2 – Choosing A Great Seat

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. I’m just saying.)

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. It’s not for the acrophobic.

That said, if you’re on a budget, I prefer 400 level seating in the infield 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 metro

It’s what Nats fans do.

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

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 called the Metro by 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 peanuts and non-alcoholic drinks 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, take it from me.) 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 extremely key suggestion: book your parking beforehand. (Check out the coming widget for using my friends at SpotHero.)

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 the “B” lot 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 and cheaper lots, but again, 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.

Again, Nationals Park is a place where I would seriously recommend booking your parking beforehand.

This website, by the way, 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.

 

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.

Finally, I’ve gone into much more detail about the Metro and other ways to get to a Nats game in this post…well worth a read for important tips!
 

Never Drive To Nationals Park Without A Plan…

Book Your Parking Spot NOW With My Friends at SpotHero!


 
 

 
bud brew house washington

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

Nationals Park Guide, Part 4: Food + Drink

Since the Nationals Park food menu changes so frequently, I’m just going to cover my favorite mainstays here. Here’s the truly good stuff…if you want some more options, check out this Nationals Park food post:

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 kids

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

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.

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 some years ago (she was legitimate) and had nothing but nice things to say about it.

 

 
nationals park handicapped seats

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

Nationals Park Guide, Part 6: Accessibility

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.

 

 
racing presidents

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

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

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.

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.

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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; thanks for reading and supporting my sponsors!

 

kurt smith nationals park

You’re welcome…see you at the yard!

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

Posted by Kurt Smith

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:

(Hey Baseball Fans – Find out how to get cheap tickets, pick a great seat, get to the ballpark and choose what to eat at the game…and save money on all of it! Check out my complete Nationals Park Guide here!)

 

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.

Gametime has your cheap Nationals tickets…with a lowest price guarantee, panoramic seat view photos, and great last minute deals…even after the game starts!

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(See why Ballpark E-Guides loves Gametime here!)

 

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.

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.

 

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.

Never Drive To Nationals Park Without A Plan…

Book Your Parking Spot NOW With My Friends at SpotHero!

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4 Ways to Score Cheap Nationals Tickets

Posted by Kurt Smith

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:

(Hey Baseball Fans – Find out how to get cheap tickets, pick a great seat, get to the ballpark and choose what to eat at the game…and save money on all of it! Check out my complete Nationals Park Guide here!)

 

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.

Gametime has your cheap Nationals tickets…with a lowest price guarantee, panoramic seat view photos, and great last minute deals…even after the game starts!

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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…

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.

 

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.

Don’t wait till you get to the ballpark to get your Washington Nationals gear…
Order your caps, jerseys, and more now at MLBShop.com and save!

Click here to order your Nationals gear today!

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Cheap Seats at Nationals Park

Posted by Kurt Smith

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.

(Hey Baseball Fans – Find out how to get cheap tickets, pick a great seat, get to the ballpark and choose what to eat at the game…and save money on all of it! Check out my complete Nationals Park Guide here!)

 

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.

Gametime has your cheap Nationals tickets…with a lowest price guarantee, panoramic seat view photos, and great last minute deals…even after the game starts!

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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.

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.

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.

Never Drive To Nationals Park Without A Plan…

Book Your Parking Spot NOW With My Friends at SpotHero!

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3 Nationals Park Seating Tips (For Larger Budgets)

Posted by Kurt Smith

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.

(Hey Baseball Fans – Find out how to get cheap tickets, pick a great seat, get to the ballpark, and choose what to eat at the game…and save money on all of it! Check out my complete Nationals Park Guide here!)

Gametime has your cheap Nationals tickets…with a lowest price guarantee, panoramic seat view photos, and great last minute deals…even after the game starts!

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(See why Ballpark E-Guides loves Gametime here!)

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.

 

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 Gametime; 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.

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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.

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The Best Way To Get To Nationals Park From Baltimore

Posted by Kurt Smith

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. I go into much more detail in this post about how to get to D.C.’s ballpark…well worth a look if you want to know more.

(Hey Baseball Fans – Find out how to get cheap tickets, pick a great seat, get to the ballpark and choose what to eat at the game…and save money on all of it! Check out my complete Nationals Park Guide here!)

 

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.

Gametime has your cheap Nationals tickets…with a lowest price guarantee, panoramic seat view photos, and great last minute deals…even after the game starts!

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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.

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.

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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.

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5 Nationals Park Tips For Newbies

Posted by Kurt Smith

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. If you want to know more, there’s plenty where this came from in my complete Nationals Park guide!

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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.

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.

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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.

If you still want to drive and park at the game, by all means book your parking ahead of time.

There’s lots more to know about getting to the ballpark, by the way…and I discuss many of them in much more detail here!

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.)

Don’t wait till you get to the ballpark to get your Washington Nationals gear…
Order your caps, jerseys, and more now at MLBShop.com and save!

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Nationals Park Seating: Two Helpful Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

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.

(Hey Baseball Fans – Find out how to get cheap tickets, pick a great seat, get to the ballpark and choose what to eat at the game…and save money on all of it! Check out my complete Nationals Park Guide here!)

 

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.

Gametime has your cheap Nationals tickets…with a lowest price guarantee, panoramic seat view photos, and great last minute deals…even after the game starts!

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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.

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.

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(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!)