My First Game at Nationals Park, Washington, DC

Da Baseball
Last night I had the priviledge of attending my first Washington Nationals game at their new stadium. I went with a fraternity brother from another chapter (West Chester University in West Chester, PA), Steve Sauer, who I met through the SigEp Feds who is a die-hard Nats fan. He has a lot of Nats gear, including Ryan Zimmerman (their 3rd Baseman) dogtags. Almost too much, but I can count on him to always have tickets. I must say, I am impressed. Everything that was wrong with RFK Stadium the designers corrected.

Where RFK felt closed in and dark, the Nationals Park opened up and lit up. At RFK all of the food was half sold in booths, the other half sold on carts. At Nationals Park all food is sold at booths along the walls. They have good food now too! Ben’s Chili Bowl, Hard Times Cafe (Great Chili), a restaurant called “The Red Porch,” A Build-A-Bear Workshop and a kids fun zone (tube maze for kids to play in), batting cages for the public to use where a computerized video of a major league pitcher would pitch to you (they had this technology when I was working at Fun Quest in Reno, NV when I was in High School). What a better place than a ballpark for arcade style batting cages for fun. And to boot, they had escalators and elevators to make this park accessible to people with disabilities (or pregnant women, should they choose to attend a game).

The Nationals Park Seal
Every open area is really open and walkable and you can watch the game without getting hassled by a ticket taker that you don’t belong in that area. The bathrooms play audio from the game announcers on TV and they sell beer other than the major domestics such as Guiness, Stella, Sierra Nevada, etc.

I must also say that the hot dogs, pretzel dogs and Hebrew Nationals were quite delicious. The pricing wasn’t all that bad, but it still isn’t like eating at Costco. Beer and hot dogs run between $4.50 to $7.50 depending on what you get. But is that any different from any other ballpark price these days?

Below are some pictures from the internet to visually demonstrate what I am talking about.

(All of these pictures are found on the internet, by the way. I didn’t take any of these, but I would like to describe my experience nonetheless)

Click here for a bigger image in a new web browser window
See how open it is. Click on the picture for a larger view. Also, see the baseball on the roof right in front, that is “The Red Porch” and there is a circular LED display that is very cool to see in action.

Something to give you perspective on how open the walking areas are
Something to give you perspective on how open the walking areas are.

My view, just about
My view, just about. We sat up in the 400’s section, but from there, just like everywhere else in the park, it was a great view without obstructions.

Overall, it was a great time and I can’t wait to teach our daughter all about baseball and share the pastime with her in the not too distant future. Hey, I even can build a bear with her and let her play in the play area. It’s gonna be great to be a dad, especially knowing I can take her here with Christine and I.

YouTube: A Fan’s Guide to Nationals Park

Will Hull, MPA

Front-End Web Developer, Nonprofit professional, SigEp Alumnus who holds a Masters in Public Administration living in the San Diego, CA Metro Area


  • Jill


    It’s great you are planning stuff with your girls already. My dad always took us to A’s games and I have a soft spot for baseball as a result. I think the first time we made it to a game with Jack was when he was 2 and he loved it!

    May 21, 2008 at 6:00 PM
  • Will Hull


    I can’t wait. It’s gonna be great. I was an A’s fan until they broke up the Bash Brothers in the early 90’s then I swore off baseball until 2003. I didn’t understand it then, but it was about the money. Thanks for the comment.

    May 21, 2008 at 9:21 PM
  • DB


    Dude, I left right before this new stadium. I’m pissed. I HATED RFK Stadium. It was such a dump! The food was terrible, the stadium felt like you were in a bowl, they didn’t take credit cards at the vendors, and so on. We would make the drive to Balitmore every weekend they were in town just to catch a game with a great atmosphere. Btw, how many fans were at the game? Hopefully the new stadium can bring money back in.

    May 22, 2008 at 12:32 AM
  • Anonymous


    Oh my and here I thought I was going to have a dainty great-granddaughter who would be into ballet, etc. You’re planning on making her a sports tom boy even before she is born??? Oh well, I hunted and fished with my Dad until I was 9 years old and decided I would rather be a girly girl. Dream on dear Will.BR/Nana

    May 22, 2008 at 1:14 AM
  • Will Hull


    To respond to DB:BR/Lil’ bro, yeah they take credit cards everywhere, I don’t think attendance was up, but it was good for a weekday game. I think the only thing the stadium is missing is a winning team and cheap prices.BR/BR/To respond to Nana:BR/Yeah, I am going to keep her a tom boy as long as possible. Don’t want any perverted young men coming around trying to get into her pants from 12 years onwards. I think I might have to get a gun to scare off the boys. But that is a dream. As long as we teach her the right morals of being a good person and respecting herself and others, she should turn out okay. Look at how wonderful Christine turned out.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:12 PM

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.