Baseball is Back, So it's Time to Take a Trip to Nationals Park

31 Mar
March 31, 2011

It may be cold, rainy and dreary this week, but summer is right around the corner. How can you tell?  Well, the official first rite of summer occurred just this afternoon.

Yes, baseball season started today with the Washington Nationals losing to the Atlanta Braves. Sure, it was 40 degrees and gloomy, but baseball is back, and that means warmer days and beautiful evenings at the ballpark are coming soon.

If you weren’t able to make it to opening day, don’t fret. Baseball has the longest regular season of any sport, with 82 homes games, and the cheapest tickets around.

The Nationals, because of years mired in mediocrity, almost never sell out their stadium. That means you can attend games for a great price.

The best way to go about buying tickets is to visit the website StubHub.com, and wait until the day of to purchase. The website is a ticket-exchange site where fans can buy and sell tickets, and as game time nears, prices drop drastically.

This morning four hours before the season’s first pitch, tickets in the upper deck at Nationals Park were on sale for 75 cents, with the ability to purchase up to 14 seats in a row.

If you don’t want to wait until the last minute, inexpensive tickets can still be purchased well in advance. For every home game the Nats have tickets between $5-15 available on their website. Either way, swoop some up and head over to Nats Town.

Nationals Park is located on South Capitol Street, just one mile from the Capitol Building in Southeast DC. The easiest way to get to the stadium is by taking Metro, and getting off at the Navy Yard stop on the Green Line.

Driving to the game is difficult with the stadium’s new location. Most parking around the stadium is in underground garages and can run upwards of $20 a space. The area around the stadium is unfortunately still a work in progress, with not many options for eating and drinking before or after a game. The team’s poor performance came at the same time as the recession and development in the area stalled. But that should change in the next few years. Not many people recall that when the Verizon Center opened 11 years ago, Chinatown was a neighborhood in transition. Now it’s a vibrant, thriving community.

That aside though, the stadium is still a wonderful place to visit. This is just the fourth year the stadium has be open and it’s retained the feel and shine of a new ballpark. The stadium was designed to be wide open, with unobstructed views throughout the ground-level concourse. That way, fans can still see the action while visiting concession stands. And for as mediocre as the team is, the stadium has a number of delightful treats to enjoy.

There are half-smokes from D.C. institution Ben’s Chili Bowl, but also chili cheese dogs from Hard Times Café, a local Virginia restaurant. The team has also added a new burger stand, Shake Shack, a New York-based chain, which is supposedly delicious.

But of course, all that’s secondary to the real treat, baseball, which we all get to enjoy for the next seven months.

-David

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