Last night I had the opportunity to check another ballpark off my list, as I entered enemy territory and headed to Nationals Park. It was no accident that I planned a trip to Washington D.C. for this weekend. Nationals Park is ballpark I’ve wanted to come to for a really long time, and knowing the Mets were in town gave me the perfect excuse to make the trip.
Starting with the outside of the ballpark, Nationals Park looks very corporate, to me at least. It not only looks huge but it feels that way as well. There is this restaurant right across the street from the first base side entrance that gives you a nice few of the Potomac and some chill vibes before the game. Otherwise, Nationals Park doesn’t leave you in awe at first sight.
The center field gate seemed to be the most popular place to enter Nationals Park. Long lines formed waiting for the gates to open, but you get to see some cool features of the ballpark like the Budweiser Brew House (pictured below).
Once I entered the ballpark, my first thought was to go directly to the third base side, and hang out by the visitors dugout. The one major issue I had at Nationals park is that they do not allow you to leave the outfield area until 5:30 pm. Yes, you are reading that correctly. I was not allowed to go watch batting practice, down by the dugout, like I would if I were at Citi Field until 5:30. Nationals Park has their reasoning but still, it was disappointing. So I watched the batting practice from left field.
At 5:30, I sprinted (okay, not really) to the third base side – which happened to be where my seats were – and got there just in time to score autographs from RHP Chasen Bradford and RHP Chris Flexen.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I love ballpark food. So my next goal was to score some good eats. Nationals Park has your typical places: Shake Shack, Blue Smoke and Box Frites. I really wanted something that wasn’t from a typical stand but since I’m the most indecisive person ever, I ended up getting nachos (pictured below). Of course after I did, I found a stand that had crab cake grilled cheese. The nachos were really, really good though. If you need a sweet treat later on, go to Dolci Gelati and get a small Salted Caramel — so creamy and flavorful. Nationals Park also offers free refills on soda, even on their souvenir cups. That’s something Citi Field definitely needs to start doing.
The atmosphere inside the ballpark was very energetic. If I’m not mistake, the paid attendance for this game was 34,000+. There were a lot of Mets fans around, which was awesome. Nationals fans were actually pretty cool. When Jacob deGrom was taken out of the game after going 7.2 innings, allowing one run, five hits and one walk and striking out 10, Nationals fans were up on their feet giving him a standing ovation. I thought that was really awesome and classy.
The Mets defeated the Nationals 4-2 which made the experience absolutely incredible. Getting to see your favorite team win on the road, against a division rival, is a fun thing to see. Overall, Nationals Park was awesome. I would definitely recommend catching a game there, especially if you’re a big baseball fan like I am. Oh, Lets Go Mets! 😉