Ballpark Review: Nationals’ Park

Home of the Washington Nationals

Location: Washington, D.C.

While SABR Toothed Tigers is a Tigers website first and a baseball analysis site second, it is, third, a place for insight into the more relaxed side of the game; enjoying baseball. In that domain, from time to time I like to write about things that could help you enjoy the sport I love more. This is one of those things. This is a Ballpark Review.

I’ve been to seven living and two deceased major league baseball stadiums and a nice chuck of minor league and college venues as well (Editor’s Note: The author can also provide detailed analysis of NW Ohio’s NLL high school stadiums). One of my more serious lifelong goals is to see a game in every major league park. With that in mind, here are my thoughts on one of the seven MLB stadiums still standing to which I’ve been.

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nats

Nationals’ Park is out in the Navy Yard district of DC which is a ways away from most of the tourist type destinations associated with that city. That said, it is just a short walk from the Metro which you can pick up conveniently in most parts of town. DC locals complain a great deal about their city’s subway, but in four trips to DC, I’ve never found it to be much of a problem. It probably helped that I was visiting rather than depending on it for daily transportation, but this is a review for people going to DC for baseball, not for people deciding where to buy a house.

From a visual perspective, the park is solid. There’s a pleasing mixture of red, white, and blue to go along with an open view from left field and a higher seating and scoreboard area to right. The scoreboard is one of the larger ones I’ve seen and the park is devoid of any serious viewing obstructions unless your seat is next to the foul pole.

On both trips, I sat in the lower deck and the view of the baseball itself was great. I didn’t feel crammed in my seat and the aisles were large and accommodating. The food selection is diverse and above average in my book. The park features a number of exhibit type areas to learn about the history of baseball in Washington, but well, it’s hard to make that look impressive.

The pricing is bit on the high side, but DC is a fairly expensive area and the park was publically financed, so it’s not that surprising given that the team is finally becoming a force on the field.

Nationals’ Park is a doubles hitter as a stadium. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just nothing special. Seeing a game there is a pleasant and fun experience, but I never leave wanting to talk about the park. There is no breathtaking view or superb food or excellent quirk. The only remarkable thing about the park is the President’s race, which is funny, but just as good on television and has little bearing on the park itself.

The Nationals are an exciting club to watch and their stadium is plenty nice, it’s just nothing special. It lacks the charm of Wrigley, the presence of Comerica, or the majesty of PNC. It’s a good place to watch a baseball game, but is there really a bad place to watch baseball?

If you’re going to DC, I recommend a game there, but don’t go out of your way just to catch a game in DC. If you’re planning a baseball specific trip, there are better places to go.

Stadium Rater (scale 1-10): 7

 

One response

  1. […] simply an excellent place to enjoy a game and is a must visit for all serious fans. I’ve previously rated Nationals’ Park, giving it a 7 out of 10 relative to its contemporaries (minor league parks and MLB parks are only […]

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