History of Nationals Park
The nation’s capital was home to MLB baseball for the first time in over 33 years as the Washington Nationals came to Washington DC in 2005. After years of poor attendance and bad baseball teams, Major League Baseball decided to move the Montreal Expos to the nation’s capital and renamed them the Washington Nationals. Leaving Olympic baseball stadium due to poor attendance and general disinterest by most of Montreal, MLB purchased the franchise and moved them to RFK stadium for 3 years before opening Nationals Park in 2008. Breaking ground in 2006 Nationals Park baseball stadium was ready for the 2008 baseball season. While the Nationals started off with a few losing years, back to back #1 draft picks of pitcher Stephen Strasburg and outfielder Bryce Harper have brought hope to this young franchise. With this new young talent, Nationals Park has seen great attendance numbers ever since it’s opening in 2005. The first game at Nationals Park was actually a college game as local college George Washington University defeated Saint Joseph’s by the score of 9-4 on 03/22/2008. The Washington Nationals opened up just 8 days later on 03/30/2008 as they defeated the Atlanta Braves 3-2 on a Ryan Zimmerman walk-off home run.
Nationals Park Capacity
Nationals Park’s Capacity is currently at 41,418 after the Nationals decided to remove some of the upper deck seating area so that fans could get a better view of the Washington Monument and other historic landmarks that are in view for many areas of the upper deck. The all-time record for a single game attendance is 45,966 in a game on 10/12/2012 versus the St. Louis Cardinals. As a new ballpark, the Nationals baseball stadium is rated as one of the best in the league. With great views of the nation’s capital from the upper deck and many great lower level seats, National Park gets very high ratings from visitors around the globe.
Field Dimensions for Nationals Park
The Nationals is known as a “pitcher’s park” as it has yielded the least amount of home runs during the 2013 MLB baseball season with just over 0.6 home runs per game. While the actual dimensions of Nationals are pretty typical (337 ft. Left Field, 402 ft. Center Field, 335 Right Field ), the wind and humidity for most games tends to favors a lot of fly ball outs that would be home runs in other ballparks.
Nationals Park Amenities
The amenities at Nationals Park are among the best in all of Major League Baseball as the field has been host to many of the most powerful people around the world who visit the White House every year. Here are some of our favorites.
- Being located on a Navy shipyard, one thing that is the trademark of Nationals Park is the submarine dive horn that is blown after all of the National’s home runs and victories.
- The upper deck down the right field line is a popular spot for ticket buyers as there is a great view of Capitol Hill and other famous Washington D.C. Historic buildings.
- Voted year in and year out for one some of the best food at baseball stadiums, the signature restaurant is the Red Porch restaurant, which offers a full service sit down dining experience with a view of the field smack dab in the middle of center field. Below are some of our other favorite places to eat at Nationals Park. Below is a picture of the “Red Porch” with the “Red Loft” above it.
Nationals Park Food
While the Red Porch is the signature restaurant at the Nationals baseball stadium, there are several other great places to eat. Here is a list of the three best places to eat at Nationals Park as rated by our staff.
- Blue Smoke- If you are a fan of BBQ, than Blue Smoke is the best place to eat at Nationals Parks. From the smoker of the legendary Danny Meyer comes some of the best ribs and pulled pork you will find inside or outside a baseball stadium. While the prices are somewhat high, they are well worth it once you get a taste of the food.
- G Sandwich- For those looking for a good sandwich, especially of the Italian variety, we highly recommend Mike Isabella’s G Sandwich. With a New Jersey style, these sandwiches are one of the best sandwiches in a baseball stadium that one can find. We especially like the Italian Chicken Parmesan sandwich as it tastes just like one you will find from a classic Italian restaurant.
- Taste of the Majors- one of the most unique baseball stadium food spots is the Taste of Majors. For those of us who don’t have the opportunity to travel to other stadiums, this unique experience brings foods from 18 different MLB ballparks to one location.
As far as MLB stadiums ratings, Nationals Park gets high marks around the board. With many great amenities, great food choices and the ambiance of being within walking distance of the nation’s capital this ballpark has drawn great reviews from Nationals fans and visitors from around the globe.