(Pre) Opening Night at Nationals Park

It was cold, but man was it worth it.

My friends and I who share a 20 game package all gathered in the upper level of the outfield seats tonight for the 3-0 exhibition win over the Baltimore Orioles. The whole stadium is such a massive improvement over the decrepit and dilapidated RFK Stadium

Clock (Closeup)

I was amazed, also by the efficient concessions (though they were out of hot chocolate by the fifth inning) and by the wide concourses and the comfy seats. I was not so pleased with my transit experience on the way in to Nationals Park. We had a bear of a time getting down to the new park amidst the Cherry Blossom and Kite Festival traffic. We got to Courthouse about 2:40, had to wait 10 minutes for a train that was packed to the gills. We waited 15 minutes for the next train, which made it as far as Foggy Bottom before some idiot held the doors open and caused the train to break down. Then, once we got to L’Enfant Plaza it was close to a 20 minute wait for a green line train.

I love that people are taking public transit this weekend, it’d just be nice if there was some for us to take.

Once we got to the stadium, though, I do have to say I was floored. There are parts of the stadium I am going to love and love and love and love (I refer, here, to the aforepictured clock, and other photos I took of it…) and the incredible high-def scoreboard that feels more like watching a game on TV (the good parts of course) and the ambience that makes me glad to be paying money for good experiences.

There’ll be more on the ballpark in the coming days, but for a moment, enjoy just some photos of baseball in the Springtime.

Nationals Park Logo Clock (Closeup) Dusk Outfield Toward the Scoreboard

Welcome Home! Opening Week! Getcher Programs! Ben's at Nationals Park

6 Comments so far

  1. healdkw on March 30th, 2008 @ 9:56 am

    Efficient concessions? Seriously? The main reason I am online this morning is to spread the word for people to eat before they get to the park. Lines were long, they didn’t have enough hot dogs ready (really???), and they ran out of nachos? Anyone heading to the opener tonight, which will be more packed, better make sure they are well fed before getting to the game.

    At least getting a beer was relatively easy.

    All that being said, the new park is GREAT and transportation on the Metro was painless. Curious to see what it is like on a week night.

  2. Tom Bridge (tbridge) on March 30th, 2008 @ 10:09 am

    Where we were in 222, things were moving pretty good before the game got going. Lynne had a little trouble getting coffee in the 4th, but none of us had any problems getting food around 5:45 before the game got going.

    They ran out of nachos?! Uncool.

    We were way up in sherpa territory at the new park last night, so we didn’t stray far once the game got going, as the treacherous climb up and down from the top of our section wasn’t worth it after the third or fourth trip.

    Tonight’s going to be really interesting…

    For me, Metro home was painless, but Metro there was a giant pain in the ass. We left Courthouse at 2:30, and got there around 4:30, thanks to broken trains, long waits, and trains too full to take on passengers. Today will be a big test of what Metro can really handle. We’re going early.

  3. radman on March 30th, 2008 @ 2:10 pm

    nice pics Tom. everything I have read from boswell seems promising. I will be going to a few games for sure.

  4. Don (dc_don) on March 30th, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

    Pretty odd that the metro there, when the flow was more spread out, was more unpleasant than the metro home, when the crowd would have been much more focused around a single time.

    The food outages seem to be an annual event and I just do not understand the phenomenon, particularly now that they’re at the new location and presumably have a lot less storage constraints. If this was happening at the end of the season when they don’t want to have a tremendous amount of extra food I could understand it, but to run out on Saturday when there’s another game 24 hours later? It defies belief that they were getting another shipment on Sunday morning, so what gives?

  5. Tom Bridge (tbridge) on March 31st, 2008 @ 1:54 am

    Oddly, they seemed to be better stocked tonight. Good deal.

  6. nashpaul on March 31st, 2008 @ 4:41 pm

    The clock is nice, but it would be nice if the hands (which are shaped like baseball bats) were easier to see. They should add a little neon to those too.

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