Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals, lies in southeast Washington, D.C., about a mile south of the Capitol building. The park opened on March 30, 2008, and has a capacity of 41,546. See a detailed Nationals Park seating chart for more information about the different seating areas throughout the ballpark.
The United States Green Building Council awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certificate to Nationals Park because of its many environmentally friendly structural elements. For example, the park has high efficiency lights that consume about 21% less energy than ordinary lighting, and its plumbing system saves about 3.6 million gallons of water each year.
Nationals fans have come to look forward to the appearance of the Racing Presidents in the middle of the fourth inning at Nationals home games. Caricatures of former United States Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln participate in an entertaining foot race that sometimes involves some mischievous behavior. The race starts when the Presidents emerge from a gate in center field. Then, they run over to the right field foul pole and finish the race just behind first base. Fans relish cheering for Theodore Roosevelt because he has not won a race since the event began at Nationals Park at the start of the 2008 season.
Fans in attendance at a Nationals game can follow the game action on the high-definition LED scoreboard in right-center field. In addition, there are more than 600 feet of LED ribbon-style message boards on the facing of the second seating deck. Fans who want to post a personal greeting on the scoreboard can do this by donating $100.00 to the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation 24 hours prior to game time. The fans’ personal messages appear on the scoreboard at the end of the fourth inning.
There are several well appointed event spaces around Nationals Park, and each one can comfortably accommodate hundreds of fans for business or social gatherings. The PNC Diamond Club is a posh bar and lounge behind home plate with floor-to-ceiling glass panels that allow a fantastic view of the playing field. Fans can also use the tables on the outdoor porch connected to the Club, and there are specific ballpark seats reserved for Diamond Club guests. The Lexus Presidents Club is also located behind home plate just below the PNC Club. A ticket to the Lexus Club includes parking and a buffet meal served throughout the course of the game. From inside the Club, fans can watch the players take batting practice in the indoor batting cage. Other event spaces include the Center Field Plaza, a large tree-lined open area near the center field gate, and the Red Loft Bar and Patio.
It is not necessary to sit in a premium event space at Nationals Park in order to enjoy good food. One of the more popular concession stands is Ben’s Chili Bowl on the main concourse which offers menu items like Ben’s Chili Dog and Chile Cheese Fries. Shake Shake on the mezzanine level is the place for fans who want a tasty burger.