America’s Park: Nationals Park

If there’s a city that has seen bigger growth and progress from building a stadium, it has to be Washington. 

When the Montreal Expos relocated to Washingon and became the Nationals, they were playing in one of the oldest stadiums in the nation — RFK Stadium. It was old, and I remember going to a game there the first season they played in Washington, in 2005. The upper deck was so steep, I thought I was going to fall backward and land on the field while I was walking to my seat. Don’t even mention the fact that the support was almost nonexistent. 

Since moving to Nationals Park, which opened in 2008, the Nats have seen not only a better product on the field, but more people in the stands. 

Getting there is a breeze now too. Just take the green line of the DC Metro to Navy Yard, only minutes from the bustling L’Enfant Plaza station. You’ll know you’re in the right place when droves of Nats fans pack the metro cars. Upon exiting the station, the Navy Yard area has quite a few bars & restaurants that will be packed prior to the game, but it certainly makes for a great pre-game atmosphere. 

You enter the park and are immediately surrounded by cherry trees, a perfect welcome to a park whose city’s trademark is the cherry tree. 

As for the in-game product, you can’t miss the Presidents race during the fourth inning. Where else can you watch larger-than-life mascots of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft run around the warning track? 

To sum it up, it’s a great park, and it’s on the shortlist of must-sees, according to me. 

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