Nationals Park, the home stadium of the Washington Nationals, will return to full capacity on Thursday as Washington, DC, fully opens back up.
After limited attendance over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nats Park will again have packed seats.
It’s another step toward normality after the coronavirus brought the sports world to a halt in early 2020. Now, mass vaccinations are underway, and sports venues across the US are (largely) returning to normal.
What can you expect at Nationals Park? With the MLB stadium again open to fans, what’s different in a post-coronavirus world? What precautions are in place?
A full list of health and safety measures can be found on the Nationals website. However, let’s cover the bases and discuss some of the highlights here.
Details on Nationals Park at full capacity
Single-game Nationals tickets are now on sale for the remainder of the season. Because social-distancing measures have been lifted, all seating sections are again available for purchase.
Fully vaccinated individuals don’t need to wear a mask while at the ballpark. However, those who haven’t been vaccinated must still wear an approved face covering unless they’re actively eating or drinking at their seat.
Ballpark gates open two hours prior to the first pitch, and parking garages open 2 1/2 hours before game time. Fans must enter and exit Nationals Parks via the color-coded gate location listed on their ticket.
Backpacks aren’t allowed in the stadium. However, other bags are permitted as long as they’re not larger than 16″ x 16″ x 8″. Diaper bags and medically necessary bags, though, don’t have restrictions.
Fans can find hand sanitizer stations throughout the ballpark. Additionally, the Nationals front office has implemented a robust cleaning plan with a special focus on high touch surfaces.
Concessions will be no longer be served in special packaging. Water fountains and condiment stations are also again open.
The Nationals’ stadium will remain cashless, and credit/debit cards, Apple Pay, and eCash are accepted at any point of sale.
Most promotions, including giveaways and the Kids Run the Bases days, are returning. However, guests still are not permitted to seek autographs from players.
Are the Nationals contenders in 2021?
With Nats tickets starting at just $13, baseball fans can watch the 2019 World Series champions without breaking the bank.
But what can you expect from the team when you’re there? At BetMGM, which inked an exclusive sportsbook partnership with the Washington Nationals earlier this year, the team is a long shot.
Entering Thursday’s game against the San Francisco Giants (7:05 p.m.), the Nationals had finally climbed out of last place. With a 25-33 record, they’re fourth in the NL East and seven games out of first place.
Sure, they have some work to do to catch the first-place New York Mets. But with nearly four months of the season left, they’re far from out of it. Even if the current sports betting odds may suggest they are.
At BetMGM, Washington is +6600 to win the 2021 World Series. At those odds, a winning $10 bet would net you $660 in profit if Washington wins the Fall Classic again.
As for a National League pennant, the Nats have +3500 odds. They’re also +2200 to win the NL East.
Maybe a big crowd can give the team the boost it needs.
“We’re super-excited to see all the fans again,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said on Wednesday. “Hopefully it will be a packed house (on Thursday).
“The boys are talking about it. We’re excited. It will look like some kind of normalcy back at home.”