New security features at Nats Park hope to make your entrance faster

The Washington Nationals demonstrate new screening technology that will allow fans to walk right through the gates at Nationals Park without emptying their pockets. (WTOP/Brett Snyder)

From see-through bags to new screening technology, Nationals Park in D.C. wants to get you in and out without missing a beat.

When it comes to attending live events, speed and security are often contradictory. Stricter security measures meant longer lines getting into stadiums, and can lead to missed action on the field.

“It’s frustrating,” said Scott Fear, who is the vice president in charge of public safety and security for the Nationals. But this season, he’s promising “no lines for our fans anymore.”

That’s because new screening technology will allow fans to walk right through and head to the turnstiles, where they show their tickets.  Unless, of course, you’re carrying something that sets off the alarm.

“People don’t have to divest. They don’t have to pull the phones and keys out of their pockets. They don’t have to put the bags down and have their bags searched,” Fear said.

This year, you can carry a bag but it has to be see-through and clear. Diaper bags and medical bags will be the exception, but you will have to go through the ADA-Family Lane, along the centerfield gate and your bag will be inspected the old way.

Small, non-clear clutch bags that measure 5 inches by 7 inches or smaller are allowed.

Read the Nationals’ full bag policy.

Binbox lockers will be available for fans whose bags do not comply with ballpark regulations.

In addition, free feminine hygiene products will be available in women’s bathrooms around the stadium.

The team also has a new exit plan for people leaving the stadium garages.

Cars parked in Garage C in the area of right field will be forced to turn right out of the garage and sent down First Street to Potomac Avenue. Afterwards, they’ll be required to go through the circle and out across the new Frederick Douglass Bridge. From there, they can either head south on Interstate 295, or go north and either stay on I-295 into Maryland, or take Interstate 695 over to Interstate 395 and go toward Northwest D.C. or Virginia that way.

Anyone who parks in the Geico Garage will be required to turn left on N Street NW when they leave, and then forced to turn right to go north on South Capitol Street. There, they can hook up with I-395 going south, or turn right on to I Street SW and get to either I-695 on their way to 295, or backtrack that way over to M Street SE.

Find more ticket and parking information online on the Nationals website.

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John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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