What’s new at Nationals Park for the 2019 season?

The giveaway at Nationals Park for next Monday’s exhibition game will be a curly-W drawstring bag that fans might need later — a ban on backpacks is included in the list of what’s new at the park this season.

“Fan safety is No. 1. We want to make sure that everyone feels safe when they come to the ballpark,” said Scott Fear, Washington Nationals’ vice president of public safety and security. “Most of the bags that people bring to the park are permitted.”

Fans with bags larger than 16″ by 16″ by 8″ have the option of putting them in lockers that will be positioned outside the park on First Street Southeast and at the south entrance along Potomac Avenue Southeast. The cost is $2 an hour for a smaller locker and $3 for a family-sized locker that can fit more than one bag. Prices max out at $10 and $15.

No cash? No problem

Another new part of the fan experience is being able to pay seat-side vendors electronically. More than half of the so-called “hawkers” selling everything from beer to peanuts and cotton candy will accept Apple Pay, Google Pay or credit cards in addition to cash.

Another way to help keep fans in their seats to enjoy the game (instead of standing in concession lines) includes the use of the app Caviar. It’s specifically geo-fenced for the ballpark with concession availability at section 106 that will rotate food themes periodically.

Here’s how it works: The featured menu will pop up, you order, you get an alert when the food is ready, and then you go to the concession stand to pick up your food. Traditional walk-up ordering and payment also is available. The first featured restaurant will be Tiger Fork.

Theme nights and Fireworks Fridays

For fans who believe Ryan Zimmerman truly is a superhero, the infielder will be honored with a Captain America-themed bobblehead available to the first 10,000 fans attending Marvel Superhero Day on May 25.

Find all the theme nights, kids events, apparel, bobbleheads, giveaways and fireworks schedules here.

Need to know something about the park? Ask Teddy

The team’s racing president is the new virtual assistant for the Nationals’ MLB.com Ballpark app.

Teddy can help fans find their seating sections, the closest bathroom, whether the team store has Zimmerman jerseys in stock or what time the “kids-run-the-bases” event starts after Sunday’s game. The app also lets you search for food based on where you are and what’s nearby or whatever you might be craving.

The first female-owned distillery in D.C. history will enjoy the notable distinction of vodka exclusivity at Nats Park. Civic Vodka by Republic Restoratives will be the featured vodka at all ballpark bars and the only vodka for purchase in general admission areas of the park. Every hot dog on the property will be a Hebrew National.

Area restaurants with concession stand offerings you’ll see for the first time at the ballpark include Medium RareHank’s Oyster BarCHIKODC Empanadas and Dog Tag Bakery.

Want to show your school pride?

Fourteen colleges will now be featured at the park. Fans who purchase special tickets can gather to enjoy pregame festivities dedicated to their schools and get a co-branded baseball hat.

Michael Shane, senior vice president of consumer revenue for the Washington Nationals, debuts three new bobbleheads for the 2019 season, including (pictured left) "Captain Zimmerman" and Trea Turner. Juan Soto's bobblehead is just visible behind Shane's left hand. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Juan Soto will be bobblehead-ified for the first time in the 2019 season, together with several other Nationals players including Adam Eaton and Patrick Corbin. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The first 10,000 fans at Nationals Park on May 25 will be gifted a marvelous figurine of Ryan Zimmerman holding a Captain America shield, with the addition of Marvel Super Hero Day to 2019's Theme Nights. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Trea Turner and his bobbleheaded twin is presented to the media. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Scott Fear, chief of security at Nationals Park, told media the new backpack ban is meant to guarantee the safety of fans. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Civic Vodka by Republic Restoratives, the first female-owned distillery in D.C. history, will be featured at all ballpark bars — and will be the only vodka avaliable for purchase in general admissions areas. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
These "Walking Tacos" from Taco Caminando can be found near Section 233, featuring a taco in a bowl complete with corn chips, chili, cheese, tomatoes, jalapenos, sour cream and hot sauce. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Soon enough, fans will be able to enjoy house-steamed bao buns at Bao Bao's new stand near Section 116, including Hoisin Pork and Char Sui Chicken baos loaded with roasted mushrooms, spicy Ssamjang sauce and cabbage slaw. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Buffalo chicken, spinach and feta empanadas are just a few of the Latin American staples soon to be served by DC Empanadas at their stand near Section 244. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
CHIKO, featuring Chinese and Korean cuisine, will have a new stand near Section 238 with a variety of savory snacks on the menu, including Korean wings, bulgogi hoagies and peanut noodle salad. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Seafood will feature heavily in the new concession stand lineup, with Hank's Oyster Bar, Harris Creek Oyster Company, and Lobster Shack all serving up fish and chips, shrimp po'boys and oysters in the new season. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Newcomer Medium Rare will serve fans their signature Medium Rare Steak Sandwich, pictured loaded with fries and sauce, at their new stand near Section 136. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Beginning this season, the Nationals will offer jewelry from BIXLER. The Nationals team store and home plate store will feature limited-edition necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets and bangles, in addition to apparel from DKNY, EXPRESS and Dooney & Bourke. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Jen Glickson with VIrginia-based Devils Backbone Brewing Co. presents the company's Earned Run Ale, brewed specifically for Nationals Park. Debuted during the 2017 season, the beer will be returning for fans in 2019. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Members of the media scramble for a first-time glimpse of three new Nationals bobbleheads — including Ryan Zimmerman with a Captain America shield. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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