Nationals Park makes changes to ballpark protocols as capacity restrictions lift

With Nationals Park returning to full capacity Thursday with a series opener against the San Francisco Giants, the Washington Nationals are reintroducing some pre-pandemic ballpark protocols.

Single game tickets are now on-sale for the rest of the season, with prices starting at $13. Because capacity restrictions are being lifted, fans are no longer restricted to purchasing seats in socially-distanced pods. Tickets are available online at the Nats’ website.

Premium club seating and access to premium areas such as the PNC Diamond Club and the Nationals Club also are back.

When entering and leaving Nationals Park, fans must use their assigned color-coded gate on their ticket. The concept was first introduced before the season opener along with only using virtual tickets. Gates will open two hours before the first pitch, and parking garages will open 2 1/2 hours before the first pitch for all games moving forward.

Some bags will be permitted in the stadium once again, easing a ban meant to reduce contact with staff at security checkpoints. All bags must be smaller than 16 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches with exceptions made for diaper bags, and bags for medical needs.

Backpacks are still not allowed in the venue, and all approved bags will be inspected by security upon entry. Any prohibited bags can be placed in a locker, which are available to rent outside of the Right Field and Home Plate gates.

For families, the PenFed Kids Zone playground inside the Right Field Gate will reopen Thursday. The Kids Run the Bases event will return July 18 and continue during every Sunday day game for the rest of the season.

Food and beverages will no longer be served in closable packaging, and unlike the start of the season, condiment stations will no longer be touchless. Water fountains and standing room-only areas will reopen on Thursday.

Also returning are the Budweiser Happy Hour specials for fans 21 and over. Before every home game, from gates open until 30 minutes before first pitch, select 24-ounce beers will be $4 off at all concession locations selling them. Options include Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob Ultras.

Some regular ballpark rituals, like getting autographs from players, are still not permitted. However, fans interested in taking a tour of the stadium will be able to do so starting July 1.

Giveaways will be distributed once again, but in a grab-and-go format while supplies last.

Fully-vaccinated fans will be able to attend Nats games without a face mask in both indoor and outdoor areas within the stadium. Those not fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask at all times, unless they are eating or drinking within their ticketed seat.

The stadium will remain cashless, and will continue to accept contactless forms of payment such as credit or debit cards, Apple Pay and eCash at any point of sale.

Fans are encouraged to use the Ballpark App to order and pay for food ahead of time. Cash can still be used to purchase tickets in the Nationals 5050 Raffle. The app also applies for the Happy Hour special with the promo code BUDHAPPY.

The stadium’s updated health and safety policy is viewable online.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.


Jose Umana

José Umaña is a digital editor for WTOP. He’s been working as a journalist for almost a decade, covering local news, education and sports. His work has appeared in The Prince George’s Sentinel, The Montgomery Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, PressBox and The Diamondback.

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