Nationals Park is one of the newest MLB stadiums on the scene, replacing the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium as the home field of the Nationals. Before the Montreal Expos moved to Washington, the team played at Olympic Stadium.
Nationals Park officially started construction on May 4th, 2006 and was opened less than two years later on March 22nd, 2008. This project cost $693 million, which required lengthy negotiations in order to finance. The main bank behind the deal, Deutsche Bank, wanted monetary reassurances, which ended up making the discussions between the MLB, local government officials and the banks even more complex.
This facility was the first big sports stadium in the United States to achieved a LEED-certification of green, which denotes construction and design that helps to minimize the impact upon the environment. Nationals Park is adjacent to the Anacosta River in the Navy Yard district in the city. One of the more amusing traditions is the presidents race that takes place during the fourth inning of games, in which Teddy Roosevelt usually loses.
Washington Nationals Stadium
The Washington Nationals were an outstanding 51-30 at home during the 2014 season, no doubt because of their fantastic pitching staff, earning six more wins at home than they did on the road. For the 2015 season, the home field advantage was magnified by the fact that their home record is about the same as 2014, while their road record is significantly worse.
In terms of MLB ballpark factor statistics, Nationals Park is slightly below average in terms of the rate of runs produced, homers and hits. However, the number of triples created at this field ranks nearly dead last, despite producing a slightly above average rate of doubles, suggesting that extra base hits are at somewhat of a premium in this facility.
Nationals Park features an interesting mix of the old and the new, juxtaposing gigantic out-of-town scoreboards and a scoreboard that’s quintuple the size of RFK’s screen. These go with a Ring of Honor that lauds greats from the Washington Senators and other franchise players, including Harmon Killebrew, Walter Johnson, Andre Dawson and Gary Carter.
Date Opened: March 22, 2008
Construction Cost: $693 million
Architect: Devrouax & Purnell Architects; Populous
Ballpark Type: Retro Modern
Capacity Attendance: 41,418
Playing Surface: Platinum TE Paspalum
Previous Washington Nationals Stadiums
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium; Olympic Stadium; Hiram Bithorn Stadium; Jarry Park Stadium
Other Major Events
2015 NHL Winter Classic
On New Year’s Day of 2015, the NHL Winter Classic visited Nationals Park, welcoming the Washington Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks on the frozen field. The Capitals became the second home team to triumph during a Winter Classic event, beating the Blackhawks by a score of 3-2 in front of 42,832 fans.
2018 MLB All-Star Game
Major League Baseball awarded Nationals Park the 2018 MLB All-Star Game, which will determine whether the American League or the National League will get home field advantage during for the World Series. This will be the first All-Star game to take place in the capitol in nearly half a century.
Pop Benedict XVI
One of the few American locales to receive the German Pope during his short Papacy, mass was held for about 47,000 people who were selected out of the 200,000 who requested tickets for this religious event.