Mar 27, 2023 - Sports

Your guide to Nats Park in 2023

Photo: Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Nationals have their Opening Day game on Thursday against the Atlanta Braves — and there are some new bells and whistles to know about this year, including grab-and-go beer.

State of play: Our team is rebuilding, so expect a year of growth and development — and perhaps a long-awaited breakout for outfielder Víctor Robles, who’s had an excellent spring.

Who we’re watching: Right-handed pitcher Josiah Gray could make the leap into becoming a reliable No. 2-3 starter type.

  • First baseman Joey Meneses will get the chance to prove last year’s explosion (13 homers in 56 games) was no fluke.
  • Shortstop C.J. Abrams could be an absolute menace on the bases, especially with this year’s rule changes (limited pickoffs, larger bases) giving speedsters like him the green light to attempt more steals.

Getting in: Nats Park metal detectors, installed last year, mean fans don’t have to remove phones, keys or wallets from their pockets when walking through security.

Yes, but: A reminder that the bag policy means anything bigger than a clutch purse must be see-through. There will be a separate line for diaper and medical bags.

Once inside: New this year are four grab-and-go drink stations, where fans can walk up to a fridge full of beer, canned cocktails and seltzers, pick one up, and self-checkout in under a minute.

  • At most concessions, fans will also be able to grab food directly from under warmers and pay for them at a screen themselves.

What to eat: New vendors this year include Capo Italian Deli, Swizzler, and the return of Jammin’ Island BBQ for the first time since the 2018 season.

  • Returning vendors include Ben’s Chili Bowl, Arepa Zone, Roaming Rooster, Rocklands Barbeque and South Mountain Creamery, which is debuting its new cherry blossom flavor.

Money stuff: The park is still cashless, although there are kiosks where fans can convert cash into Nats bucks, which can be used to pay for items only within the stadium.

  • The best way to pay is through the MLB Ballpark App.
  • Fans can also use QR codes on the backs of every seat to order food, merchandise, and even get delivery through the first four innings—which might make a difference with the league’s new pitch clock rules.

Don’t miss dates:

  • Opening Day on March 30, which will include City Connect T-shirts for the first 20,000 fans
  • Star Wars Day on May 20
  • Night OUT, the long-running Pride event, on June 6
  • Fireworks nights on May 12, June 2, and July 3
  • Harry Potter Day on July 8
  • Intern Day on July 31
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