Recent renovations to Nationals Park add to the pressures of opening day.
By Jill A. Norris
Today’s home opener is going to be a game filled with high pressures and even higher hopes. Fans can expect some new developments around Nationals Park stadium that are sure to add to the excitement of opening day. The biggest development? The Fairgrounds, formerly known as “Das Bullpen” or just “The Bullpen.”
What used to be a hodgepodge setup of picnic tables designed to accommodate a beer garden is now contained within an interesting structure of recycled shipping containers to house a mix of retail and food/beverage. Word on the street is that ESPN might even broadcast from one of these containers. Area businesses are also ramping up some pre- and post-game refreshments you may want to check out.
These developments enhance a top-notch stadium equipped with the most up-to-date video and audio technology, including a 4,500-square-foot high-definition scoreboard and over 600 feet of LED ribbon board. The park’s state-of-the-art design includes eco-friendly technology, making Nationals Park the first major stadium in the United States accredited as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Structure. The park has even moved past its aspiration of being a “certified” Green Building to reach “Silver Status” by the United States Green Building Council.
Some may not know that the park was built by architect I.M. Pei, who found inspiration from the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. It also sits 24 feet below street level, allowing more than half the crowd to avoid elevators, escalators or stairs to find their seats.
Without further ado, here are our picks on where to show your support for the Nats, even after they beat the Reds.
Where: Station 4 Restaurant, 1101 4th Street SW
When: During and after the game
Washington Life’s Take: Station 4 restaurant is offering drink specials strictly for die-hard Nationals fans. Bring your ticket stub after the game and get Miller Light or Blue Moon beer for only $3. Not planning on going to the game? No problem! Just show up to watch the game in your Nationals fan gear and get the same discount! You’ll even be able to enter a raffle to win tickets to next Friday’s home game.
Where: District 2 Bar & Grille, 3238 Wisconsin Avenue NW
When: Game time
WL’s Take: Enjoy $4 Miller Lite drafts at District 2 Bar & Grille during every Nationals game this season! Team gear may not be required, but it is definitely encouraged.
Where: Lola’s Barracks Bar & Grill, 711 8th Street SE
When: One hour before game time
WL’s Take: Beer deals like $3 PBRs and $4 Miller Light and Yingling draft. Regular happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. with $1 off bottles and drafts, $2 off non-house wines, $1 off house wines