The Washington Nationals, with approval from the Government of the District of Columbia and Major League Baseball, today announced that Nationals Park will welcome fans back to the ballpark for the 2021 season, beginning on Opening Day, Thursday, April 1 against the New York Mets. The Opening Day game will be aired nationally on ESPN, with first pitch scheduled for 7:09 p.m. ET.
In accordance with CDC recommendations and MLB protocols, the Nationals will implement appropriate social distancing and safety measures that will allow Nationals Park to host fans beginning on Opening Day. Discussions will begin this week with officials from the District about increasing capacity for the second homestand, which begins April 15.
“We are happy to welcome a limited number of the best fans in baseball back home to Nationals Park on Opening Day,” said Mark D. Lerner, managing principal owner of the Nationals. “Our organization has worked tirelessly with the District of Columbia, nationally-renowned health experts, including Crown & Company, whose principals have guided FIFA and the IOC, and also Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, as well as Major League Baseball, to craft protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of our players, coaches, employees, and our fans as we reopen the ballpark to the public. We look forward to increasing our capacity in the coming weeks. We cannot wait to have our fans in the stands again, wearing red and cheering on the Nats, as we begin our quest for another World Championship.”
Due to the severe capacity limitations, the Nationals will offer priority ticket access to NATS PLUS members based on tenure and ticket package size at this time. NATS PLUS members will receive an email soon with details about their exclusive relocation opportunity. Single game tickets for the general public will be announced at a later date based on availability. Tickets to attend games at Nationals Park this season can only be purchased through Nationals.com or through other online marketplaces. The Nationals will not be offering any hard tickets and all tickets will be delivered digitally through the MLB Ballpark App.
Guests will be able to purchase tickets in pods of 1-6 people and suites will be opened at reduced capacities. In order to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone at Nationals Park, the Nationals will be enforcing new safety measures for fans aimed at creating social distance and eliminating crowding throughout the ballpark at entrances, exits, bathrooms, and concession stands. The complete list of protocols, along with additional details and frequently asked questions, can be found at nationals.com/WelcomeHome. Key new health and safety measures include:
• Face coverings that cover both the nose and mouth are required at the ballpark at all times for fans two years of age or older. Face coverings should only be removed to eat or drink while in your seat.
• The Nationals will not be offering hard tickets during the 2021 season. All tickets ordered through the Nationals will be delivered digitally through the MLB Ballpark App.
• All tickets will include a color-coded gate assignment. When fans arrive at and leave Nationals Park, they must enter and exit through their assigned gate.
• No bags will be permitted inside Nationals Park, with the exception of medically necessary bags, diaper bags, and clutch purses no larger than 5” x 7” x 3/4”. Binbox lockers will be available outside Right Field Gate and Home Plate Gate for fans to store unapproved bags outside the ballpark.
• No cash will be accepted for food or beverage purchases, parking, or at team store locations. There are several contactless options for ordering food using the MLB Ballpark App.
• Hundreds of hand sanitizer stations have been installed throughout the ballpark, and concession stands also have new closeable containers for food items and touchless condiment stations.
• Nationals Park cleaning partners have enhanced the cleaning of all indoor and outdoor spaces and the Nationals have installed new MERV-13 air filters within indoor spaces, as well as Plexiglas and other suitable dividers in areas where significant face-to-face interaction occurs.
The Nationals will continue to follow the best practices and precautions recommended by public health experts. All 2021 access, benefits, promotions, seating locations, and events (including, without limitation, location, dates, and times) are subject to change without notice based on the ongoing developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The complete 2021 Nationals regular season schedule is available at nationals.com/Schedule.