Going to a Washington Nationals game can be a fun and exciting experience. As the hometown team for Washington, D.C., Nationals games are popular events that many local residents and visitors try to attend. Buying tickets to Nationals games can seem complicated, but it’s actually a straightforward process if you know the different options available. Here’s a step-by-step guide to purchasing tickets to see the Washington Nationals play at Nationals Park.
When to Buy Tickets
The first thing to think about is when you want to go to a game. The Nationals regular season runs from early April through late September or early October. During the season, they generally play 81 home games at Nationals Park. Popular home series against rivals like the Phillies and Braves tend to sell out faster. If you have flexibility in your schedule, midweek games are often easier to get tickets for than weekend dates. Games on holidays like July 4th also see high demand.
For the best ticket availability, look to buy early before the season starts or several weeks in advance of the date you want to attend. Waiting until the last minute limits your options and increases prices. Tickets can still be found up to game day, but choosy fans who want the best seats are best off planning ahead when possible.
Where to Buy Tickets
There are several options for where to actually purchase Nationals tickets:
The main place to buy tickets directly is the Nationals MLB website. Here you can view the Nationals schedule, see a map of the stadium seating chart, and purchase tickets securely online. The Nationals site only sells verified tickets, so you don’t have to worry about counterfeits or scams.
One advantage of using the Nationals site is that you can see all available ticket inventory in real time. All seats are priced dynamically, so you’ll always see the current prices. The team offers mobile tickets, allowing you to store tickets on your smartphone. If any questions come up, you can contact Nationals customer support for help with the ordering process or your tickets.
Third Party Sites
In addition to the Nationals site, tickets are sold through various approved third party vendors. Online sites like VividSeats, StubHub, SeatGeek and Ticketmaster’s Ticket Exchange frequently sell Nationals tickets. You can also find tickets at sites like Craigslist or from ticket brokers and resellers.
The benefit of third party sites is they often aggregate inventory into one search. You may find better ticket availability spanning multiple sources. Third party sellers may offer seats the Nationals site is sold out of. Prices can also be lower than box office rates. However, be aware the tickets are resold, so you lose out on perks like mobile delivery. Make sure to only buy from reputable verified sellers.
You can purchase Nationals tickets at the Nationals Park box office on game day or before home stands begin. The box office is located outside the Center Field Gate near the Red Loft restaurant. Box office hours are generally 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday on non-game days and 10am until 30 minutes after the final out on game days.
Buying tickets directly through the box office ensures the tickets are 100% legitimate. You also can avoid online fees by purchasing tickets in person. However, ticket availability at the box office is limited. Popular games may already be sold out there. You won’t have the ability to choose your exact seats either. Still, stopping by the box office is a convenient option for last minute, single-game ticket needs.
For large groups of 20 or more people, you can contact the Nationals group sales department. They can help arrange block seating and group discounts for outings like employee morale events or kids’ birthday parties. Perks like catering and private entrances may be available for booking groups. Email the Nationals ticket office or fill out the group ticket inquiry form on their website to get info on group ticket options and pricing.
Types of Tickets Available
The Nationals sell a range of different ticket types for their games. The main factors determining ticket price are seat location and whether it’s for an individual game vs. a season ticket package.
Single Game Tickets
Individual game tickets can be purchased for any specific game date during the regular season. Single game ticket prices at Nationals Park start around $15-20 per seat on the upper deck or bleachers. Lower bowl seats run from $30 up to the $100+ range in premium sections around home plate. Order earlier for access to better seat locations at lower cost.
Mini plans allow fans to purchase tickets to a preset package of games, usually 5-13 games in a season. The Nationals have mini plan options like Saturday 5-packs, Sunday 5-packs, or Rival 6-packs against division foes. Mini plans average $30-50 per ticket. They provide savings over single game rates. Mini plans also give earlier access to purchasing playoff tickets.
Full Season Tickets
For maximum perks, fans can buy full season ticket packages. Full season tickets grant admission to all 81 regular season home games. They include exclusive season ticket holder benefits like gifts and events. Season tickets range from around $1,000 on up to $25,000+ for the best locations like behind home plate. There is usually a lengthy waiting list to get Nationals full season tickets.
Other Ticket Types
In addition to the main tickets above, certain dates have special ticketing options:
– Opening Day – Special stripped down game day experience. Only 14,500 tickets sold, instead of full 45,000+ capacity. Tickets $50 and up.
– Premium Giveaways – Games with giveaways like blankets and bobbleheads have “Event Ticket Packs” bundling the promo item into the ticket price.
– Postseason – Season ticket holders get priority access to postseason tickets, followed by fans with mini plans. Individual wild card, divisional, and league championship series tickets go on sale to general public later.
– All-Star Game – In 2023, the Nationals are hosting the MLB All-Star Game. A limited number of stripped down event tickets will be sold for around $350-500.
Where to Sit
Nationals Park has around 41,000 seats, so fans have lots of options for where to sit. The main factors in picking seats are budget, preferences like sun or shade, and proximity to the field.
The lower bowl extends from field level up to the club level. It’s closest to the action and most expensive.
– Diamond Club (Sections 106-129) – Right behind home plate. Includes in-seat food and drink service. $300+ per ticket.
– Field Boxes (Sections 130-137) – Next closest seats along the baselines. $100-$200 range.
– Outfield Boxes (Sections 140-144) – Lower outfield seats. Around $50-100.
The club level or mezzanine contains premium concessions and seated areas:
– Red Loft (Sections 206-237) – Waiter service and upscale bars/dining behind home plate. Tickets $180+.
– Red Porch Club (Sections 238-239) – Lounge seating. Tickets around $130.
– Scoreboard Pavilion (Sections 201-204) – Standing room bar space. $80+ tickets.
The upper deck and bleachers make up the most affordable ticket options.
– Upper Gallery Boxes (Sections 408-417) – Upper deck infield seats. Around $30-60 per ticket.
– Upper Gallery Reserved (Sections 418-420, 427-430) – Upper deck baseline and outfield seats. $20-40 tickets.
– Scoreboard Walk (Sections 421-426) – Upper concourse standing room. $40+
– The Porch (Sections 431-437) – Right field bleacher seats. Generally $15-30 per ticket.
Use these tips to get the best deals on Nationals tickets:
- Join the Nationals Red Carpet Rewards program – Free to sign up and earns you special access to ticket presales and discounts.
- Ask about student and military discounts – The Nationals offer discounted tickets for students and active military members.
- Buy upper deck or weekday games – The cheapest tickets are in the upper sections for midweek games against less popular opponents.
- Avoid convenience fees – Buy direct from the Nationals ticket site instead of through third parties who add service fees.
- Check group rates – Savings may be available for groups of 20+ buying through the Nationals group sales department.
- Be flexible on dates – Less in-demand games will have cheaper tickets.
- Buy early – Tickets increase in price closer to the date of the game.
- Consider rain policy – Single game tickets can’t be refunded due to rain. You’ll get a credit for a future game instead.
Day of Game Tips
Once you’ve bought tickets, here are some tips for enjoying your day at the ballpark:
- Arrive early – The stadium and parking lots open 2 hours before first pitch. Come early to avoid lines at the gate.
- Know the bag policy – Only certain size purses and bags are permitted inside per MLB rules. Review policy online before going.
- Bring cash for vendors – Many of the food carts and vendors inside only accept cash payments.
- Download the Ballpark App – Provides handy digital maps and details on vendors/amenities.
- Pack headphones – You can tune into the radio broadcast or (for kids) the kids commentary feed on the app.
- Check the forecast – Dress appropriately for sun or rain. Ponchos are a good idea.
- Use Metro – Parking fills up fast. Consider taking Metro to the stadium instead.
- Factor traffic – Rush hour and post-game gridlock are intense. Give yourself extra transit time.
- Have fun! – Sing “Take On Me” during the 7th inning stretch and cheer on your Nats.
Going to a Nationals game is a quintessential D.C. experience. Following the tips in this guide makes buying tickets for a game at Nationals Park simple and economical. With your tickets in hand, you’ll be ready to enjoy America’s national pastime and see the Nats take on the rest of Major League Baseball. Let’s play ball!