March 31, 2008

Home Sweet Home

What a night! The NTP crew was among the 39,389 fans gathered to celebrate the opening of our new ballpark and the beginning of another baseball season. From our excellent seats in section 223 we caught every splendid moment. Starting at the introduction of the players and the patriotic pageantry of our national anthem straight through to the Zimmerman's fairytale ending walk off home run, we tried our best to soak it all up.

Here are some of our thoughts:


  • The potential of Nationals Park overwhelms me. Looking out over the craters all around the stadium makes me excited to live in DC, knowing what this city can be. Next year, I expect we’ll be in that section of town a lot.
  • Clearly, the concessions staff needs to get a little more practice, as the lines for the popular places were a little much. Missing two innings for Five Guys isn’t going to cut it.
  • I’m really excited to have some beers in the Red Loft one night. That’s going to be fun.
  • Transportation still scares me a little. Getting to RFK was so easy on a weeknight, and in particular, getting home efficiently. Metro was just a little too slow to really feel good about getting home on a Tuesday night when I have to work. We haven’t tried the Nats Express – we’ll have to see how that goes.
  • That many curly W’s, everywhere you could see, from the stadium to on people’s heads, is great. It sometimes feels hard to be a Nats fan, and I’m glad to see it really starting to take hold.


  • For better or worse, Nationals Park is going to be the House that Zimm Built. And I'm okay with that.
  • Landing flagship concessions like Ben's Chili Bowl, Five Guys and Hard Times was a must for the stadium. But making them accessible is going to be the real test.
  • Snagging the nationally televised Opening Night game was a coup, but it's a poor test of the fanbase. Between the cold and the folks who were just there to be there for the first game it's going to take a while to judge the real baseball atmosphere. Worlds of potential, but the team has to seize this rare second chance to make a first impression.


  • The Ben's Chili Bowl Half Smoke "all the way" is awesome.
  • My favorite impression of the park from last night was walking through the center field concourse. Coming out from under the stands and seeing the entire park open up in front of me literally overwhelmed me. I just stood there trying to take it all in.
  • It was refreshing to have a capacity crowd at a game. Every time I've been to Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park I noticed the energy moving through the crowd before the game. The sense of anticipation was palpable. Last night we had that and I hope it continues.

    All and all we had a great night at the new ballpark and we're looking forward to this season.

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