gronkowski jersey cheap A guide to Nationals Park for the 2017 MLB season
Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Opening Day is just around the corner, with the season opening with a trio of games on Sunday, including an evening contest between the St. Louis Cardinals and reigning World Series champions, the Chicago Cubs. on Monday with scheduled starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg taking the mound against the Miami Marlins.
When they arrive at Nationals Park, fans will see a number of changes not just to the team roster, but also to the stadium and the concessions offered there.
“We’re constantly looking for ways to refresh the park [and] create new experiences for fans,” Nationals chief revenue and marketing officer Valerie Camillo, who also happens to be a native of Oakton, said. “We have an 81 game season, so we like to refresh it not only between seasons, but even within a season, we’ll bring in new menu items.”
While the Nationals announced on Tuesday that President Donald Trump had declined the team’s invitation to throw out the season’s ceremonial first pitch, citing scheduling conflicts, here is what Nationals Park visitors can expect on Opening Day and throughout the 2017 season:
Promotional themes and giveaways
A magic 8 ball customized with baseball specific forecasts, such as “rain delay, try later” or “sources say strike three,” will be given to the first 20,000 fans that arrive at Nationals Park on Opening Day, one of several items that will be given away over the course of the season.
In addition to the standard bobbleheads, this year featuring infielders Daniel Murphy and Trea Turner and pitcher Tanner Roark, the Nationals have scheduled giveaways for a snow globe with current National League Cy Young winner Max Scherzer on May 24 and an action figure of still young star player Bryce Harper, who is looking to bounce back after a subpar 2016, on Aug. 29.
There will also be a patriotic tank top to mark Flag Day, an Oktoberfest beer stein, a tote bag, and a fedora.
Camillo says the team is offering a fedora for the first time because it has been a popular fan request over the past two seasons.
While many of the Nationals’ planned theme days will be repeats of past events, including the 13th annual Night OUT to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride and the third annual Star Wars Day, the team has also unveiled a number of new theme days or special ticket events.
As part of a new partnership between MLB and HBO, the Nationals will host a Game of Thrones Night on June 23 to promote the premium cable company’s popular fantasy TV show, which will start a new season on July 16.
Like with Star Wars Day, fans will be allowed to dress up in costumes and bring props as long as they follow the park’s clothing guidelines, which prohibit face covering masks and weaponry. The event will also include a T shirt giveaway, according to Camillo,
but the artwork and design of the shirt had not yet been revealed as of press time.
Nationals Park will also have its first Easter egg hunt on Apr. 16, and the team will have ’90s Night on Aug. 11, since fans requested a change from the usual celebration of the 1980s. Visitors will be encouraged to dress in attire appropriate to the 1990s, and there will be different music stations showcasing that decade’s eclectic range of genres, from hip hop and grunge to boy bands.
Food and beverage
Nationals Park will feature an expanded selection of food and drink options this season, with Shawafel, which offered shawarma and falafel sandwiches, as the only vendor that is no longer around.
Among the highlights are See. You. Tater., a chicken wings and tater tots concession stand, and an On Rye Babka Ice Cream Sandwich cart that will be located in centerfield plaza.
Previously available only on the Norfolk Southern Club level, On Rye became popular following its 2016 launch and is now making its deli sandwiches and babka ice cream sandwiches, which feature vanilla bean gelato encased in babka slices with chocolate swirls, more widely available. The vendor is also adding push pops in cinnamon vodka and black and white cookie flavors this year.
Some existing vendors will have new menu items, with Virginia Country Kitchen adding chicken fried steak and Change Up Chicken introducing chicken skewers.
The Budweiser Brew House, which is a full service restaurant and bar with access to seats in centerfield, has added chicken and waffles, steamed pork buns, and several vegetarian options, including Brussels sprouts and a berry salad.
“We’re always looking at what’s going on with trends for food and beverages,” Nationals vice president of ballpark operations Jonathan Stahl said. “We want to stay on top of those. Sometimes, we like to be ahead of them, so we’re always thinking, what complements what we’re already doing?”
In addition to trying to find a balance between healthy food and more indulgent treats, the team considers what could easily be eaten while someone is watching a game and what food goes well with beer when determining what to offer.
Distilleries of the DMV highlights the Nationals’ effort to showcase local food and vendors at the park.
“We want people to come and be able to experience the local cuisine in one place,” Camillo said.
Retail and technology
The Nationals renovated the look of their main team store to feature an expanded kids’ section, among other additions. The store will also now offer a maternity line of clothing, a bigger assortment of plus size and big and tall clothes, and the ability to customize caps.
After years of spotty coverage, the team nearly doubled the number of Wi Fi access points at the stadium over the off season in the hopes of providing faster, more reliable service.
The team will also launch a new, customized version of MLB’s “Ballpark” app on Opening Day. App users will be able to purchase and share tickets, order concessions, and access special discounts or promotions available only through the app, such as meet and greet events, free jersey customization or up to 25 percent off at the team store.