Washington Nationals open 2012 season with Natitude

“Ignite Your Natitude” during Opening Weekend and throughout the season

The Washington Nationals will celebrate Opening Day and the start of the 2012 season at Nationals Park on Thursday, April 12 when the team hosts the Cincinnati Reds at 1:05 p.m.

Though Opening Day is expected to sell out, select tickets still remain and Standing Room Only tickets are available for $15 at nationals.com/tickets. Due to the anticipated sellout, all gates will open at 10:30 a.m. to allow fans more time to enjoy Opening Day festivities and help reduce the risk of long lines at each entrance.

Opening Day kicks off a four-game series against the Reds presented by The Washington Post, with festivities and promotional giveaways continuing all weekend long to welcome Nationals fans back to Nationals Park for the start of the 2012 season.

Emceed by Emmy Award-winning sports broadcaster and CBS News Special Correspondent James Brown, Opening Day ceremonies at Nationals Park will pay tribute to our nation’s military. The pregame ceremony will include:
· Ceremonial First Pitch thrown by J.R. Martinez, U.S. Army veteran and Dancing with the Stars Season 13 Champion
· National Anthem and America the Beautiful performed by the United States Marine Band
· A giant American flag unfurled by the D.C. National Guard in the outfield
· Flyover by the 113th Fighter Wing Jets stationed at Andrews Air Force Base
· Starting Nine featuring representatives of all branches of the military

· The first 20,000 fans to enter the ballpark will receive an Opening Day Curly W Cap presented by GEICO
· N Street festivities will include balloons and fire trucks adorned with a giant American flag
· The Nationals drumline will perform outside Center Field Gates
· The Kids Zone will feature two inflatables, face painters and a sign-making station
· “Scott’s New Band” will perform at the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk

Fans who can’t make it to the home opener are encouraged to come out and enjoy the continuing festivities of Opening Weekend, including:
o Opening Night: Friday, April 13
- First 15,000 fans will receive a Natitude T-Shirt, presented by 106.7 The Fan
- Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk will feature the band “Station 1201”
o Stephen Strasburg Bobblehead Night: Saturday, April 14
- First 15,000 fans will receive a Stephen Strasburg bobblehead presented by PNC Bank
- Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk will feature DJ Stylus Chris
o Jackie Robinson Day: Sunday, April 15
- The Nationals will honor the first African-American player in Major League Baseball throughout the pregame ceremonies and inning breaks, including performances by Screech, the Nationals mascot, with the Howard University Drumline.
- Signature Sundays presented by New Era are back! Two Nationals players will sign autographs before the game from on top of the Nationals dugout on a first come first served basis, weather permitting.
- Kids Run the Bases presented by Under Armour returns, following the last out of the game. For the first time in 2012, kids ages 4-12 are invited on the field to run where their heroes play, weather permitting.
* Fans are encouraged to check out Nationals ads on April 8 and April 13 in the sports section of The Washington Post for exclusive offers for games on April 13 through
April 15 at Nationals Park.

Opening Day tickets are expected to sell out, but the Nationals have made Standing Room Only tickets available for $15, while 400 Grandstand tickets will be on sale at the Main Box Office for $5 beginning at 10:30 a.m. on April 12.

Excellent season ticket locations and ticket packages (including mini plans and flex plans) are also available for fans who don’t want to miss a minute of the action. To take advantage of these offers or to purchase parking, visit nationals.com/2012, call 202.675.NATS(6287) or stop by the Main Box Office, located at Half and N Streets, SE.

Parking options for Nationals fans begin at $10 and are available for purchase online at nationals.com/waytogo. Fans are encouraged to purchase parking in advance online to ensure they receive a space in their desired zone. Other transportation options include Metro, Metrobus, DC Circulator Bus and water taxi service.

Due to an anticipated sellout crowd for the home opener, fans are encouraged to arrive one to two hours earlier than normal to help reduce the risk of long lines at each entrance.