The Washington Nationals will celebrate Opening Day and their first home game of the 2020 season on Thursday, July 23. The game will be aired nationally on ESPN, with first pitch scheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET.
In addition to the Opening Day game airing on ESPN, the game against the Yankees on July 25 will be broadcast exclusively on FOX. The Yankees game on July 26 will be broadcast nationally on TBS, as well as on MASN.
The opening of the 2020 season marks the first time in Nationals history that the team will open the season against an American League opponent. Additionally, the matchup against the Yankees at Nationals Park will mark the first time Opening Day has been held at home in consecutive seasons since 2010 vs. Philadelphia and 2011 vs. Atlanta.
THURSDAY, JULY 23
OPENING DAY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
The Opening Day pregame ceremony will include:
* National Anthem pre-recorded performance by D.C. Washington.
* Play Ball! announced by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
* God Bless America pre-recorded performance by Sergeant Major Bob McDonald, United States Army Chorus.
The Opening Day in-game elements will include:
* The GEICO Presidents Race will be shown during the fourth inning and will feature a previously recorded race.
SPECIAL OPENING DAY ELEMENTS
* The Nationals, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and will utilize the platform and national stage of Opening Day to express support for the fight against systemic racism and injustice. As one element of this effort, a Black Lives Matter | MLB stencil will appear on the pitcher’s mound during Opening Weekend games.
* To express support for the D.C. community, center field will feature a black heart with “D.C.” in the middle, throughout the Opening Weekend series.
* Additional elements will honor, remember, and celebrate the frontline heroes of COVID-19.
WORLD SERIES SIGNAGE
World Series Ballpark Signage
* The Nationals unveiled a large 2019 World Series Champions sign, located on the field-facing side of the Budweiser Brew House in center field.
* The aluminum sign is 14 feet, 9 1/5 inches tall and 11 feet, 5 1/2 inches wide.
* Before the Opening Day game against the Yankees, the Nationals will raise a new 2019 World Series Champions flag at Centerfield Plaza
* Joining the 1924 World Champions flag and 1925 and 1933 American League pennants, the Nationals will hoist a 2019 World Series pennant that will fly above the Nationals Park scoreboard.
OPENING DAY FAN EXPERIENCE
* The Nationals will be introducing Nats Kits - free, downloadable content for fans who are missing the excitement of coming out to Nats Park to watch Nationals games. Each kit will have a different theme and include various baseball and Nats-specific components.
* The two themes that will debut this week are:
Nat Your Average Birthday Party: Geared towards young fans who would like to have a Nationals-themed, socially distant birthday party with their friends. This kit will include Nats-branded Zoom backgrounds, recipes for baseball-themed treats, cut-out party hats, customizable birthday cards, activity packets, and a list of kid-friendly baseball movie suggestions!
Game Time: A kit for Nats fans of all ages and perfect for watching a game from home. This kit will include more Zoom backgrounds in case you’re watching the game online with friends or family, as well as a scorecard, more recipes - including for adult beverages - and information on ways you can get a taste of Nationals Park while in the comfort of your own home.
For more information or to download a Nats Kit, please visit nationals.com/NatsKits.
Virtual Watch Parties
* Throughout the season, the Nationals will engage season plan holders, the community, and philanthropic partners through virtual watch parties. Select watch parties will be featured on our scoreboard so our players can experience the fans’ energy and enthusiasm.
Content Theme Games
* The Nationals will bring back some fan-favorite game-night themes through content sharing like “Pups at Home,” “Virtual Night OUT,” “Healthcare Appreciation,” and “Caturday” while encouraging fans to engage with the organization on social media. Additionally, the Nationals will have theme nights dedicated to the Youth Baseball Leagues, Nationals Philanthropies, and Branch Days for every military branch.
Best Ballpark Bites - Delivered
* The Nationals want to bring the ballpark experience to you in the comfort and safety of your home! Introducing Best Ballpark Bites Delivered, featuring classic gameday meals exclusively through the Nationals!
* The Washington Nationals and Levy are offering curated packages that include classic gameday meals, such as Nats Dogs, Enzo’s Pizza, Cracker Jack and more.
* All packs serve 2-3 people and all deliveries are contactless with each purchase.
* Orders with alcohol will be required to present ID upon delivery.
* Orders can be placed up to midnight the day before the game for night games.
* 15 corporate partners will be featured on tarps in the stands at Nationals Park throughout the 2020 season.
* Popeyes and the Washington Nationals have partnered on a unique activation to take place throughout the regular season.
* The Popeyes branding will be prominently displayed across a seat tarp in center field, Section 240.
* For every home run a Nationals player hits that lands on the tarp, Popeyes will promote a Buy One, Get One Free offer of their famous Chicken Sandwich the following day at local participating restaurants.
* Redemption will take place at stores or drive-thru, with instructions emailed to Nationals fans via the Nationals Insider email list.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe
* National fast-casual cafe concept Tropical Smoothie Cafe is now the Official Smoothie of the Washington Nationals.
* Tropical Smoothie Cafe and the Nationals have partnered to create the Nats Berry Crush Smoothie, a blend of strawberries and cranberries, currently available at participating locations in the D.C. area.
As a proud sponsor since 2008, GEICO Insurance related designs will appear by the first and third base lines.
Budweiser Nats to Go Pack Program
* At select neighborhood bars and restaurants, fans can order a six-pack of beer and get a Nats to Go Pack, including a Nationals-branded pint glass, and a bag of ballpark peanuts.
* Participating restaurants include: The Blaguard, Willie’s Brew & Que, Union Pub, Urban Roast, Proper 21, Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, The Exchange Saloon, The Haymaker Bar, Declaration Restaurant, Capitol Lounge, Clydes of Gallery Place, Exiles Bar, Nellie’s Sports Bar, Walter’s Sports Bar, and Peacock Café.
* Fans can place orders by directly contacting the restaurants and can find contact information on the Nationals “Open for Business” website.
Devils Backbone Curly W IPA
* Devils Backbone Brewing Company created the Curly W India Pale Ale, a new beer celebrating the World Series champions that is available at retail locations throughout the D.C. area.
* Nationals fans can find retail locations offering Curly W IPA using the Devils Backbone’s online beer finder.
* Curly W is a 6% ABV, 28 IBU crisp and juicy golden IPA that includes Pilsner, Pale Wheat, CaraHell, Golden Naked Oats, Acidulated, Carafa Special 2, and Victory malts - in honor of the 2019 World Series title. The pale malts are balanced out by citrusy hops, ensuring that fans stay refreshed as the Nationals chase another championship.
Summer Reading Program
* Sean Doolittle returns as the Nationals Summer Reading Program ambassador to encourage children to read for 20 minutes a day for at least 10 days each month throughout the summer.
* For the seventh consecutive year, the Nationals are the sponsor for D.C. Public Library’s Summer Reading program.
* D.C. Public Library’s Summer Reading Program is the largest District-wide initiative addressing the “summer slide,” the loss of learning that occurs when students do not read during summer vacation.
* The Nationals are partnering with the Arlington Public Library Summer Reading program for the second consecutive year in 2020.
* Building on the success of the partnership with DC Public Library and Arlington Public Library, the Nationals are now also the Presenting Sponsor for the Prince George County’s Public Library Summer Reading program.
* The Summer Reading Program now includes the following library systems: D.C. Public Library, Arlington County Library, Prince George’s County Memorial Public Library, Montgomery County Library, Fairfax County Library, Loudoun County Library, Alexandria City Library, and Nats On Base Military Libraries.
* Individuals who register and successfully complete their local library program will have the chance to receive tickets to a future Nationals game.
* More information is available at nationals.com/SummerReading.
D.C. Air National Guard F-16 Jet
In honor of the World Series champion Washington Nationals, the D.C. Air National Guard sent one of its F-16D Fighting Falcons to the Sioux City Air National Guard Base to be painted with the Nationals official Curly W logo and World Series graphic. Photos are available HERE.
World Central Kitchen
* Since early April, Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen and the Washington Nationals have utilized Nationals Park as a cooking/distribution site for free meals to community members throughout the DMV. The partnership continues even with the launch of the 2020 season.
* To date, more than 665,000 meals have been distributed.
YBA Play TV
* Due to ongoing public health concerns, the Youth Baseball Academy team has brought the power of PLAY online, by creating twice-weekly episodes of one of its signature programs.
* YBA PLAY TV is available now to more than 1,600 registered participants in Wards 4-8 - delivering instructional, entertaining videos to inspire kids to get active and play ball.
* In addition to high-quality and creative baseball drills centered around themes like “Be Outstanding” and “Continue to Learn,” registered participants receive a free uniform and equipment, online handbook with lessons and activities, and the chance to earn prizes.
* For the 2020 season, the 50/50 Raffle is modified to meet the needs of the community, as well as adapt to a new online format.
* Nationals Philanthropies will choose a different charity partner for each series during the 2020 season. Fans can make a tax deductible donation as a show of support, with 50% of the total funds raised during the series granted to the partner and 50% benefiting the year-round programming and community impact work of Nationals Philanthropies.
* For the inaugural 50/50 fundraiser, Nationals Philanthropies has selected the Dragonfly Foundation as the benefiting partner. Half of all funds raised from July 23-26 games will be granted to support the holistic services for pediatric cancer patients and their families during and after treatment.
Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton has been a longtime supporter of the foundation, whose work is more critical than ever to keep immunocompromised children safe as they learn to maneuver a world with increased risk of infection due to COVID-19. Fans can donate at give.nats4good.org/5050.
* The NATS4GOOD Community Response Fund, administered by Nationals Philanthropies, disburses charitable grants to community partners delivering essential food, health, and human services in response to COVID-19.
* More than $486,000 has been donated to the fund - with more than 1,700 contributions from a combination of the foundation, Nationals players, and fan donations. Grants are issued on a rolling basis to support local non-profit organizations.
* To date, the Fund has issued $306,448 in grants to a dozen non-profit partners, including DC Central Kitchen, Inova Health Foundation, Capital Area Food Bank, SMYAL, and more.
The NATS4GOOD Community Response Fund contributed nearly $60,000 to World Central Kitchen through the generous contributions of Nationals fans, players, and personnel, as part of the Nationals World Series virtual ring fundraiser.
To learn more or contribute, visit nationals.com/Fund.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS TEAM STORE
Championship Gold Collection
* On Opening Day, the World Series Champions Gold Collection will launch at Nationals Park.
* Centered on the one-of-a-kind jersey and cap which will be worn on-field throughout the 2020 season, this retail program will also feature stadium exclusive apparel and novelty merchandise including drinkware, patches, and souvenir items such as decals, keychains, and pennants.
* The white jersey uses blue script as a nod to the iconic blue jersey from the 2019 Postseason with gold being a focus throughout the jersey, weaving in the Nationals red and blue.
* The traditional Nationals seal logo is embellished with gold and features a gold star above it to signify the team’s World Series win.
* Jerseys of your favorite World Series champions will be available, as well as blank jerseys with an option to customize for an additional charge. Prices start at $130 for adult replica jerseys and $75 for youth.
* The New Era cap will be offered in several silhouettes, including the on-field fitted, snapback, and fan takedown versions.
Jostens Fan Collection
* Jostens not only designed the custom World Series Champion rings for the players, but also partnered with the Washington Nationals in producing a World Championship jewelry collection to commemorate the Nationals’ historic 2019 Postseason run.
* Nationals fans can capture their piece of the World Series Championship and commemorate this exciting time in franchise history through a custom selection of personalized fine jewelry and championship collectables.
* To learn more about the World Champion rings and shop the Jostens collection, visit nationals.com/Champions.
CURLY W LIVE
* Can’t get enough Nationals? Fans can read fun interviews with Nationals players, staff, and partners, learn more about Nationals community initiatives and happenings at the Youth Baseball Academy, and access daily game notes and in-depth baseball content on Curly W Live, the official blog of the Washington Nationals.
* Fans are encouraged to visit the blog at curlyw.mlblogs.com, create a Medium account, and follow Curly W Live in order to receive notifications when new content is published.
* Fans can also listen to exclusive podcasts online at Curly W Live. Hosted by Communications Director Kyle Brostowitz, podcasts are published every few weeks and focus on all things Nats, including exclusive interviews with Nationals players, coaches, and staff. This year, many of the podcasts will focus on last year’s memorable World Series run, so be sure to tune in!