The Washington Nationals will celebrate Opening Day and their first home game of the 2021 season on Thursday, April 1 when the team hosts the New York Mets. The game will be aired exclusively on ESPN, with first pitch scheduled for 7:09 p.m. ET. The game will also be broadcasted on 106.7 The Fan FM.
In accordance with CDC recommendations and MLB protocols, the Nationals will implement appropriate social distancing and safety measures that will allow Nationals Park to host 5,000 fans on Opening Day. Discussions have already begun with officials from the District about increasing capacity for the second homestand, which begins April 15.
Tickets for all Nationals home games in April are sold out at the current limited capacity. If capacity numbers increase and tickets become available, the Nationals will announce how fans will be able to purchase those tickets. For more information, please visit nationals.com/Tickets2021.
The Nationals want fans to enjoy the entirety of the Opening Day experience, and are encouraging fans to plan ahead and familiarize themselves with the new health and safety protocols in place at the ballpark. All fans attending games this year should review the information available at nationals.com/WelcomeHome and download the MLB Ballpark App before heading to Nationals Park.
Throughout the season, ALL Nationals Park gates will open two hours prior to first pitch (5:00 p.m. on Opening Day). Fans must enter the color-designated gate that corresponds with their ticket. Those who require an ADA compatible entrance may enter through the closest available ADA compliant gate, regardless if it does not match the gate assignment on their ticket.
All fans attending games at Nationals Park during Opening Week are encouraged to wear red to show their support as the team begins their 2021 season.
THURSDAY, APRIL 1
OPENING DAY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
The 2021 Opening Day pregame ceremony will include:
- A pregame moment of silence to remember and honor the lives lost due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- A previously recorded performance of America the Beautiful by The United States Navy Band.
- Our nation’s colors presented by The United States Capitol Police Ceremonial Unit.
- National Anthem performed by Sergeant Major (ret) Bob McDonald, United States Army Chorus.
- Flyover by the 113th Wing, Capital Guardians, from the D.C. Air National Guard, in F-16 Jets.
- Award presentation for the 2020 National League Batting Title, Silver Slugger Award and Silver Bat Award presented to OF Juan Soto.
- Instead of a traditional “First Pitch,” the Nationals will honor our World Series champion fans and the 2019 World Series Championship team by highlighting the signage around the ballpark (more info below) and re-raising the World Series Champions flag in Center Field Plaza.
- Play Ball! announced by Washington Nationals Manager Dave Martinez.
- God Bless America performed by D.C. Washington.
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.
- Throughout the first two homestands of the season, the Washington Nationals will host various groups of dedicated frontline workers who have been essential throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of the first inning, the Nationals will take a moment to recognize the honorary group on the Nationals Park scoreboard.
- For the Opening Day game against the New York Mets, the Nationals will host healthcare heroes and their guests from Inova Health System.
- Other honorees include:
- § Saturday, April 3 - Healthcare heroes and their guests from Inova Health System
- § Sunday, April 4 - Educators from DC Public Schools
- § Monday, April 5 - First responders from DC Fire and EMS
- § Tuesday, April 6 - Grocery store workers from Harris Teeter Store #383
- § Wednesday, April 7 - Transportation workers from WMATA
World Series Ballpark Signage
- On Opening Day last year, the Nationals unveiled a large 2019 World Series Champions sign, located on the field-facing side of the Budweiser Brew House in center field.
o The aluminum sign is 14’9.5” tall and 11’5.5” wide.
- Also on Opening Day 2020, the Nationals hoisted a new 2019 World Series Champions pennant, joining the 1924 World Champions pennant and 1925 and 1933 American League pennants that fly above the Nationals Park scoreboard.
SATURDAY, APRIL 3 AND SUNDAY, APRIL 4
- Every fan in attendance will receive a Davey Martinez World Series Bobblehead presented by GEICO for both weekend games of the Opening Series against the New York Mets.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7
- In the series finale against the Atlanta Braves, every fan in attendance will receive an In Park-Live Radio Lanyard presented by 106.7 The Fan.
NEW HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS AT NATIONALS PARK
- Guests will sit in pods of 1-6 people and suites will be opened at reduced capacities.
- Face coverings that cover both the nose and mouth are required at the ballpark at all times for fans two years of age or older. Face coverings should only be removed to eat or drink while in your seat.
- No bags will be permitted inside Nationals Park, with the exception of medically necessary bags, diaper bags, and clutch purses no larger than 5” x 7” x 3/4”. Binbox lockers will be available outside Right Field
Gate and Home Plate Gate for fans to store unapproved bags outside the ballpark.
- The Nationals will not be offering hard tickets for the 2021 season. All tickets purchased through nationals.com will be digitally delivered through the MLB Ballpark App. Tickets purchased within the App will be color-coded to direct fans to the entrance gate corresponding with their seating section.
- No cash will be accepted for food or beverage purchases, parking, or at team store locations. There are several contactless options for ordering food using the MLB Ballpark App.
- Hundreds of hand sanitizer stations have been installed throughout the ballpark, and concession stands also have new closeable containers for food items and touchless condiment stations.
- Nationals Park cleaning partners have enhanced the cleaning of all indoor and outdoor spaces and the
Nationals have installed new MERV-13 air filters within indoor spaces, as well as Plexiglas and other suitable dividers in areas where significant face-to-face interaction occurs.
- 5050 Raffle
- For the 2021 season, the 5050 Raffle will return to the ballpark.
- Beginning Opening Day, fans can use both cash and debit cards to purchase raffle tickets in stadium from one of five kiosks and raffle sellers.
- Nationals guests wishing to display general welcome, birthday, or anniversary messages or cheer on the team on the NatsHD scoreboard may do so again this season by making a $100 donation to the Washington Nationals charitable foundation, Washington Nationals Philanthropies, at least 24 hours prior to the start of the game they wish to have their message appear.
- Scoreboard messages will be displayed during the middle of the fifth inning.
- Guests interested in ordering a scoreboard message must visit nationals.com/scoreboard to place their order.
- To learn more about the community outreach and fundraising initiatives of Nationals Philanthropies, fans can visit nats4good.org.
GETTING TO THE BALLPARK
Parking options for Nationals fans are available online at nationals.com/Parking. All Washington Nationals parking lots are now cashless, and will only accept credit card payment at this time. Fans are encouraged to purchase parking in advance to ensure a space in their desired zone.
Fans traveling to the ballpark should be aware that there are construction projects underway in the surrounding area. To ensure safe crossings, please be mindful of signage and directions given by public safety officers.
The Nationals will continue to follow the best practices and precautions recommended by public health experts. All 2021 access, benefits, promotions, seating locations, and events (including, without limitation, location, dates, and times) are subject to change without notice based on the ongoing developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.