It's been 166 days since the Nats' crushing game five loss to the Chicago Cubs to end the 2017 playoff run. But it's 2018 and all of that is behind us, as we are now less than two weeks away from opening day. We're born again, there's new grass on the field (literally) and the Nats will take to that field for the first time tonight for an exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins.
But before we start delving into baseball politics, and fretting over the fate of Mr. Harper after this season, let's talk about what to expect at the park this year, as you may notice several changes on your first visit. Keep reading for a taste of what's new at the park for 2018, as well as a few promotional nights we think you may want to mark your calendars for!
Food and Drink
- Knotted Up: Sections 130 and 315; Offering Phhiladelphia-style soft pretzels with gourmet dipping sauces (pub cheese, chipotle honey mustard and cinnamon brown sugar cream cheese)
- Street Skewers: Section 113; Serving street food favorites from around the world including shish kebab-style snacks from Greece, Thailand, China and Mexico (on a rotating basis starting with Greece)
- Old Hickory BBQ: Section 301 and in Norfolk Southern Club; Serving pulled pork sandwiches, BBQ brisket sandwiches, pulled pork nachos, hot links and pork rinds. The outpost in section 301 will be new this year and replaces Mike Isabella's Kapnos at the Park. Change-Up Chicken (which was already in the park in a different location) will replace Isabella's Catchfly. G will also be replaced but the replacement has not yet been decided.
- Italian Outpost: Section 301; Serving Italian sandwiches such as meatball sub and Italian hot beef dip.
- Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs/Encore Sausage Company: All hot dogs will be supplied by Nathan's while all sausages will be supplied by Encore (located in Hyattsville, MD)
- District Coolers: Section 108; Serving adult juice boxes, including Raspberry Gin Rickey, Pineapple Tequila Cooler, Blueberry Mojito, Electric Lemonade and Black Cherry Sling
- District of Cocktails: Sections 112 and 135; Offering cocktails made from D.C. spirits from four local distilleries: District Distilling Co., Republic Restoratives, New Columbia Distillers and One Eight Distilling. Drinks will include the Nats Cho Libre, Curly W Tonic, The Ground Mule Double and Spring Training Rickey.
- Devils Backbone Bar: Section 240; Last year the company introduced the Earned Run Ale made specifically for the Nats and this year they will have an entire bar featuring a variety of DB beers. The ERA will also be sold in select stores around the DMV this year.
- Compass Coffee: Sections 142 and 216; Offering Nitro Cold Brew Coffee
For the Kids
- Renovated Kids Play Area: Located in the previous location near Right Field Gate, the play area has been expanded to and targeted for children under five years old. It includes two toddler slides, climbing structures and increased seating for parents. The old structure remains in place for older children.
- Virtual Reality Home Run Derby: Next to the play area near Right Field Gate; Kids can try a VR headset and swing for the virtual fences in a mock home run derby contest ($5).
- Photo Booths: Several photo booths have been added throughout the stadium that will print out keepsakes with either the Nats logo or dueling logos of the Nats and the opposing team. Located inside the team store and several locations throughout the stadium.
- Penny Press: Located near the main team store; Machine will dispense pennies with the 2018 All-Star Game logo, Nats logo, Nats Park imagery or Bryce Harper's face.
- 2018 All-Star Game Store: Section 140; Exclusively providing All-Star Game apparel and collectibles in advance of the 2018 All-Star Game being played at Nats Park on July 17.
- Jersey Conveyor Belt: Section 113; Fans can choose a jersey straight off the conveyor rack or they can create a customized jersey on site.
- Authentics Program: Fans can purchase autographed (caps, baseballs, baseball cards etc.) and game-used memorabilia (think used stadium seats) from the authentics kiosk (section 113) or online.
- Under Armour hats are available at the main team store for the first time.
- An expanded variety of Mitchell and Ness Cooperstown Senators apparel has been added to the team store, along with more Columbia and Johnnie-0 apparel
- A motorized Nats cooler can be purchased for $500 and shipped for free to your house.
Pups in the Park (proceeds from dog tickets benefit Humane Rescue Alliance)
- Sunday, April 8
- Sunday, April 29
- Saturday, May 19
- Saturday, June 23
- Friday, September 7
- Tuesday, September 25
Bobblehead Nights 2018 (first 25,000 fans receive)
- Sean Doolittle Bobblehead: Friday, April 13
- Max Scherzer Bobblehead: Friday, May 4
- Ryan Zimmerman Bobblehead: Friday, June 8
- Bryce Harper Bobblehead: Friday, July 6
- Anthony Rendon Bobblehead: Friday, August 3 (his first bobblehead night)
- STAR WARS™ Day: Saturday, May 5
- Game of Thrones Night: Saturday, August 18
- Oktoberfest: Friday, September 21
Decade Nights (with live band and DJs throughout the park)
- ’60s Night: Saturday, May 19
- ’70s Night: Saturday, June 23
- ’80s Night: Saturday, July 21
- ’90s Night: Thursday, August 2
- 2000s Night: Saturday, September 1
College Day Series (Three new schools added)
- Virginia Commonwealth University: Friday, May 18
- University of Maryland – Thursday, June 21
- University of Virginia – Saturday, June 23
- Georgetown University – Sunday, June 24
- James Madison University – Saturday, July 21
- Virginia Tech – Friday, August 3
- College of William & Mary – Tuesday, August 7
- George Washington University – Thursday, September 6
- George Mason University – Friday, September 7
- Howard University – Tuesday, September 25
Yoga in the Outfield
- Sunday, June 10
- Sunday, August 19
Giveaways for Kids (first 10,000 fans under 12 receive)
- Fidget Spinner: Sunday, April 29
- Superhero Cape: Sunday, May 20
- Max Scherzer Eye Patch: Sunday, June 24
- Batting Helmet: Sunday, July 22
- Night Light: Sunday, August 19
- Pajama Set: Sunday, September 2
You can see the full 2018 promotions calendar here