Yesterday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that she announced Monday during her weekly news briefing that she is loosening up several COVID restrictions in the District starting March 22, including Sporting Events, which prompted the Washington Nationals to announce that they will be allowing 5,000 fans into the stadium for Opening Day.
The Nationals also announced some new health and safety measures to allow fans back into the stadium, so I figured that I share with you some of the new health and safety guidelines.
According to the Nationals, game tickets to upcoming Nationals games will be sold in “pods” of 1-6 people, and suites will be available at reduced capacities. NATS Plus members will receive priority access based on two factors: tenure of the length of being a season ticket holder and the ticket package size. Regarding Single-game ticket sales will be available in the future. However, there are no plans for single-game tickets available for Opening Day.
For those who want to sell tickets to others, the Nationals are implementing a strict new policy. “Failure to maintain ticket pod integrity by selling, donating, transferring or otherwise providing some portion of a ticket holder’s pod of tickets to another party may result in the forfeiture of the entire ticket pods.”
Also, for Season ticket holders, the Nationals will allow them to carry over any account credits unused from 2021 to the 2022 season.
Entering and Exiting Washington Nationals Park
There is going to be a change to the way that Nationals fans will enter the ballpark. According to the Nationals, fans must enter the ballpark according to the color-coded gate location listed on their tickets. Signs to color-coded gate locations will be outside Nationals Park.
Promotions, Giveaways, and On-field Activities
Don’t worry, Nats fans; the Nationals will still be doing promotions and giveaways at games this season. Giveaways will still be distributed at all gates and will be placed on a “table and will be in a grab-and-go format.”
For those wondering about the quantity of the giveaways, don’t worry, because, at the current capacity, the Nationals will have enough bobbleheads and other items so that “every ticketed guest will be able to receive that day’s promo,” so there will be no need to come early to Nats Park or “crowd” the gates to get that giveaway!
One interesting aspect to think about for the promotion schedule/giveaways, what will happen to those Nationals fans who don’t feel comfortable going to the stadium OR aren’t able to get tickets to those games? Those fans will lose out on the promo item. I think it might be a smart idea to hold all the giveaways until more than most fans can attend games.
Kids run the bases; Signature Sundays, for now, are not going to happen now due to “the proximity to players and staff.”
These new protocols are where fans are going to see the most change. Here are the changes that fans can expect:
- Electronic Payment will be the only form of Payment accepted in the ballpark except for the 50/50 raffle. Guests can use the Ballpark App, contactless Payment (including Apple Pay), a credit card, and eCash at the point of sale Guests with cash only must visit an eCash redemption location to exchange their cash for eCash
- Food & Beverages: Concessions will operate at reduced capacity, and some menus that may not be available; Food will be served fully wrapped and in a closable container; Condiment dispensers for concessions will be touchless throughout the concourse and guests are encouraged to use the Ballpark App to order and pay for food ahead of time, Face coverings may only be lowered while actively eating or drinking while seated in guests’ assigned seating pods.
- Lastly, Single-serving food items may be brought into the ballpark in an approved bag or carried by hand