The Washington Nationals will celebrate Opening Day and their first home game of the 2018 season on Thursday, April 5 at 1:05 p.m. when the team hosts the New York Mets.
The Nationals want all fans to enjoy the entirety of the Opening Day experience, and are encouraging fans to plan ahead and come to the ballpark early. Fans are encouraged to enter the ballpark through the gate closest to their seating area to avoid congestion at the Center Field Gate. ALL GATES will open at 11:00 a.m.
THURSDAY, APRIL 5
OPENING DAY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
The Opening Day pregame ceremony will include:
· Ceremonial first pitch thrown by Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and Great Mills High School, where Gaskill heroically brought the March 20 active shooter incident to a quick end
· Our nation’s colors presented by the U.S. Armed Forces Color Guard from the Military District of Washington and Drummers from the U.S. Navy Band, Washington Navy Yard
· National Anthem performed by the U.S. Army Chorus Quartet
· Flyover by the VFA-32 Swordsmen from Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Va., in F/18 Super Hornet Jets
· Lineup card delivery by Maame Biney, the Olympic short track speedskater who competed in the 500m and 1500m events at the 2018 PyeongChang Games and was raised in Reston, Va., and Noah Grove, a Frederick, Md., native and gold medalist in sled hockey at the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang
· Play Ball! announced by The Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia, joined by Parker Curry
· God Bless America performed by Sophia Nadder
· Award presentations including the Baseball Writers’ Association of America 2017 National League Cy Young Award presented to RHP Max Scherzer, the 2017 Silver Slugger Award presented to 2B Daniel Murphy, and the 2017 Players Choice Award for NL Comeback Player of the Year presented to 1B Ryan Zimmerman
*If you are interested in covering the Opening Day pregame ceremony, you MUST contact Chris Browne at Christopher.Browne@nationals.com by Wednesday, April 4 at 2 p.m.*
OPENING DAY FAN PROMOTIONS & EVENTS
· The first 25,000 fans to enter the ballpark through ALL GATES will receive a 2018 Schedule T-shirt presented by GEICO.
· DJ Flexx will perform in Center Field Plaza from the time gates open until a half hour prior to first pitch.
· Jeff From Accounting will perform at the Budweiser Terrace from the time gates open until a half hour prior to first pitch.
· DJ Stylus Chris will perform at the First Base Gate from the time gates open until a half hour prior to first pitch.
· Nationals Park Organist Matthew Van Hoose will perform from the NatMobile on the timeline walk outside Home Plate Gate, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
· The Family Picnic Area will feature caricature artists, face painters, and balloon twisters from the time gates open until 1:30 p.m.
· Coca-Cola will provide complimentary samples as fans exit the ballpark through the Center Field Gate, while supplies last.
Fans can still obtain advance tickets for Opening Day by purchasing a NATS PLUS Membership at nationals.com/NatsPlus. Individual tickets are extremely limited. Additional tickets may be released up until game time, and fans are encouraged to check nationals.com/Tickets for availability. In addition, a limited number of Grandstand seats will be available for $15 at the Main Box Office starting at 11:00 a.m. on the day of the game. Only one ticket per customer for Grandstand Seating is allowed and the customer must be present at the time of purchase.
CURLY W LIVE
Want to listen to exclusive podcasts, and see more photos, videos, and fun features about your favorite Nationals players? Want to learn more about what is happening at Nationals Park and what the team is doing in the community? Nationals fans are encouraged to check out Curly W Live, the official blog of the Washington Nationals, by visiting curlyw.mlblogs.com. Be sure to create a Medium account and follow Curly W Live in order to receive notifications when new content is published!
GETTING TO THE BALLPARK
Parking options for Nationals fans start at $20 and are available online at nationals.com/Parking. Fans are encouraged to purchase parking in advance to ensure a space in their desired zone.
Fans using Metro to travel to or from Nationals Park are encouraged to review the Metro schedule at wmata.com/schedules.
Fans should also consider alternate forms of travel to and from the ballpark, including the D.C. Circulator from Union Station, biking to the ballpark, or the baseball boat from Alexandria. Visit nationals.com/WayToGo for information on parking and transportation options to Nationals Park. To receive up-to-date WMATA service notifications on a mobile device, fans are encouraged to register for Alert DC at http://hsema.dc.gov/page/alertdc.
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.
Nationals Park is a completely non-smoking and tobacco-free facility per District of Columbia law. There is no exception for electronic cigarettes or any other type of smoking device, or for smokeless tobacco or any other type of tobacco product.
MLB and the Nationals require that all people entering Nationals Park walk through a metal detector or be screened with handheld metal detectors to search for prohibited items. This includes a thorough inspection of all jackets, coats, packages, bags, backpacks, purses, and any other containers brought to any of the Nationals Park entry gates.
For game tickets and more information, call 202.675.NATS(6287) or visit nationals.com/Tickets.