It’s America’s favorite pastime: baseball! Its devotees are some of the most loyal fans around, and is it really possible to experience America in summertime if you didn’t go to a game? You can tour plenty of stadiums around the country, but let’s get real, touring Nationals Stadium in the Nation’s capital city is the most American thing you can do! Here’s how to get your tour of Nats Stadium next time you’re in D.C., and don’t miss the tour highlights at the end!
Know Before You Go
Here are the answers to the questions we had before we went, along with some good things to know:
- Arrive 10 minutes before your tour.
- Tours are mostly indoors (and air conditioned!) or under covering, so tours will go even when it’s hot or rainy.
- Tours do not have to be reserved in advance, but may sell out.
- There is a $2 service charge per person to reserve online.
- There is a $4 processing fee for all online transactions (not per person).
- You may bring bags into the park for tours.
- Tour departure location depends on day of the week and whether or not there is a game, and your entry location will be listed in your confirmation e-mail.
- Children under 2 do not need a ticket.
Nationals Park strongly recommends taking Metro. Just take the Green Line to the Navy Yard Station. If you prefer to drive, paid parking is available on the street and in parking garages. Prices vary.
Need a quick lesson in Metro?
Check out The Ultimate Guide to the D.C. Metro!
Which Tour Would You Like?
There are multiple types of tours to take, based on whether or not a home game is taking place. Tours do go on game days, but some areas will be off-limits for game day preparations, so I recommend taking a tour on a non-game day to see the most on your tour! Prices range from $15-35 and last anywhere from an hour to two hours.
We chose the Governor Tour on a non-game day for $25 per person. That tour includes:
- Shirley Povich Media Area
- Norfolk Southern Club
- Delta Sky360 Club
- PNC Diamond Club
- Washington Suites
- Visiting Team Clubhouse
- Warning Track
- Team Store Discount
For all the details and to compare your tour options, check out the Nationals Stadium Tour Page.
How to Schedule Your Tour
Step 1: Visit the Nationals Park Tour Page
Here you’ll be able to compare tours and find information about which tour is which and what each tour includes.
Step 2: Select Your Tour Date
Select the green “Buy Tickets” button and use the calendar to select your date. Tour days are indicated in red. Click on the little “T” in the green box to see which tours are available each day.
Step 3: Choose Your Tour
Not all tours are available each day, but the day’s options will be listed on the right side of the page. Just select your tour and the number of tickets you’d like. Prices are listed accordingly.
Step 4: You Have 5 Minutes to Book Your Tour
Click “Continue” and check your selection one more time, then click “Continue” again.
Step 5: Create an Account with MLB.com
If you already have an account, simply sign in. If you do not yet have an account, create one following their simple steps.
6. Enter Your Address and Select a Delivery Option.
You can either have your tickets mailed to you for a fee or print them at home for free.
And then you’re ready for your tour!
Now that you’re ready to book your tour, here’s a sneak peek into what you’ll see on the non-game day Governor’s Tour!
One of the benefits of taking any tour is the behind-the-scenes, limited access places you get to see! And Nats Park offers some of the swankiest sneak peeks around. They have three club levels, each one better than the last, each one with a spectacular view, and each one blessedly air conditioned!
The Delta 360 Sky Club includes photos of every U.S. President to throw out a ceremonial first pitch during his time in office. Every president from Taft to Obama has done it so far (except Jimmy Carter–ask your tour guide why!), but our guide says the best was George H.W. Bush. He was the first one to throw it from the actual pitcher’s mound. Why was he so good at it? He was a start pitcher at Yale!
You know I’m a sucker for history! It’s America’s pastime, after all! I loved hearing all about the history of the Washington Senators, dating from the 1850s. Who are the Washington Senators, you ask? That was Washington, D.C.’s first baseball team. And then of course, there’s the Homestead Grays. They didn’t become the Nationals until 2005! And there were several years when we didn’t have a baseball team at all! They’ve went to three World Series but only won it all in 1924. There’s so much to know about baseball in D.C.!
Okay, so maybe this could go under history, but I also think the players and their history should stand on its own. The Senators and the Grays have boasted some of the greatest ever players in baseball. And you can thank a Senator for the hand signals umpires use today:
William Hoy, a deaf-mute Senator, stole more bases than anyone else in the 1882 National League, but he couldn’t hear the calls from the umpire whether he was safe or out. So they developed hand signals that are still used today! Fun fact: D.C. is also home to Gallaudet University, a school for the deaf. Their baseball stadium is named for Hoy.
Walter Johnson is one of the “first five” inaugural members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and for good reason: he is objectively one of the best pitchers to ever play the game. Many of his records set over 90 years ago are still unbroken! He holds the all-time record for career shutouts: 110! He not only played for the Senators, he also managed the team after he retired. He’s also remembered for his kindness and excellent sportsmanship, which is really the best thing to be remembered for, in my opinion.
Josh Gibson, a player for D.C.’s all black team, the Homestead Grays, was an epic homerun hitter. And if you believe some thing you read, Babe Ruth was called the “Black Josh Gibson” in some baseball circles. It’s thanks to him and his teammate that the Grays were actually a better team than the Senators!
It was super fun to hangout where the players do! Surprisingly, the view of the field is not great, but my view was:
This was the best part! We all got to throw a pitch in the “pen,” where the pitchers warm up during the game! Steve was really good at it, I was just there for the fun!
Are you ready for your Nationals Stadium Tour? Have you been on other stadium tours? Tell me below!
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