Full Disclosure: I haven’t been to Nationals Park since Game 5 of the 2019 World Series, October 27th of that year — or— that’s not accurate, actually, it’s been since Winterfest that year, which was held in the ballpark. With parks empty for most of 2020’s COVID campaign and the continuing threat from the pandemic driving most interaction with the media online the last two years, we haven’t been able to justify the expense of traveling to cover the team in person when so much is done online (and since there’s no budget, per se, for travel and covering games in person), but unless Nationals Park has taken a serious turn for the worse in the time since our last trip, we have a hard time agreeing with where the club’s home ended up, as No. 7 on the Moneywise list of the worst ballparks in the majors. Seventh-worst?
Here’s what the Moneywise folks who put the list together had to say about Nationals Park (with apologies for rewarding people for making slideshow/lists):
“The Nationals got a new home in 2008, but the rather sterile stadium — meant to resemble a national monument — lacks character. When the park opened, you could see the U.S. Capitol from most seats, but new development has blocked those views.
“The food can seem average, and fans should brace for long lines at security and the concessions.
“On Yelp, some reviewers complain about bored, disinterested fans on business outings who chatter away during the games and ruin the experience for others.”
So, yes, we all have complained or heard others complain about the parking lots blocking the view of the Capitol from some (but not all) seats, and the “sterile” and “lacks character” complaints are familiar, as is the talk of the corporate/political visitors to the park lacking the enthusiasm of your average fan, so nothing particularly new here, and, surprisingly, there’s no mention of fans leaving early to catch the last Metro trains home, so that’s a positive I guess.
And maybe it’s that our last experience at the park was for World Series games, where, aside from the outcome, it was a great experience of a full, engaged fan base cheering on the club, and the fact that we’re often in the press box, as opposed to the stands which is playing a role in our disagreeing with their ranking of Nationals Park as the 7th worst ballpark in the majors, but what do you think?
The only parks worse than Nationals Park on the list: 6. Angels Stadium; 5. Marlins Park; 4. Chase Field; 3. Guaranteed Rate Field; 2. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum; 1. Tropicana Field.
For the record, we’ve/I’ve only been to Nationals Park, OPACY, Fenway, Citi Field, and Yankee Stadium, as a fan and a media member/reporter in those cases, as well as Stade Olympique in Montreal back in the Expos days, so it’s hard to really judge how Nats Park compares to all of the other big league ballparks, but what do you make of the rankings?
Also, can you tell we’re bored with no signings or rumors and desperate for content? Sorry. We’ll try harder tomorrow…
[ed. note - “Do us a favor? Don’t tell Patrick that the worst stadium list is from this past July and somehow ended up back in our (and others’) Twitter feed(s) this past weekend. He was just so happy to have something to write about and we didn’t have the heart to tell him, thanks.”]