City Desk

One Tradition Lost At Nationals Park


So very few people bother drive to the new Nationals Park. While researching my story on all those empty lots, I noticed one tradition that has been left behind: the tailgate party.

If Nats fans did park their cars in the lots, they didn't stick around. One patron simply sat in his air conditioned SUV until first pitch. One family stood by their car drinking. Two other dudes quickly slurped big cans of cheap beer before walking to the stadium. One ended up pouring most of his beer out in a trash can at the lot's entrance.

I saw no mini grills. No hot dogs and burgers. No cases of Bud. And no lawn chairs. I suspect this is due to the fact that the lots are really lonely places and aren't sprawl-y enough for any pre-game festivities. The one lot where you could get away with a tailgate is lot HH–but that's located underneath a freeway. There are probably rules against firing up a grill underneath the on-ramp to 395.

Has anyone tried to tailgate at the new ballpark?

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  • James

    Someone please help me find a place to tailgate in DC!

    I am an avid Phillies fan and since both teams are in the NL East, I can come to Nationals Park frequently. The only problem is that there is a significant difference between the festivities in Philly when compared to DC.

    Going to a game in DC is dreadfully boring. They have created no pre-game atmosphere whatsoever. There are next to no parking lots and the ones they do have cost $25. When I attempted to drink by my car on the side of the street a passerby informed me that I would be arrested on site if a cop came down the street.

    And the Nationals front office wonders why their ballpark is empty night after night? If I can see the problem why can't they?

  • kay

    I recently parked at the new economy parking and although it is very somber underneath 395 expressway you can tailgate! We had a grill and a few drinks. No one bothered us! This article is right on! There were a few Philly and Nats fans but the tailgating was minimal and we were the only ones grilling! It so big you can spread out. I guess thinking about it, it wasnt so bad because it was heavily shaded...