So far this season I've attended games at a wide array of times: Sometimes I'll make it to my seat at the last minute, sometimes arriving a tad late, and once -- on a Friday -- showing up almost two hours early (the Nerd Alert in me thought that everyone would be as excited as I was to score a free Curly-Dubs visor. Apparently, that was not the case and my cautionary planning was a little overdone). That day's early arrival allowed me and my friend to see what Nats Park had to offer in terms of pre-game amusements.
My only complaint? No standing-height tables/surfaces on which to put those beers, fries, halfsmokes, and Build-A-Bears.
Just kidding about the Build-A-Bears (although we did check out that toy store and were appalled that a pair of Bear-sized undies cost more than our own...um...bloomers).
Anywayz, yeah...no standing-height tables. We survived awhile at the upper level of the Red Porch before it became too crowded and then ventured around trying to find another place to chill before going to our seats. Speaking of which, I know we could have just gone there from the get-go, but even though I love my perch in Section 321, I don't think I can be there for more time than the baseball game itself. It turned out that we really couldn't find anywhere else to hang out that was food- and drink-friendly; at one point I was eating out of my Boardwalk Fries cup like it was a trough. And I was still sober at that point, so that's saying a lot.
I know they don't want people crowding and/or blocking the main pavilion, but they already defeated that goal by putting Boardwalk, Hard Times, and Ben's all in one area and people are going to congregate there anyway (which they were doing en masse). So they could provide a great convenience if they sprinkled - throughout that open area and the rest of the park - sets of bar-height tables. Maybe not the pointless small round ones (which one person could end up hogging all to him/herself), but a few 10-footers here and there would be very helpful so if you have to re-Ketchup (catsup?) your fries, you can do so without having to set things on the ground or trying to balance them on awkward body parts.
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