Gameday Seats

Rachel Gibson

Have you tried the $5 gameday seats yet? I hadn't until Memorial Day, and now I love them. They're cheap and easy, but I found a couple more redeeming qualities in case you're still on the fence.

First, if you arrive early enough you can get front row seats, which are harder to get in the other sections. With only a clear glass barrier between you and the rest of the ballpark, they offer a unique sensation. But views are still great even if you're not in the first row. I love that you can see the river and the field at the same time.

Speaking of views, at that height and angle I may not have been able to see the players' faces, but Dmitri's controversial home run was plain as day. It wasn't until I saw video from a much lower angle that I even understood what the controversy was.

Another advantage: shade. Memorial Day was pretty toasty, but we only sat in the sun for about 15 minutes before the shade hit us.

And finally, the breeze up there was divine. In April, the "breeze" in the upper decks was more like an arctic wind, but hopefully on hot, sunny days, the breeze will help keep the temperatures baseball-perfect throughout the summer.

Anyway, the $5 gameday seats seem perfect to me; I'd recommend them to anyone who asks. But I'm curious if anyone's had a bad experience with them.

By Rachel Gibson  |  May 29, 2008; 8:31 AM ET  | Category:  Rachel Gibson , Seating/Sight Lines
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I have been in the $5 seats once. It was great. I plan to do it again and again.

Posted by: Lindemann | May 29, 2008 9:05 AM

I've gotten tickets there twice, including Opening Night. The first night, I had the feeling that those sections could get a little rowdy, but the second time was fine. The second time was on Mother's Day when it starting raining a little during the game. We actually moved up to the top row which was covered so we stayed dry, which was good because Rachel is right about the breeze up there.

Posted by: Sherry | May 29, 2008 9:44 AM

Well if you do not work for park? How early did you get there? I was an hour early and ticket office sold me cheapest available seat at $20. I'm a STD and specifically asked for 401 or 402 $5 and said sold out? "Who are you kidding" Sorry they are gone.

There were hundreds of empty seats when I got in there. Glad you had better luck.

Posted by: $5 seats? | May 29, 2008 11:37 AM

I was there for the May 19 game. Fine seats, a genuine bargain.

Posted by: Vincent | May 29, 2008 11:40 AM

Yea, I guess the downside is that you may have to get there early or you miss out, especially for premium games.

I've heard they start selling the $5 tickets 2 hours before game time but I got mine a little earlier than that (11:15 for a 1:35 start).

But I know for a fact that they didn't sell out on Memorial Day because there were plenty of empty seats, even on the front row. Maybe you just got a very popular game.

Posted by: Rachel | May 29, 2008 11:42 AM

I've only been to the park once and got the $5 seats, for the Sunday Cubs game last month.

I loved 'em and plan on doing those a bit more for those spur o' the moment trips to the park.

Posted by: Pompous Magnus | May 29, 2008 11:45 AM

I am a full-season ticket holder. I like my seats and up until a few weeks ago did not do much exploring of the new park. I arrived very early one evening for one of the Pirates games and took some time checking the place out. When I made my way up to the $5 left field upper deck seats to check it out, all I can say is "Wow!" The city views are amazing! I looked to my left and there was the Capitol. I looked behind me and there was the Washington Monument. Behind the field on the 1B side was the Anacostia River and one of the Navy ships. I admit, the seats are VERY far from the action on the field, but there are no blind spots like in the RF upper deck. I highly recommend for taking in a game on the cheap. Can't imagine a better $5 seat in baseball.

Posted by: Doctor Joe | May 29, 2008 3:17 PM

For Opening Night, they announced a rule that if you bought the $5 seats on game day, you had to go straight into the stadium, apparently to avoid scalping. Does anyone know if that rule still applies? I'd like to drop off a friend to buy the tickets while I go off to park (a 20 minute walk). I wonder if there'd be a problem with that.

In addition to the good views from upstairs, you could probably stand in the Beerpen ($15 ticket savings=2 brews) or sit in the handicapped rows behind another section (assuming a non-hostile usher).

Posted by: Ed Ramras | May 29, 2008 4:16 PM

From the website:

"Day of game purchases ONLY. Purchases can be made at the Nationals Park Box Office after gates have opened. ONE TICKET PER PERSON. Upon purchasing Grandstand seating, fans must immediately enter the ballpark."

Posted by: Annandale Annie | May 29, 2008 5:10 PM

The immediate-entry rule was not enforced when I bought my tickets. Nor was the one ticket per person rule.

Posted by: Lindemann | May 29, 2008 6:54 PM

The immediate-entry rule was not enforced when I went. They did want to see the group of us together for a quick head count (probably because my GF was buying five).

Posted by: Pompous Magnus | May 30, 2008 9:03 AM

Shhhh...!!! Stop giving away the secret about the best NATs seats for the money, period. Truth be told, there are certain seats within sections 401 & 402 which provide a great view and less disruption from mid-game fashion models. You know who they are--the ones who constantly parade up and down the aisles, back and forth through the rows all throughout the game...OOPS! I almost revealed which seats those are. Nope, not gonna tell it. GO NATIONALS!

Posted by: wise one | June 3, 2008 10:35 PM

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