Get ready, Southeast and Buzzard Point: the fans are coming back.
Well, some of them, anyway. On Tuesday, the Washington Nationals announced that up to 5,000 founds will be permitted to attend games, beginning with the Opening Day pitch against the New York Mets April 1. DC United will be able to host 2,000 fans in the slightly smaller Audi Field for their first game April 17, also against a New York team, New York FC.
Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced some relaxation of Phase Two COVID restrictions at a Tuesday press conference. Both DC United and the Washington Nationals applied and received approval from the Government of the District of Columbia and their respective leagues.
The number of fans is still relatively low compared to capacity; Nationals Park will allow about 12 percent capacity and Audi Field about ten percent of total possible fan attendance.
In a press release, the Nationals said that “discussions will begin this week with officials from the District about increasing capacity for the second homestand, which begins April 15.”
“We are happy to welcome a limited number of the best fans in baseball back home to Nationals Park on Opening Day,” said Mark D. Lerner, managing principal owner of the Nationals, noting that the team had worked with a team of experts to craft protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of players, coaches, employees and fans. “We look forward to increasing our capacity in the coming weeks,” Lerner added. “We cannot wait to have our fans in the stands again, wearing red and cheering on the Nats, as we begin our quest for another World Championship.”
The Nationals have released further details about ticket availability and sales. DC United has not yet released that information. No word is out yet about when the Washington Wizards and NHL Washington Capitols will resume welcoming fans at Capitol One Arena, which unlike the other two sports facilities is enclosed.
Here’s what we know about Nationals ticketing: Due to the severe capacity limitations, the Nationals will begin by offering priority ticket access to NATS PLUS members based on tenure and ticket package size. Single game tickets for the general public will be announced at a later date based on availability. All tickets will be delivered digitally through the MLB Ballpark App.
Guests will be able to purchase tickets in pods of 1 to 6 people and suites will be opened at reduced capacities.
The complete list of Nationals Park protocols, along with additional details and frequently asked questions, can be found at nationals.com/WelcomeHome.
The complete 2021 Nationals regular season schedule is available at nationals.com/Schedule.