New in Nationals Park: easier entry, hot chicken and a bookmaker game

Fans of the Washington Nationals have bought new team jerseys inspired by cherry blossoms, and cute stuffed sloths, but there’s another accessory they may want to find before heading to the football field this season: a clear plastic bag.

This season, Nationals has a new, optimized entry system, replacing previous airport-style magnetometers with what is called the CEIA Opengate. Fans walk between the two pillars, holding cell phones, keys and other items in their pockets, says Scott Fir, vice president of the public safety team, and go straight to the turnstiles without stopping.

“With this technology, we don’t expect queues outside our stadium except before the gates open,” says Fear. “Once the gates open, we expect people to go through one file. The queues will dissipate, and everyone will be much faster. “

During a media preview on Wednesday morning, journalists with pockets full of personal belongings were able to walk through the gates at a normal and fast pace without causing any announcements. Anyone who activates an alarm will be directed to a table for further review.

The disadvantage of faster access is that there will be no designated search lines for bags other than families and people who carry bags for medical reasons. All packages larger than a clutch – five inches wide, seven inches long, three-quarters of an inch deep – should be made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC, such as a clear bag or freezer bag of one gallon. Fear notes that other stadiums in the region, such as FedEx Field and Oriole Park in Camden Yards, have similar requirements. Outdoor food is still welcome as long as it is carried in your hands or in an acceptable bag. Fans who come to the park after work can rent a locker outside the right field or a home gate to hide briefcases or laptop bags.

Once in the park, the most impressive addition is one that only a select number of fans can see: the FIS Champions Club, renamed after the “payment technology partner”, has been transformed into a mini-museum of national teams. The six large glass showcases around the 2019 World Series trophy include the jerseys and caps worn in the game, as well as a plush shark in honor of the team’s incredible run. Another series of incidents around two club-level bars are holding displays dedicated to Ryan Zimmerman, including a bat and ball from its release in 2008 on opening day; Bryce Harper Trophies; and game balls from various non-strikers. Furniture and lighting have also been modernized, caramel-colored soft club chairs have appeared.

FIS Club is also home to the most notable food and beverage of the football field: Duke’s Grocery, a bar with an English accent, known for its massive burgers and soaked truffles of poppy and cheese, takes over the grill.

As for concessions, the turnover is not so great: “Fuku” by David Chang – the only restaurant that will not return this year, and the busiest new option – Roaming Rooster, which began taking hot chicken sandwiches in Nashville from a food truck, and now has restaurants all over the area. (This is in Chapter 238.) Instead, there are notable small changes: South Mountain Creamery of Frederick County has replaced Breyers and will offer disposable containers of five or six varieties of ice cream. The Nationals have teamed up with local cocktail company Pratt Standard to create a cherry blossom drink served with vodka or in a delicious non-alcoholic form – in designated bars. For craft beer lovers, there are still 13 District Drafts carts pouring local brews, and Other Half, Solace and City-State breweries have been added to the rotation.

This season, Nationals Park is back running out of cash, and food and drinks can be pre-ordered through the MLB Ballpark app. (Lovers who have cash can exchange them for “Nats Bucks” at certain locations.) New app: Buy items at the team store before the fourth inning and they will be delivered to your location.

The schedule includes five gifts, starting with Stephen Strasbourg’s MVP World Series edition on Friday. In addition to the Star Wars nights (opened by the cool Juan Solo, July 16) and Marvel (“Unrestrained” by Josh Bell, June 11), this season debuts DC Comics Night with Wonder Woman Bean (August 26). Other themed evenings include an intern’s night on July 14; return July 30 Kata-Urdai, no cats available; and evenings dedicated to the Filipino heritage (August 27) and the Italian heritage (September 27).

For families, there are two notable additions: one Sunday a month from May to August is marked by a summer reading event, and Nationals players Sean Doolittle and Bell read to young fans, as well as book-sponsored events sponsored by groups including Smithsonian and Library Congress. In addition, raffles designed for fans under 12 and younger, such as Juan Soto’s jersey (April 23-24) and hats (July 2-3), will be split into two weekends instead of one game. The kids are still running around the bases after every Sunday game.

Finally, one of the most notable additions this year is not really in the center: the betting base BetMGM, a bar with more than 40 TVs and 17 kiosks and six windows where customers can bet, is near the central gate, in the old space of social events Center Field. There is no direct access to the book from the ticket zones of the National Park, so this is a place where you can gather before or after the games. And the BetMGM app runs in the stadium when fans want to place bets from their seats.

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