Opening Night at Nationals Park - Before the Game / Photo Gallery
March 30, 2008
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I should be sent back to the minors for my lousy coverage of this most momentous night. Nevertheless, here's a few impressions of the first part of the day. But, when the team took the field, and my 4 1/2-year odyssey of watching this stadium be born came to a conclusion of sorts, I put away the damn camera and watched the game.

Looking at the Center Field Gate of Nationals Park from afar, about 3 1/2 hours before gametime, on an unfortunately gray and cold day.
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Crowds exiting the new expanded west entrance of the Navy Yard subway station...
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... Were greeted with a festive atmosphere (and some protestors).
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A band playing Dixieland jazz escorted fans to the ballpark.
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The red carpet was rolled out at Half and N, and by 6:15 the crowd waiting to get in the park was huge, thanks to the need for everyone to pass through magnetometers because of the president's presence.
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Around the Corner at the Left Field Gate on South Capitol Street, lines were shorter, but not short.
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The teeming Center Field Plaza.
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A close-up of the crush of fans checking out the Red Loft.
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Another view of the masses on the Center Field Plaza and in the Red Loft, and waiting outside the gates at Half and N.
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The Right Field Gate at First and Potomac had its own long lines, and with game time only 90 minutes away, it seemed unlikely that everyone would be in their seats by the first pitch.
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Fans taking the advice to check out the views of the Anacostia River from the Potomac Avenue viewing platform.
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The presidential motorcade arriving on Potomac Avenue, and the crowd of fans being held until the commander in chief made it inside the stadium.
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Once the president passed, some fans made a break for it....
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... While others remained in the line for the Right Field Gate.
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Fans walking toward the Home Plate Gate up the Walk of Fame, with National Airport's signature white arched roof at upper left and the tall buildings of Mark Center in Virginia at right-center.
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The crush of fans in the concourses could not always be blamed on service at the concessions--this group was watching the NCAA basketball tournament.
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The field as seen from section 315, about 30 minutes before the start of festivities.
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A Presidents Club-level view of the diamond.
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The massive scoreboard gave the bird's-eye view of the two huge American flags that weren't quite so visible from ground level.
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By 7:55, the stadium was a sea of red along the third base line.
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The Atlanta Braces face the two American flags while the Nationals starting lineup is introduced.
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The packed right-field stands.
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The section 301 view of the pre-game ceremonies. Why I went here instead of Section 314 at this point will remain an eternal mystery.
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The singing of the National Anthem, though you can't see Denyce Graves.
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Amazingly, by 8:10 pm, the vast vast vast majority of fans had made it through security and into their seats, and the Center Field Plaza was showing just a trickle of activity.
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The rockets' red glare.
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President Bush leaving the field with Manny Acta after throwing out the first pitch.
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And then I watched the game, with camera safely stowed. F for effort, but A for enjoyment.
 

Event Galleries:

  • 12/09/14: Groundbreaking for First Phase at Florida Rock/Riverfront
  • 11/03/14: First Look Inside Harris Teeter
  • 09/18/14: First Look Inside VIDA Fitness
  • 06/09/14: Touring the Under-Construction Park Chelsea
  • 06/02/14: First Look Inside Twelve12
  • 03/05/14: Groundbreaking for the Lofts at Capitol Quarter
  • 12/16/13: A Sneak Peek Inside Agua 301
  • 11/11/13: A Smattering of Progress Photos
  • 11/10/13: Inside Bluejacket Brewery at the Boilermaker Shops
  • 05/26/13: Random Photos from a Gorgeous Day
  • 05/26/13: 11th Street Local Bridge/Riverwalk Landing Progress
  • 05/26/13: Freeway Flyover Demolition/Southeast Blvd. Construction
  • 03/28/13: Inside Gordon Biersch
  • 01/27/13: 11th Street Bridges Project Progress Photos
  • 11/16/12: Canal Park Opening Day
  • 11/16/12: Canal Park Opening Day - Speeches and Ice Rink Ribbon Cutting
  • 11/16/12: Canal Park Opening Night
  • 09/14/12: A Trip Around the 11th Street Bridges Project
  • 09/06/12: Boilermaker Shops Interiors
  • 07/30/12: Canal Park Progress Photos from Above and Inside
  • 06/26/12: Inside the Trash Transfer Station: Exteriors
  • 06/26/12: Inside the Trash Transfer Station: Interiors
  • 05/19/12: Changes Along 11th Street SE
  • 04/11/12: Fairgrounds Interior Shots
  • 04/03/12: Fairgrounds Exterior Shots
  • 01/25/12: Foundry Lofts Nearly Finished
  • 01/08/12: Early 2012 11th Street Bridges Project Photos
  • 01/08/12: Random Images From Along and Across the Anacostia River
  • 12/22/11: Lot 38 Espresso Grand Opening (+1 Day)
  • 11/25/11: Yards/Teague Connector Bridge Sunny Day Reshoot
  • 11/22/11: Yards/Teague Connector Bridge Opening
  • 11/01/11: Foundry Lofts Construction Progress
  • 10/10/11: Progress on the New 11th Street Bridges
  • 10/07/11: New Southbound DC 295 Flyover Bridge
  • 04/30/11: A Few Shots Worth Capturing
  • 04/23/11: Little Updates from the Yards Park
  • 02/15/11: Kick-Off to Renovation of 225 Virginia/200 I
  • 10/16/10: Early Fall Late Afternoon at the Yards Park
  • 09/24/10: Nighttime at the Yards Park
  • 09/07/10: Yards Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
  • 08/31/10: Canal Park Groundbreaking Ceremony
  • 08/27/10: Yards Park Near Completion
  • 05/25/10: Yards Park Construction Progress
  • 04/10/10: An Early Spring Boat Cruise on the Anacostia
  • 03/01/10: Yards Park Construction Photos
  • 02/25/10: Trapeze School Pre-Opening
  • 02/07/10: Blizzard of 2010
  • 10/11/09: The Chair on the Fence
  • 09/29/09: Assorted River and Ballpark Photos at the End of the Second Season
  • 08/27/09: Diamond Teague Park and Piers
  • 08/26/09: Capitol Quarter Ribbon Cutting
  • 05/29/09: Artomatic 2009 Kickoff
  • 05/28/09: Groundbreaking for the Park at the Yards
  • 11/15/08: Second Anacostia Waterfront Community Information Fair
  • 10/29/08: Announcement of Public-Private Partnership for the Waterfront Park at The Yards
  • 08/23/08: Anacostia Community Boathouse Youth River Sports Day
  • 03/12/08: Frederick Douglass Bridge Rededication
  • 10/03/07: Groundbreaking at the Yards
  • 10/22/07: Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District Kickoff Ceremony
  • 07/06/07: JPI/Capitol Yards Groundbreaking Ceremony
  • 06/26/07: Capitol Quarter Groundbreaking Ceremony

  • Ballpark Event Photo Galleries:

    2014:

  • 09/28/14: Wandering the Ballpark on the Last Day of the 2014 Regular Season
  • 2012:

  • 04/12/12: Nationals 2012 Home Opener/Opening Ceremonies
  • 04/12/12: 2012 Nationals Home Opener
  • 03/26/12: The *Other* Nats Park (Spring Training 2012)
  • 03/26/12: Nats vs. Astros at Spring Training
  • 2011:

  • 06/14/11: An Evening at Nats Park
  • 06/13/11: First Look at New Nationals Park Concessions
  • 03/31/11: 2011 Opening Day at Nationals Park
  • 03/30/11: 2011 NatsFest
  • 2010:

  • 12/11/10: New Baseball Art on Stadium Garages
  • 09/23/10: A Stan Kasten Photo Gallery
  • 04/05/10: President Obama Throws Out the First Pitch at Nationals Park
  • 04/05/10: Opening Day 2010 at Nationals Park
  • 03/31/10: Pre-Opening Day Ballpark Media Tour
  • 2009:

  • 09/29/09: Assorted River and Ballpark Photos at the End of the Second Season
  • 07/09/09: Preparations for Elton John and Billy Joel
  • 05/15/09: Opening Night at the Bullpen Beer Garden
  • 04/13/09: 2009 Opening Day at Nationals Park
  • 04/03/09: What's New at Nationals Park 2009
  • 02/13/09: Diamond Teague Park Groundbreaking
  • 01/25/09: 2009 NatsFest
  • 2008:

  • 06/05/08: Nighttime at Nationals Park (Outside and Inside)
  • 05/06/08: A Visit to the Nationals Park Infield
  • 05/04/08: Nationals Park in Early May (Including Kids Running the Bases)
  • Scenes from the Inaugural Season at Nationals Park
  • 04/12/08: Washington Nationals Dream Foundation Neighborhood Initiative Announcement
  • 03/30/08: Opening Night at Nationals Park - Before the Game
  • 03/29/08: First Major League Exhibition Game at Nationals Park--Part Three (Around the Ballpark)
  • 03/29/08: First Major League Exhibition Game at Nationals Park--Part Two (Pre-Game Ceremonies)
  • 03/29/08: First Major League Exhibition Game at Nationals Park--Part One (Arrival/Batting Practice)
  • 03/28/08: First Batting Practice at Nationals Park
  • 03/27/08: Nationals First Visit to Completed Nationals Park
  • 03/27/08: Media Tour--Strike Zone and Concession Photos
  • 03/27/08: Media Tour--Interior Photos
  • 03/22/08: First Ballgame at Nationals Park (GW vs. St. Joseph's) - Part Two
  • 03/22/08: First Ballgame at Nationals Park (GW vs. St. Joseph's) - Part One
  • 03/19/08: Nighttime Visit to the Ballpark
  • 03/19/08: Stan Kasten Rides the Metro to Nationals Park
  • 03/06/08: Nationals Ballpark Cherry Blossom Tree Planting
  • 03/04/08: Nationals Ballpark Home Plate Installation and Video Board Unveiling
  • 2007:

  • 11/13/07: Nationals Ballpark Construction Media Tour - Unveiling of the Turf
  • 09/01/07: A Visit to Nationals Park
  • 07/11/07: Nationals Ballpark Topping Out
  • 03/26/07: Nationals Ballpark Construction Media Tour
  • 2006:

  • 10/11/06: Nationals Ballpark Construction Media Tour
  • 05/04/06: Nationals Ballpark Ceremonial Groundbreaking



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