List of all Event Photo Galleries
| Nationals Park Information and Photos
Opening Night at Nationals Park - Before the Game
March 29, 2008
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.
Crowds exiting the new expanded west entrance of the Navy Yard subway station...
... Were greeted with a festive atmosphere (and some protestors).
A band playing Dixieland jazz escorted fans to the ballpark.
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.
Around the Corner at the Left Field Gate on South Capitol Street, lines were shorter, but not short.
The teeming Center Field Plaza.
A close-up of the crush of fans checking out the Red Loft.
Another view of the masses on the Center Field Plaza and in the Red Loft, and waiting outside the gates at Half and N.
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.
Fans taking the advice to check out the views of the Anacostia River from the Potomac Avenue viewing platform.
The presidential motorcade arriving on Potomac Avenue, and the crowd of fans being held until the commander in chief made it inside the stadium.
Once the president passed, some fans made a break for it....
... While others remained in the line for the Right Field Gate.
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.
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.
The field as seen from section 315, about 30 minutes before the start of festivities.
A Presidents Club-level view of the diamond.
The massive scoreboard gave the bird's-eye view of the two huge American flags that weren't quite so visible from ground level.
By 7:55, the stadium was a sea of red along the third base line.
The Atlanta Braces face the two American flags while the Nationals starting lineup is introduced.
The packed right-field stands.
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.
The singing of the National Anthem, though you can't see Denyce Graves.
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.
The rockets' red glare.
President Bush leaving the field with Manny Acta after throwing out the first pitch.
And then I watched the game, with camera safely stowed. F for effort, but A for enjoyment.