The Washington Nationals and Bryce Harper are two names that fit together in the world of baseball. As the team that represents all the politicians and denizens of Washington D.C., it carry’s a heavy burden to do well and make the capital city proud. The team has remained competitive over the last few years, in some ways justifying the overall increase in price to watch a Nats game, ranking 8th overall in Major League Baseball. From an administrative perspective, the team has been run well, managing to remain competitive as it financially maneuvers to keep stars like Harper happy with their paychecks. With at least two team stars watching their contracts expire, it will be interesting to see what happens with the price fans will have to pay to watch one Nationals ball game.
Ticket prices are among the highest in the Major Leagues
The average price of two tickets is around $44, which is considerable jump from the 2017 price of an average of $36.59. A closer look behind the numbers over the last dozen years shows that the Nationals increase their prices about once every 4 years. The $5.50 jump is steep, no doubt, but if history is any indicator Nats fans won’t see another one for a few years. If you want to make your Nats game a party, gather together more than a few friends and pay in the range of $6000 to $8000 for a private suite. You can have between 16 and 50 guests, so for about $150 a piece you can have a great view in enclosed comfort. There aren’t any really “bad” seats from which to view the game, but that doesn’t justify the high ranking of the team’s ticket prices, especially when the fail to make the playoffs.
Concessions are painfully expensive
There is a report that the average price for two beers is around $13. But then there is the article from the website federalbaseball.com that shows a single 25 ounce can of draft beer going for $16 – complete with photos. The concession prices at Nats stadium have always been high, so the current hot dog faire at $5.50 a dog really shouldn’t surprise anyone. That brings the total to between $24 and $43 depending on what your personal taste is when it comes to beer. If you want to bring your own food, you have to deal with the stadium restrictions of single-serving bags stored in a soft-sided container or that is less than 16 by 16 by 8 inches in size. That isn’t much storage space, so it’s likely you will opt to bring food and buy your drinks at the ballpark. The reason is you are allowed a single, one liter bottle of water with its factory seal still intact. Not much for a 3 hour game on a warm summer day.
Parking is low because it’s outside of the stadium
Some articles say that it only costs $10 to get a parking space to a Nats game. That is really very good considering everything you will have to pay to get in and have a couple of brews. Unfortunately the reality is much different, at least according to the Washington Nationals website. The lowest price available is $15, and that’s if you feel like walking 15 minutes to the stadium. After this option at 545 S Capitol Street SE, everything is uphill from there. If you can manage to get into 1620 S Capitol Street SE you will only be 2 minutes away from the game for the low price of $20. This is half of the walking distance for another $20 lot spot at 1015 Half Street SE. You can get closer with 2 and 3 minute walks, but their one day parking fees will set you back $40 – $45 a game.
When you step back and consider all your options, it actually seems like corralling 49 friends to pony up $150 each is the best bet to watch a game. You don’t have to go into detailing all the benefits of a private suite to realize that you’re likely to spend a total of $130 just by doing the minimum. Some people like the outdoor venue and prefer to be “where the action is.” But if you are able to get a private suite it is the best dollar-for-dollar value for large groups of people.