Nationals to Host Home Opener on Thursday

The Washington Nationals will celebrate Opening Day and the start of the 2016 season on Thursday, April 7 at 4:05 p.m. when the team hosts the Miami Marlins.

Thursday, April 7

OPENING DAY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Emceed by Emmy Award-winning sports broadcaster and CBS News Special Correspondent James Brown, the Opening Day pregame ceremony will include:

· A moment of silence honoring first responders from the Washington metropolitan area who died in the line of duty since January 1, 2015: Officer Jacai Colson; Officer Ashley Guindon; Officer Noah Leotta; Lieutenant Kevin McRae; and Officer Brennan Rabain.

· Ceremonial first pitch thrown by Prince William County Police Officers Jesse Hempen and David McKeown, who were shot and injured in February while responding to a domestic altercation call in Woodbridge, Va.  

· Our nation's colors presented by the Armed Forces Color Guard from the Military District of Washington and Drummers from the United States Navy Band, Washington Navy Yard.

· National Anthem performed by cast members from the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical Jersey Boys.

· Flyover by the 71st Fighter Training Squadron "Ironmen" from Langley Air Force Base.

· Award presentations including the Baseball Writers' Association of America 2015 National League Most Valuable Player Award and 2015 Silver Slugger Award presented to Bryce Harper, as well as a special presentation by District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser.

· Lineup card delivery by the Nationals' 25 Millionth Fan.

· Starting Lineup Tunnel featuring D.C. Little Leaguers from the Nationals Youth Baseball Uniform Program.

· Game ball delivery by General John F. Campbell, United States Army.

· America the Beautiful and God Bless America performed by the United States Army Chorus Quartet.

 
OPENING DAY FAN PROMOTIONS & EVENTS

· To celebrate Opening Day and Anheuser-Busch becoming the new Official Beer Partner of the Washington Nationals, the World Famous Budweiser Clydesdales will be at Nationals Park on Thursday. The Clydesdales will travel around the neighborhood beginning at 2:15 p.m. The procession will begin at First Street and end with the Clydesdales delivering the game ball at Center Field Gate at 2:55 p.m.

· The first 25,000 fans to enter the ballpark through ALL GATES will receive a pair of Nationals sunglasses presented by GEICO.

· The Nationals are set to hit a major milestone on Opening Day when the 25 Millionth Fan will walk through the gates at Nationals Park. This lucky fan will receive a pair of Opening Day tickets for the next 25 years, as well as a special Nationals jersey and jacket, Nats Bucks credit, acknowledgment in-game on Nats HD and a visit to the Ownership Box.

· The United States Army Band Downrange will perform in Center Field Plaza.

· The Family Picnic Area will feature caricature artists, face painters and a balloon artist.

· White Ford Bronco will perform at the Budweiser Terrace.

· George Mason Green Machine and Drumline will perform on the timeline walk outside Home Plate Gate.

TICKETS

Fans can still obtain advance tickets for Opening Day by purchasing a NATS PLUS Membership at nationals.com/natsplus. Standing Room Only tickets are extremely limited and will intermittently be made available for $55 at nationals.com/tickets. Only four Standing Room Only tickets may be purchased per customer. In addition, a limited number of traditional seats will be available beginning at 10:00 a.m. and approximately 400 Grandstand seats will be available for $15 at the Main Box Office starting at 1:30 p.m. on the day of the game. Only one ticket per customer for Grandstand Seating is allowed and the customer must be present at the time of purchase.

GETTING TO THE BALLPARK

Parking options for Nationals fans start at $20 and are available online at nationals.com/parking. Fans are encouraged to purchase parking in advance to ensure a space in their desired zone.

Other transportation options include:

· Metro - Nationals Park is located at the Navy Yard-Ballpark station (Half Street exit) on Metro's Green Line and is also accessible by the Capitol South station on Metro's Blue and Orange Lines

· Metrobus - Six Metrobus routes serve stops near the ballpark

· DC Circulator Bus - Runs every 10 minutes from Union Station to the ballpark

· Potomac Riverboat Company - Guests traveling from Alexandria, Va., can take the water taxi service which departs approximately one hour prior to the first pitch

· Fans are also encouraged to use the bicycle valet (located in Garage C at the corner of First and N Streets SE) and bike racks around the ballpark

Visit nationals.com/waytogo for information on parking and additional routes to Nationals Park. To receive up-to-date WMATA service notifications on a mobile device, fans are encouraged to register for Alert DC at http://hsema.dc.gov/page/alertdc.

Fans traveling to the ballpark should be aware that there are numerous new construction projects underway in the surrounding area. To ensure safe crossings, please be mindful of signage and directions given by public safety officers.

BALLPARK SAFETY

As part of Major League Baseball's ongoing safety enhancements at all ballparks, Nationals Park introduced walk-through metal detectors before the 2015 season. These safety precautions will continue throughout the 2016 season. The Nationals have added metal detectors at all entrances, including Third Base, as well as the ADA First Base Accessible entrance. Fans are encouraged to allow plenty of extra time when getting to their seats.

In order to enhance fan safety, the Washington Nationals extended the on-field netting to the outer ends of both dugouts for the 2016 season. In December, Major League Baseball released new guidelines regarding field netting. An internal review of those guidelines led the organization to conclude that expanding the field netting is the best approach to enhance fan safety.

The Nationals will have one enclosed area at First Base Gate for fans and guests to smoke, down from two areas in previous years. To re-enter the ballpark, guests must now be re-screened through metal detectors and show their valid ticket.

For game tickets and more information, call 202.675.NATS(6287) or visit nationals.com/tickets.

Please note: In the event the April 7 game is postponed due to weather, all Opening Day tickets will be honored for the rescheduled game.