"It's a day our whole family dreamed of," Lerner said. "With every fan of baseball watching, we were pleased to deliver something first class to them. I'm very proud."
About 25,000 showed up at Nationals Park to watch the Nationals shut out the Orioles, 3-0. The team was more than victorious on the field, according to team president Stan Kasten, who walked around the stadium, talking to fans and getting their reaction to the new facility.
"The night was great," Kasten said. "I know that because fan after fan kept telling me that. I did not know the game was over until I saw people running on the field. There were no major problems."
There were only minor glitches. The scoreboard needs to be tweaked, especially from a layout standpoint. Audio and more TVs are needed near the concession stands so fans can hear and see the game while away from their seats. And some of the concession lines were too long, especially at Ben's Chili Bowl.
Kasten was planning to have a staff meeting to see what other improvements need to be made at the stadium.
The big test will come on Sunday night, when the Nationals play their first regular-season game, against the Braves.
"We are going to open her up tomorrow night, and it's going to work just fine," said Kasten. "The building works fine. The building looks beautiful."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less