Nationals Park, located in Washington D.C. along the Capital Riverfront, is home to the Washington D.C. Nationals Baseball Team. The first major league stadium in the United States with a Green design, the park opened March 30, 2008 and cost $611 million to build. Along with being accredited as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) structure by the U.S. Green Building Council - achieving "Silver Status'' - the facility offers cutting-edge video and audio technology, including a 5-story 4,500-square-foot high-definition scoreboard and more than 600 linear feet of LED ribbon board along the inner bowl fascia.
Tours of the stadium are offered and last just more than an hour. Guests are taken behind-the-scenes by knowledgeable tour guides who provide an up-close and personal experience. Visitors see the Nationals dugout, the clubhouse, the press box, the luxury suite, the Lexus Presidents Club and other attractions. With many interactive components, such as throwing a pitch into the Nationals bullpen, touching a model of the scoreboard and hitting baseballs at the team's indoor batting cages, there is no time to lose interest along the way. Tours begin at the Center Field Gate and take place on non-game days, rain or shine. Due to the extensive amount of walking required, wheelchairs and strollers are available.
As a LEED facility, the stadium features water-conserving plumbing fixtures, which save an estimated 3.6 million gallons of water each year and reduces consumption by 30 percent. Energy-efficient lighting reduces light pollution and save the baseball field more than 20 percent on its annual bill, compared to non-Green buildings. A minimum of 10 percent of recycled content was used in all building materials, as well as low-VOC content carpet glues, paints and other adhesives.
Landscaping used in and around the ballpark includes drought-resistant greenery, allowing the establishment to forgo an irrigation system, which leads to the further conserve water and cost savings. Roof materials have a high degree of reflectance, reducing the amount of heat released into the environment. Furthermore, roughly 5,500 tons of construction waste was recycled by the stadium builders.
Seating is available for 41,888 spectators and the concourses and seating decks are organized to provide the feeling of communities or neighborhoods, with individual identities and unique views. As fans gather in the stadium, they will use vertical circulation ramps to reach the levels of the facility and will see scenic, panoramic views of the riverfront, the nearby Navy Yard and the surrounding splendor of the city and its landmarks along the way. Because the field is 24 feet below street level and the main concourse is at the same height as the sidewalk, more than half the crowd will walk straight off the street and into their seats without stepping foot on elevators, escalators, ramps or stairs.
Nationals Park is one of the most unique baseball stadiums in the country. The stadium embodies the spirit of baseball and respects the environment of the surrounding area. A trip to Nationals Park is not to be missed, be it for catching a game or touring this award winning Green Building. Guests to Nationals Park are sure not to be disappointed by visiting this amazing place.