Dear PoPville – No More Tailgating at Nats Park?! WHAT?!

Photo by PoPville flickr user jsmjr

“Dear PoPville,

My friend went to the baseball game yesterday and brought all the goods to tailgate, as he has done for already this season as well as most games for the past 4 years. He was told that tailgating AND BEER was no longer allowed in the parking lot. This is unbelievable! Have you or other readers heard anything about this?! Is it just certain lots that you can’t tailgate in???? Was it an April Fools joke in July?! Please advise…”

45 Comment

  • I’ve never heard of people tailgating baseball…

    • It’s not nearly as big around here as it is in other cities where they really know how to do it up, but I have season tickets and tailgate before just about every game. The money saved by not buying $9 beers inside the ballpark pays for the parking.

    • DC and the Yankees are the only two stadiums I’ve been to where there isn’t active tailgating. Probably due to spacing issues.

  • I was told the same thing on Monday night in Lot W, the $15 lot on M Street across from the Navy Yard. As I was pulling in, the attendant said, “No tailgating.”

  • I think it might be Nats official lots only… I live down here and it seems like most of the tailgating I see is done in the lots owned by The Yards development, not the ones owned by the Nats.

  • Unfortunately, as me and my friends discovered over the 4th of July weekend, you can no longer tailgate (even just drinking/hanging out without a grill) in ANY of the official Nats lots. And the parking staff are very rude about informing you about this, too.

    • Nearly ALL of the Nats staff are incredibly rude (there are a few exceptions though I fear that if I contact the Nats praising them it will get them fired). It makes for an unpleasant experience.

  • The official Nats lots are stupidly overpriced, anyway. If you look around, there are MUCH better and closer lots where you can tailgate, even a few where you can grill, for a lot less money.

  • It sounds like a petty complaint, and I sound like an alcoholic, but seriously. I lived in Germany for a couple of years, and being able to drink anywhere, any time in public was a big quality-of-life boost.

    • Well, you can always move to New Orleans. No open container laws there.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Except in case, but if you put a piece of tape over the straw hole on the lid to your daiquiri, you are good to go!

      • Or we can implement reasonable laws for alcohol consumption. What sense does it make to tell an adult that isn’t causing any other problems that they can’t consume a legal product? Why threaten criminal action and potential jail time for such an action? Going down the route, I don’t believe the government has a right to tell 18-20 year old adults that they have to pay taxes, can vote, get married, get a loan, open bank accounts, join the military but possibly go to DC jail for up to 60 days for taking a shot of fireball.

  • This happened to a group of us on Saturday. My friends got to Lot W or something because that’s where it says you can grill on the Nats website, the attendant said no you have to go to Lot U. So they went there,paid, asked if they could grill, set everything up and then the attendant brought his manager over and pretended like he had no idea what we were doing and they kicked us out (my friend did get his money back though). Luckily the Yards parking lot at 1st and N St. SE allowed us to set up and tailgate and it was closer to the stadium anyway. I think there’s probably a pay-for-play type of situation happening. They don’t want you to tailgate so that you buy stuff in the stadium/the fairgrounds or whatever that place is called now.

  • Is this really unbelievable or worthy of complaint? They probably would prefer people go to the fairgrounds/bullpen and buy their beer, and frankly the tailgates I’ve seen looked pretty sparse. At what point is it just drinking in a parking lot in SE…

    • You love overpaying for beers and crappy food inside the stadium and do not enjoy hanging out with friends, having a good time before a baseball game. We get it.

      • Or I meet up with friends at blue jacket or one of the barracks row bars, eat and drink there, and then head to the game. I get tailgating when it’s a big fun atmosphere, but like I said, what I’ve seen at Nats games looks kinda sad.

        • Nothing sad about hanging out in the Yards Park lot sharing a $12 six pack with a friend instead of shelling out $12 for one beer.

          • As stated in my previous comment, those aren’t the only 2 options in the world. There’s good beer to be had a couple of blocks from the stadium for half that.

        • Corporations love suckers like you. You’ll pay the price AND go to lengths to defend the money-sucking practices.
          Seriously – grow a pair.

      • Anyone who still thinks the food at Nats Park is crappy must be visiting different foods stands than me. Overpriced though, I’ll give you that one.

  • this seems silly to me, I grew up in Philly and the absolute best parts of the game were tailgating outside beforehand it was HUGE in the philly stadium lots. i go back to philly for a phillies game once a year just to be able experience it

  • Nats customer service going down hill. $9 for a soda? So I can stand in line again to refill it?

    Money grab.

  • When the Nats came to town, I was incensed over O’s owner Angelos’ actions and dumped my O’s season tickets and sent a lengthy letter explaining why i would never attend another O’s game as long as he owned the team.

    After 8 or so years of the Lerners….I think I might give up the boycott and go back to O’s games. It’s a better stadium in almost every respect anyway.

    • See ya!

    • More for us, yay! Good riddance.

      • Dude, the Nats stadium is mostly empty for most games. Stop pretending this is Fenway or Yankees stadium.

        • You haven’t been to a game there in a long time, have you? The Nats are currently 5th in the NL in attendance.

    • Agreed, Camden Yards is about a thousand times better than Nats Park in just about every way. And this is coming from a die-hard Nats fan since 2005. But FYI, you can’t tailgate in the Orioles-controlled parking lots around Camden Yards, either.

  • absolutely silly. i’m from milwaukee, where tailgating is a way of life. people get there early, grill, drink, play games, hang out, then go to the game. if you took away tailgating, there’d be riots in the streets.

    • +1 Milwaukee drinking culture is the greatest in North America

    • Milwaukee native too. It makes the game so much better

    • When they were still in the same division my family and I would do the road trip to watch the Twins/Brewers series every year. Such fun it was to tailgate at County Stadium, take a brewery tour, grab a dog and then get the heck out of Milwaukee.

  • It’s possible that they don’t want people not buying food inside the stadium, but that sort of sounds like a stretch. There are several bars and restaurants in the area, so finding beer cheaper than $9 isn’t really the issue. Sure, maybe some people would go immediately into the stadium and drink, but that doesn’t seem all that reasonable.

    I think that this is an insurance issue more than anything. They don’t have the parking lot personnel to check everyone drinking, which means that underage folks may be getting hammered on property that the Nationals are responsible for. What happens if the cops come? What happens if a drunk person (let alone an underage drunk person) gets hurt or hurts someone else?

  • sounds like the Lerners are cracking down on those who don’t want to spend the $9/beer in their stadium. Thats the bottom line for them, not building the fan base of fan traditions.

  • Bryan Stow won a $15 million civil judgment against the Dodgers yesterday for a beating that occurred in a stadium parking lot. Coincidence that the Nats changed their policy on the same day?

    • Ding ding ding!!! You can bet the pressure for this came from MLB front office, or at least stemmed from another owner having to pay for part of the settlement. It will be interesting if this is repeated in other towns with a bigger baseball tailgate culture.

  • This country has such a stick up its a** about public drinking. So, so lame.

    • clevelanddave

      Yea, because public drunkenness is such a wonderful thing. Piss, throw up, empties and generally bad behavior by a significant minority makes a neighborhood great! Perhaps they know how to deal with that better in Europe, but I doubt it.

  • How else are they going to make money selling overpriced beer in the Bullpen?!?

  • I get “tailgating”, I <3 tailgating, but if you do go into the stadium before the game the miller lite scoreboard walk bar has $6 beers until first pitch. As far as food goes, remember you're there to watch grown men play with balls, it's not a fine dining experience, buy the $6 hotdog and load it up with mustard, onions, and pickle relish

  • Doesn’t everyone go to the Bullpen? I didn’t know Nats tailgating was a thing.

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