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Nationals Opening Day 2021: What to Know If You're at Home or at the Park

#Natitude is roaring back into D.C. Here's your guide to the Nationals Opening Day 2021

What to know about Nationals Opening Day 2021 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Update: The Washington Nationals finally have a date for their first game of the 2021 season: Tuesday, April 6. MLB announced on Sunday night that the Nationals-Braves game set for Tuesday will go on as scheduled after Washington's start to the season was delayed due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

With the recent announcement from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser allowing Nats Park to welcome 5,000 lucky fans through its gates, the 2021 MLB Opening Day at the ballpark and beyond will bring a new level of hope and excitement. No matter where you're taking in the action, here's how to make sure you won't miss a minute. 

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When is the Washington Nationals' Opening Day?

As with the Nats' three-game series vs. the Mets, the first game of what would have been a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves was also postponed.

Instead, the Nationals will begin their season against the Braves at 4:05 p.m. on Tuesday. The teams will then play again at Nats Park at the same time Wednesday.

What will Opening Day look like at Nationals Park? 

Bowser's announcement permitting 5,000 fans, out of the ballpark's 41,313 capacity, means the Nationals will have one of the least-attended games for Opening Day in the league. Only Boston (4,500), the Mets (4,200), Toronto (1,275) and Detroit (1,000) will have fewer fans at their ballparks this week. 

D.C. remains in phase two of Bowser's reopening plan, but fans should be ecstatic to even get the 12.5% of the stadium's capacity after Bowser's March 4 announcement wasn't as optimistic.

Pods of six people will be socially distanced at Nationals Park. Face coverings are required at all times besides when eating or drinking while seated. 

Concessions and retail at the park will not accept cash.

Leave your bags at home, but small clutch purses will be allowed as well as diaper bags.

There will be no eating drinking or even standing along the concourse.

Water fountains will be turned off, but fans can bring refillable water bottles into the park, and there will be water bottle filling stations throughout the ballpark.

What's Changing at Nationals Park to Protect Fans From COVID-19

The Nats are not allowing bandanas or gaiters as acceptable face coverings.

Where fans enter the ballpark will be restricted as well. Gates will be color coded. Fans will enter and exit through the gate that matches their ticket color. Gates will open two hours before games.

No tailgating will be allowed in the parking garages.

Nats head of security Scott Fear said they will enforce these safety rules.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed on Tuesday that President Joe Biden will not throw the traditional opening pitch but hinted that “baseball fans will be hearing from him in the next couple of days.” With the exception of former President Donald Trump, every sitting president has thrown the first baseball pitch on opening day since 1910.

How to watch Washington Nationals games

Washington Nationals games will be broadcast on MASN properties all season long. Fox and Fox Sports are slated to broadcast eight Nationals games. 

How to get tickets to Washington Nationals games

Due to the limited capacity for the Nationals Opening Day, only season plan holders will be welcomed back to the ballpark to start the season. Updates will be provided should Bowser and the city continue to reopen as more of the population gets vaccinated. 

Tickets will be virtual. The Nats want fans to download their app that can be used for their tickets and for ordering food at the concession stands.

Click here to view the Nationals' 2021 schedule. 

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