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Shaded Seats at Nationals Park

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Nationals Park is the home of the Washington Nationals. It’s an open-air ballpark just south of the U.S. Capitol. The baseball season climate in Washington, DC is best characterized as hot and humid, making the choice of seating a critical decision for fans seeking gameday comfort. Fans attending a ballgame can consult this guide to identify the best shaded seats at Nationals Park.

Where are the shaded seats at Nationals Park?

Generally, the seats in the shade at Nationals Park are located:

  • Left Field Mezzanine: Shaded for afternoon and evening games
  • 3rd Base Line: Gets shade in the late afternoon and evening
  • 400-Level Upper Rows: Shaded under the roof

For the 2024 season, the Nationals typically play day games (1:35 p.m.), late afternoon games (4:05 p.m.), and evening games (6:45 p.m.). For specific details about sections and different start times, please continue reading.

Nationals Park Orientation to the Sun

Nationals Park is oriented to the northeast, similar to the ballparks in Baltimore and Los Angeles. Each morning the sun rises behind right field, curves around home plate around lunchtime, and sets in the evening behind left field corner. This orientation makes the 3rd base line the “shade side” of the ballpark and the 1st base line and outfield the sunny spots. 

The graphic below shows the approximate location of the sun throughout the day on July 1st (halfway through the MLB season).

Where to Buy Tickets

MLB operates the official Box Office for the Nationals. SeatGeek is the official resale partner for all MLB teams, offering access to a broader variety of seats, including those owned by season ticket holders. The Box Office provides access to unsold seats at face value plus fees, while SeatGeek may offer occasional last-minute deals and discounts on lower-demand games.

Seats in the Shade at Nationals Early Afternoon Games

Day games at Nationals Park occur during the hottest part of the day when the fewest seats are in the shade. Shade seekers should avoid left field sections 100-107 and right field sections 222-243, as they remain sun-drenched throughout the game. The 300-level is almost entirely exposed to the sun for day games as well. While most seats in the 100-level will be sunny, shade seekers can choose seats far back in the 3rd base sections 110-117, which are under cover and provide some relief.

As the afternoon progresses, more seats in 3rd base sections 110-117 will become shaded. Mezzanine sections 201-205, being mostly covered, are a good option for avoiding the sun. Sections 138-139 behind the Nationals bullpen are under cover and excellent for shade. Nearby in sections 140-143, rows in the back half of the section should be shaded for most of an afternoon game, though seats closer to the field will be sunny. For those who don’t mind the upper deck, sections 401-409 are mostly under cover and offer protection from the sun.

Seats in the Shade at Nationals Late Afternoon Games

Fans have a much easier time finding a shaded seat for a 4:05 game. Most seats on the 3rd base side of the park will be shaded, if not immediately at first pitch, then within a few innings. Left field sections 100-107 and right field sections 222-243 remain largely sunny and are less desirable for shade seekers. The 1st base side of the park is also sunny, though seats closer to home plate will start receiving shade over the course of the game.

Right field seats are particularly poor choices as the setting sun behind 3rd base shines directly toward them. 3rd base sections 110-117 and 201-205 are mostly shaded. Seats closer to the field may start sunny but will become shaded as the evening progresses. For budget-conscious fans seeking shade, sections 401-409 are a good value.

Shadows on the stands at Nationals Park in Washington DC

During an afternoon game sections on the 3rd base side of the ballpark will get shade first while sections on the 1st base side and right field corner will be in the sun.

Seats in the Shade at Nationals Evening Games

Don’t assume that night games are free from sun exposure. In June and July, sunset in Washington, DC occurs around 8:30 PM, and with earlier start times and shorter games thanks to MLB’s new pace-of-play rules, some sections are sunny for the first several innings. Right field sections 222-243 are particularly affected; as the sun sets, fans stare directly into the sun. If you choose seats in right field, investing in a strong pair of sunglasses is advisable.

Ready to buy shaded seats at Nationals Park?

Use the individual game links or click or tap here to see the Nationals upcoming game list. Learn about why we recommend buying MLB tickets on SeatGeek.