Shaded Seats at Nationals Park

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The Washington Nationals play home games at Nationals Park, a mile south of the U.S. Capitol. Anyone who visits Washington, DC in summer knows how brutally hot and humid it feels. If you’re attending a Nationals day game or even a night game in the summer, knowing the Nationals Park shaded seats will improve your ballpark experience.

Where are the shaded seats at Nationals Park?

As a general rule, the seats in the shade at Nationals park are located:

  • In the “club level” (sections 206-221)
  • On the 3rd base side of the ballpark
  • Farther back in one of those section or under cover

Games at Nationals Park usually start at 1:05 p.m., 1:35 p.m., 4:05 p.m. or 7:05 p.m. For specific details about sections and different start times, read on.

Nationals Park Orientation to the Sun

Nationals Park is oriented so that batters face northeast, similar to ballparks in Baltimore and Los Angeles. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. This means that the sun rises every morning behind right field and sets in the evening behind left field.

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

Nationals Park shaded seatsClick or tap here to open an interactive seating chart at Nationals Park.

Seats in the Shade at Nationals Early Afternoon Games

Day games at Nationals Park are a double whammy. It’s the hottest time of the day and the fewest seats are in the shade. Avoid the left field sections 100-107 and right field sections 222-243 as they bake in the sun for the entire game. The 300-level is almost entirely sun soaked for day games as well. Most seats in the 100-level will have sun, but if you pick seats far back in the 3rd base sections 110-117 they are under cover and will provide relief.

As the sun advances across the afternoon sky more seats in 3rd base sections 110-117 will get shade. Mezzanine sections 201-205 are a good choice as they are mostly covered and protected from the sun. Sections 138 – 139 behind the Nationals bullpen are under cover and excellent for shade. If you don’t mind the nosebleeds, sections 401-409 are mostly under cover and safe from the sun as well.

Seats in the Shade at Nationals Late Afternoon Games

Batters hate late afternoon games because it’s the awkward time when the sun casts shadows on the field. For fans, the benefit is that most seats on the 3rd base side of the park are shaded, if not at first pitch then at least a few innings in. Left field sections 100-107 and right field sections 222-243 are poor choices and are mostly in the sun.

Right field seats are also poor choices because as the sun sets behind 3rd base it’s right in your eyes. 3rd base sections 110-117 and 201-205 are mostly safe from the sun. Seats closer to the field may be in the sun at first pitch but will eventually get shade as the sun sets. If you don’t mind the nosebleeds, sections 401-409 are the best cheap seats when it comes to finding shade.

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 a night game is free from the sun. During June and July sunset in Washington, DC is around 8:30. Some sections get sun for the first several innings during these months. The worst seats are right field sections 222-243. As the sun sets you’ll be starting straight into it. If you pick seats here, make sure to invest in a good pair of sunglasses!

Ready to buy shaded seats at Nationals Park?

Use the individual game links on the side (or bottom of the page on mobile) or click or tap here to see the Nationals upcoming game list. Learn about why we recommend buying MLB tickets on Seatgeek.

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