It won't be long until spring training for the Washington Nationals begins at Space Coast Stadium, in Viera. Pitchers and catchers report Tuesday, Feb. 13 and on Friday, Feb. 15 the full squad reports.
Where to see them
The first home game will be Sunday, Feb. 24 against the Florida Marlins. Game time is 1:05 p.m. Before that first game, however, there are four fields surrounding the stadium that are open to the public every day before the spring training season starts. Those fields make up the Carl Barger Baseball Complex, next to Space Coast Stadium, 5800 Stadium Parkway, where the team meets for practice daily at 9:30 a.m. The attached video, Sights and Sounds at the Washington Nationals Spring Training, is a quick peek at those first days before the first game.
There are 15 home games scheduled for 2013:
- Wed., Feb. 27 - Florida Marlins, 1:05 pm
- Thurs., Feb. 28 - New York Mets 6:05 pm
- Sun., March 3 - St. Louis Cardinals 1:05 pm
- Tues., March 5 - Houston Astros 1:05 pm
- Fri., March 8 - St. Louis Cardinals 1:05 pm
- Sat., March 9 - Florida Marlins 1:05 pm
- Mon., March 11 - Atlanta Braves 1:05 pm
- Wed., March 13 - New York Mets 1:05 pm
- Thurs., March 14 - Houston Astros 1:05 pm
- Sat., March 16 - Houston Astros 6:05 pm
- Mon., March 18 - Detroit Tigers 1:05 pm
- Fri., March 22 - Detroit Tigers 1:05 pm
- Sun., March 24 - Atlanta Braves 1:05 pm
- Wed., March 27 - Atlanta Braves 1:05 pm
- Thurs., March 28 - New York Mets 1:05 pm
The full schedule, including away games can be found online.
The ticket office at Space Coast Stadium opens January 28. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday and 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. Saturday. To order by phone, call: (888) 623-NATS. For season tickets, call: (321) 633-9200. Spring Training prices are:
- Batters Box $ 26.00
- Box (Lower Deck) $ 22.00
- Reserved (Upper Deck) $ 19.00
- Reserved Bleacher $ 12.00
- Lawn/Berm $ 8.00
When purchasing tickets, season ticket holders offering the following tip: Block the full brunt of the sun by purchasing first base seats. There are a large number of games played during the day, and people seated along the third base line are exposed to the sun for several hours without relief.
2013 may be last year in Viera
The Washington Nationals have been coming to Viera for Spring Training for the past nine years. But for at least the past two years, the Nationals have wanted to move, having grown tired of the long bus rides for Grapefruit League games.
“We do have a problem here,” Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner has said. “Viera has been wonderful as a town. Viera government has been wonderful. Our problem is basically logistics. Our closest game is 120-mile round trip. We cannot do that. It’s tiring. It messes up our practice schedule. It’s not good for the organization. We have no choice but to look at what our options are.” The Nationals are interested in City of Palms Park in Fort Myers.
For this season, at least, the Nationals will open camp at Space Coast Stadium in Viera as the defending National League East champions. Where they will play their spring games the following season remains to be seen. For those who have thought about going to a game, but somehow didn't find the time, this year may be a last opportunity. It may be wise to purchase tickets early. Negotiations are under way and if a deal is made, the Nationals could move to Fort Myers as early as 2014.