Opened: March 30, 2008
Architect: Populous (then HOK Sport)
Cost: $693 Million
Championships Hosted: none
Of the eight parks we're featuring with these profiles, we have two classics (Fenway and Wrigley), two mid-century marvels (Dodger and Rogers Centre/Skydome), and four modern/retro-feel parks (Ballpark in Arlington, Jacobs/Progressive, AT&T Park, and Nationals Park.)
Among this latter group, Nationals Park feels the least distinctive, but it is also the newest of the group, so it still has time to develop character.
While the interior of Nationals Park evokes a true "ballpark" feel, the exterior has a more modern feel to it, putting it more into the modern style -- along with Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark and Petco Park in San Diego. While I understand the architects' intention and desire to not just make another vintage-style ballpark, I personally feel that these feel more like modern stadiums from the outside, and lose a good deal of the charm and feel of going to a ballpark. But that is, admittedly, personal preference.
(There is a notch in the first-base stands, again very similar to the gap in the third-base side of Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. I'm not saying that these are a modern-era "cookie cutter" parks reminiscent of RFK and Riverfront from the 1970s, but you gotta admit that there is a certain . . . similarity between Nationals Park and GABP.)
Admittedly, I've been to Nationals Park, but I've never actually seen a game there. The place is usually full, and the fans seem like good solid baseball fans. So, if you have a great experience or memory from Nationals Park, put it in the comments below. The best ballpark comments will get a 2017 Ballpark Blueprints calendar!