Nationals Spring Training
|2016 First Practice Dates
|Pitchers & Catchers:
|Year ||Total ||Average
Spring Training Info
| Washington Nationals Spring Training
||Area Info - Viera
Space Coast Stadium
Spring Training home of the Nationals since 2005
5800 Stadium Parkway
Viera, FL 32940
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Space Coast Stadium is about 3 miles west of I-95 in Viera, an unincorporated master planned community in Brevard County. Because the town has not been incorporated you will see Viera and Melbourne used interchangeably, as they are technically one in the same. The zip code 32940 refers to either.
Directions Traveling from the North:
Take I-95 South to exit 195 and turn left onto Fiske Boulevard (aka Hwy 519). From that turn, the stadium is an even 2 miles ahead on the right, and during the drive Fiske becomes Stadium Parkway.
Traveling from the South:
Take I-95 North to exit 191 and turn left (west) onto Wickham Road. After a half mile bear right onto Lake Andrew Drive. Go 1.3 miles and turn left onto Judge Fran Jamieson Way. Go a half mile and turn right onto Stadium Parkway.
There are plenty of spaces in the large grass field behind the first base side of the ballpark. They are accessed through the general parking entrance, which is listed as Gate 5, found at the back of the parking lot, which itself is bisected by a palm tree-lined sidewalk that leads to the stadium. There's also a very small paved lot directly behind home plate, but it's reserved for team employees and the handicapped.
Painted in the red, white and blue colors of the Nationals, Space Coast Stadium is comfortable and clean, but relatively plain. Its exterior facade looks like a vinyl sided house and is approached via wide paved paths that lead to a plaza featuring a large Casey at the Bat statue and replica of a Space Shuttle orbiter. For many years, the stadium's foul poles were covered with quite visible memorials to the two space shuttle disasters. Those tributes were removed in 2013 and now much smaller canvas banners on beams in the concourse behind home plate remember Challenger and Columbia. The less noticeable tributes still remain fitting, as the stadium took its name from its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center, the NASA launch facility for which the region is nicknamed. Originally the spring home of the Florida Marlins, Space Coast Stadium served as the final spring training camp of the Montreal Expos, who spent two seasons (2003-04) in Viera before the franchise became the Washington Nationals.
Fast Facts Most fans enter the ballpark from a ramp that leads up to its main entrance behind home plate. Much lesser used and noticeable gates at street level down the right field line are for groups and season ticket holders. They are rarely, if ever, open to anyone else.
All ticket windows are at street level behind home plate and are under the second level plaza that is outside of the ballpark's main entrance.
The box office has 11 ticket windows and those on the far left are where Will Call pick-ups are done.
The concourse is located behind the stadium. It's covered by a roof between the dugouts.
Fans in the left field berm are able to stand directly behind or aside the visiting team's bullpen; the Nationals' is safely tucked away down the right field line, starting where the grandstand ends, which does enable the concourse there to serve as an overlook into the Nats bullpen.
The main scoreboard in left field was hand-operated until 2008, when it was replaced by an electric line score version with a video board.
There are two souvenir shops of note. The main Nationals team store is outside of the ballpark, where it's at street level next to the ticket office, while a smaller team shop is in the concourse behind home plate.
Practice Fields The Nationals' preseason (February) and minor league training complex is located just beyond the main parking lot, and the always open gate to it is a short distance from the general parking lot gate (#5). Four full-sized practice fields, simply numbered 1 through 4, are found within the complex, as are bullpen mounds, batting cages and a half-field.
Another full practice field is near the stadium, where it's a short distance from the ticket office. Officially Field 6, it's considered the Triple-A field, as the guys practicing on it on game day are those who are on the major league roster, yet aren't scheduled to play that day.
Although you won't see it named as such anywhere, the Carl Barger Sports Complex is the official name of the practice facilities, all of which are accessible to fans.
Types of Seating Stadium seats: Sections 101-119 and 204-218
Bleachers: Sections 201-203 and 219-221
Berm: Left field
The majority of the ballpark (5,348 seats) is filled with traditional plastic chair stadium seating. There are six sections of bleachers, three apiece down each outfield line, and a small berm in the outfield.
Notes about the seating The Nationals dugout is on the first base side. If you want to sit on the home team's side of the stadium, buy your tickets in sections 110-119 or 212-221.
A wide aisle cuts through the grandstand. Box seats are below the aisle, reserved seats are above it.
Seats do not have cup holders.
The bleachers have seat backs.
The berm is a small hill, with a fairly steep slope. It's one of the worst at a spring training ballpark, as the view and comfort level are both poor.
The berm is connected to the main grandstand by a long, raised walkway, so fans can move freely about the entire stadium, although berm access is restricted during games in which the VIP Berm Deck has been rented out by a group. On those occasions, the berm is off-limits until well after the game starts.
Handicap accessible seating is located on the aisle in row 8, which is comprised of wheelchair spaces and companion seats.
The protective screen behind home plate extends from the midpoints of sections 107-113.
The tarp spans section 102 and a smidge of 103 but it can't block views from any of either section's front row seats, as the grandstand down the left field line is elevated above field level, which is where the tarp resides until needed.
The further away you sit from the press box the harder it is to understand what the public address announcer is saying. The quality of the sound system is not poor, but the speakers are all concentrated near home plate.
Standing room is limited to the aisle, the open space between the grandstand and bleachers, and the berm area.
Ushers are more likely to chat fans up than restrict them from entering their section, which is easy to do during the typical sparsely attended games the Nationals play (the team perennially ranks dead last, or close to it, in total home spring training attendance).
Sections and rows Rows for sections with stadium seats range as follows:
1 to 7 in sections 101-104; 3 to 7 in sections 105-106; 1 to 7 in sections 107-113; 3 to 7 in sections 114-115; 1 to 7 in sections 116-119; 9 to 24 in sections 204-206; 9 to 21 then A to C in sections 207-209; 9 to 22 in section 210; 17 to 22 in section 211; 9 to 22 in section 212; 9 to 21 then A to C in sections 213-215; 9 to 24 in sections 216-218
Rows for sections with bleacher seats range as follows:
1 to 16 in sections 201-203 and 219-221
Tickets Sections 101-119 are sold as Box.
Sections 204-218 are sold as Reserved.
Sections 201-203 and 219-221 are sold as Reserved Bleachers.
Groups that rent the Berm Deck are granted exclusive access to the left field berm, so single game tickets are not sold for it.
The five field level sections that are between the dugouts and in front of sections 107-113 are sold as Batter's Box.
Children under the age of 2 do not need a ticket if sitting on the lap of a parent or guardian.
Seats to avoid
No seat is a bad buy but a spot in the berm is. It feels as though it was constructed as an afterthought and fans sitting there have no view of the scoreboard, which is directly behind the berm. Within the grandstand, seats in sections 101-104 and 116-119 face forward, not toward home plate, even though three-quarters of those sections are angled so that they better face the playing field than they otherwise would.
Seats in the shade
Space Coast Stadium has very small roofs on opposite sides of the grandstand that provide the only shade in the ballpark. The top five rows (20-24) in sections 204-206 and 216-218 are the only ones that are covered by the dual aluminum arched roofs. Sit anywhere else, and the only escape from the sun (or rain) will be in the covered concourse behind home plate.
As for the seats which actually receive shade, they vary slightly from the exact roofline thanks to sun path. For day games, the sun looms over right field, shining its rays (on non-cloudy days) into more of the third base side stands as the game goes on. So around a 1:05 game time, shade will be found in rows 22-24 of sections 204-206, with some seat exceptions, but around the typical halfway point of the game, shade will have diminished in those three sections to just being granted to patrons in rows 23 and 24. For fans sitting under cover in the first base stands -- that's the home/Nationals side -- more seats became shaded as the innings go by. When the game begins, just rows 19-24 in sections 216-218 are shaded (with a smattering of seats sun-soaked exceptions). But by the middle innings, shade covers just about every seat in rows 17 through 24.
Besides the sun, one other thing affects which seats are shaded when. That would be Daylight Saving Time. The times listed in this section are based on pre-DST, so there will be a row or so variance after the "spring forward" date. But the rule for this ballpark is, shade is gained at fist base and lost at third base in the three sections on each side that have limited roof cover.
There is a two-level Berm Deck in left field that can be reserved by parties of 25 or more. Price varies upon size of the group and includes an all you can eat buffet. Thanks to the adjacent berm, the deck area can accommodate groups of up to 400 people. The stadium has 14 suites, seven on either side of the press box. The suites seat either 12 or 21 people. Five small sections of Batter's Box seats are at field level between the dugouts. Besides their closeness to the field and home plate, they get their exclusiveness because of their scarcity and separation: each Batter's Box "section" has just one or two rows and they are walled off from the regular Box seats behind them.
Gates open 95 minutes before game time; that's 11:30 a.m. for the most frequent starting time of 1:05. More than any other ballpark in Florida, wind is a factor in Viera. So it's advisable to bring a windbreaker, especially if you'll be attending a night game.
Food, drink and bag policy Food or most beverages cannot be brought into the stadium. Any of either will be confiscated at the gates. The only allowable exception is a store-bought plain plastic water container that is no larger than one liter.
Bags are allowed up to a maximum size of 16" x 16" x 8".
Narrow walkways next to the dugouts at field level serve as excellent dedicated pre-game autograph alleys where players will sign at their discretion during warm-ups. Fans can stay in the "autograph wells" right up until game time and they (there are two) are probably your best chance before the game, although there are days when players stay mostly away. When that's the case, a good place to be to catch a Nationals player is at the bottom of sections 117-119, with the aisle area between 117-118 the most preferable spot.
After the game, fans of the visiting team should head outside the stadium and station themselves along the 5' tall chain link fence that follows the sidewalk that leads players from the visitors' clubhouse beneath the third base grandstand to their waiting bus. The closer you stand to the double glass doors the better, although you don't want to be too close to the doors since they swing open, thereby thwarting attempts by the few fans closest to the clubhouse in their autograph pursuits.
Postgame autograph opportunities from Nationals players are most plentiful outside of the stadium, far down the right field line where three palm trees stand near a locked gate in the tall perimeter chain link fence. Through open spaces in that gate, fans can hold items out to get signed by Nats players while they are passing by, which they do en route from their clubhouse to their parking lot, a path that takes them from the end of the first base grandstand (clubhouse) to a secure area behind right field (parking lot). The players will be in their street clothes by then and it's not unusual for quite a few to stop and sign, hence a decent crowd can often be found waiting for them to do so.
Unique ballpark fare
Creative cuisine choices abound, although the variety is spread throughout the place. Items of interest to look for include a grilled chicken Caesar salad, chicken stix (skewers of teriyaki and BBQ basted chicken), seafood specialties like a blackened mahi sandwich, and "baskets" of ballpark favorites that include fries for one low (by ballpark standards) price. A decent selection of beer is found on tap. Bud and Bud Light have long been the featured drafts, but Hawaii-based Kona Brewing's offerings (Fire Rock Pale Ale, Longboard Island Lager, etc.) are also often found at portable carts along the back of the concourse, from which and where all draft beer is generally sold. A unique couple to look for are Florida Lager, which is brewed locally, and Nationals Red, which if you can find is a Killian's red-like product actually made by Budweiser. Coca-Cola controls the soft drink market.
2016 Nationals Spring Training Schedule
(only home games at Space Coast Stadium are listed)
* Single game tickets went on sale Saturday, January 30. Links in calendar are to TicketNetwork inventory.
See the full 2016 Nationals Spring Training schedule
Ballpark Area Info
When it first opened in 1994, Space Coast Stadium was in the middle of undeveloped cow pastures. Some of the land in the nearby vicinity has since been developed and continues to be, but there are plenty of open green spaces around the ballpark. The closest building is Viera High School and much of the county's governmental buildings are located nearby. The closest commercial development is the Avenue Viera, which opened in 2004 about 1.2 miles from the ballpark, and from which the stadium's light towers can be seen.
Travelers' notes The closest Interstate, I-95, is 3 miles away.
The two closest major exits to the ballpark on I-95 are 191 and 202. Each has a number of national chain restaurants and hotels to choose from.
The area that the ballpark is located in is probably the safest of any spring training venue. So there is no need to fear anything in Viera, regardless of time of day.
Hotels close to Space Coast Stadium
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|Distance ||Hotel ||Street Address ||City/Zip ||Phone
|2.3 miles ||La Quinta Inn ||7200 George T. Edwards Dr ||Melbourne, FL 32940 ||321-242-9400
|2.5 ||Holiday Inn ||8298 N Wickham Rd ||Melbourne, FL 32940 ||321-255-0077
|3.2 ||The Swiss Inn ||3220 S Fiske Blvd ||Rockledge, FL 32955 ||321-631-9445
|13.8 ||Fairfield Inn & Suites ||4355 W New Haven Ave ||West Melbourne, FL 32904 ||321-722-2220
|23.3 ||Hampton Inn ||4760 Helen Hauser Blvd ||Titusville, FL 32780 ||321-383-9191
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Restaurants close to Space Coast Stadium
|Distance ||Restaurant ||Street Address ||City/Zip ||Phone
|1.2 miles ||Chili's ||6550 Colonnade Ave ||Viera, FL 32940 ||321-639-6881
|1.2 ||Steak 'n Shake ||6728 Colonnade Ave ||Viera, FL 32940 ||321-637-9445
|1.2 ||LongHorn Steakhouse ||6691 Lake Andrew Dr ||Melbourne, FL 32940 ||321-632-9990
|1.4 ||Panera Bread ||2290 Town Center Ave ||Melbourne, FL 32940 ||321-504-7250
|1.4 ||Moe's Southwest Grill ||2230 Town Center Ave ||Viera, FL 32940 ||321-433-3540
|1.4 ||The Melting Pot ||2230 Town Center Ave ||Melbourne, FL 32940 ||321-433-3040
|1.5 ||Viera Pizza ||5470 Murrell Rd ||Viera, FL 32940 ||321-636-7696
|1.5 ||Beef ‘O’ Brady’s ||5410 Murrell Rd ||Viera, FL 32955 ||321-633-4030
|17.3 ||Rodizio Grill ||1700 W New Haven Ave ||Melbourne, FL 32904 ||321-723-4745
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Airports close to Space Coast Stadium
|Distance ||Airport ||Airport Code
|13.3 miles ||Melbourne International ||MLB
|35.7 ||Orlando International ||MCO
|66.9 ||Daytona Beach International ||DAB
Places of interest close to Space Coast Stadium
|Distance ||Place ||Street Address ||City/Zip ||Phone
|1.3 miles ||Duran Golf Club ||7032 Stadium Pkwy ||Viera, FL 32940 ||321-504-7776
|10.2 ||Melbourne Greyhound Park ||1100 N Wickham Rd ||Melbourne, FL 32935 ||321-259-9800
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