Nationals: About the Washington Nationals and Nationals Park
Formerly the Montreal Expos, the Washington Nationals arrived in the nation's capital in the spring of 2005. In their first season in Washington, the Nationals were the feel-good story of the first half of 2005 under then-manager Frank Robinson. Since arriving in the mid-2000s, the city of Washington, D.C., has embraced their MLB team, and in 2012, the Nats won the National League East pennant.
In 2008, the Washington Nationals unveiled Nationals Park – one of the most accessible stadiums in the country – with input from the Paralyzed Veterans of America’s architecture team. Wheelchair users can sit anywhere in the park because every section offers superior wheelchair access and seating options.
When the Nats first came to DC, Paralyzed Veterans worked with team owners to improve wheelchair access to RFK Stadium, where the team played its first three seasons until the new ballpark was completed. Paralyzed Veterans' architects reviewed project drawings to retrofit the 44-year-old facility for increased accessibility.
After team owners decided to build a new facility, Paralyzed Veterans remained involved, working with the stadium architects from initial schematics through completion. In addition to greater choice and improved seating options for wheelchair users, the design allows for easier access to the concourse and exits.
Paralyzed Veterans of America works behind the scenes all across the country not only to influence the design and building communities, but to increase awareness about the need for a barrier-free America. Accessibility plays an important role in design not only because it affects wheelchair users but also the aging population and people with children in strollers. In 2013, Paralyzed Veterans of America's Architecture Department provided more than $750,000 worth of consulting services – free.