What You Need to Know – Commencement at Nationals Park
Dear Class of 2021,
Below you will find some logistical information to help you and your guests prepare for the 2021 Commencement Ceremony at Nationals Park. Please forward this information to your guests.
Since the ceremony is being held at Nationals Park, all Georgetown attendees must follow public health and safety guidelines (new window) and the Guest Conduct Policy (new window) that have already been established for the stadium relating to entry/exit, physical distancing, mask wearing, weather, signage and banners and bag policies.
Getting Your Tickets
Later this week, you will receive an email with information on how you and your guests can access the tickets you requested. As a reminder, all attendees (including the graduating student as well as all infants and children, regardless of age) need a ticket for admission.
Gates will open at 9 a.m. for the undergraduate ceremony and 4 p.m. for the graduate and professional ceremony. The undergraduate ceremony will begin promptly at 10 a.m., and the graduate and professional ceremony will begin promptly at 5 p.m. We encourage you to arrive early to enjoy the pre-program, visit the installation for your school (for more information, see below) and have plenty of time to find your seat. The ballpark and garage will be open for one hour following the ceremony, and all guests and cars will need to have exited by then.
Guests are requested to enter and exit the ballpark according to the color-coded gate location listed on their ticket. Directional and color-coded signage will be located outside of the ballpark to assist in locating the appropriate gate. Guests who require ADA-compatible entry may enter at any ADA-compliant entrance, even if it does not match the color on their ticket.
For the safety of everyone at Nationals Park, the Nationals require that all persons entering Nationals Park walk through a metal detector or be screened with hand-held metal detectors to search for prohibited items. You can find a list of prohibited items and other guest policies for Nationals Park in the Guest Conduct Policy (new window).
Tickets will be distributed in seat blocks (“pods”) to maintain physical distance between groups of people who do not regularly interact. The location and configuration of these pods has been predetermined by Nationals Park and approved by the District of Columbia. The configuration therefore cannot be altered by Georgetown.
Each ticket has a specific seat number. All individuals are required to sit in their assigned seat; changing or switching seats is not permitted.
Public Health and Safety
All attendees at Nationals Park are required to wear an approved face covering (new window). Attendees who arrive without masks meeting the required minimum will be asked to wear a mask provided at the park. Masks may only be temporarily removed when guests are actively eating or drinking within their assigned seating pods. At this time, the mandatory use of masks remains in effect for all guests at Nationals Park, regardless of vaccination status.
Use of public transportation and rideshare services are strongly encouraged for all attendees.
Nationals Park is easily accessible from WMATA’s Navy Yard-Ballpark (new window) stop on the Metro’s Green Line and bus routes. More information about WMATA’s COVID-19 safety guidelines (new window) is available on the WMATA website. For those traveling by Metro from the Georgetown area, continuous-looping GUTS shuttle bus service from the bus turnaround near McDonough Gymnasium to the Dupont Circle Metro stop—and back to campus following the ceremonies—will operate from 8-9:30 a.m., 12:30-2 p.m., 3-4:30 p.m. and 7:30-8:30 p.m. The Dupont GUTS route (new window) will operate on its regular schedule during other times of the day, and the Rosslyn route (new window) will operate on its regular schedule the entire day. Please note that GUTS buses currently operate with limited capacities, and masks are required to be worn at all times when on the bus. Guests of graduates are welcome to ride on GUTS buses. We recommend budgeting at least one hour for the commute from Georgetown to Nationals Park if traveling by GUTS bus and Metro.
Taxi and rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are also encouraged due to the limited parking available. Information about pick-up and drop-off locations can be found on the Taxi & Ride-Hailing Services page (new window).
Parking at the ballpark is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Two Nationals parking facilities, Garage C (entrance on First Street SE) and the GEICO Garage (entrance on N Street SE) will be open. These are the only garages/lots that will be open during Georgetown’s Commencement ceremonies. The garages open at 8 a.m. for the morning ceremony and 3 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony. Parking costs $10, payable by credit card only. Information about ADA drop off can be found on the 2021 Disability Access Guide (new window).
Prohibited and Permitted Items
Information on allowable banners and signs can be found in the Nationals’ Guest Conduct Policy (new window).
Following Nationals’ Guest Conduct Policy (new window), the following items are restricted inside ticketed areas:
- Bags (except for clutch bags measuring 5” x 7” x ¾” or smaller, and diaper bags or bags used for ADA/medical reasons measuring 16” x 16” x 8” or smaller). Bags purchased inside the Nationals Baseball Stadium Complex during the event will be tagged and permitted for that day only. Lockers are available to rent through Binbox, located next to the right field and home plate gates.
- Metal, plastic or glass containers of any kind. The only water bottles allowed in the park are clear, factory-sealed or empty plastic water bottles no larger than one liter. Only one water bottle per person will be permitted. Bottled water will be available for purchase inside the park, and refilling stations are located throughout the park. Juice boxes, insulin containers and baby food are also permitted.
- Most food items. Single-serving food items may be brought into Nationals Park, as long as they are contained in one of the approved bags or carried in your hands so the food items can be safely screened by security. Concession stands will not be open during the ceremonies, and food will not be available for purchase.
We encourage all guests to check the weather and dress appropriately; the event will take place, rain or shine. In the event of severe inclement weather, we will provide additional information, which could include a move to an all-virtual ceremony in the event of extremely severe weather that would prevent an outdoor ceremony from being safely held. Even in inclement weather, we will make all efforts to proceed with the Commencement ceremony as planned, so please prepare accordingly. Small purse umbrellas will be allowed inside the ballpark. Larger, non-collapsible and golf umbrellas are not permitted.
How to Find Your School in Nationals Park
As students will not be seated by school, Georgetown has created individual school installations spaced throughout the park. Installation locations will be listed on the day-of program and on the Hoyas 2021 website (new window). Each will include a photo backdrop for graduates to take personal photos, and school staff members and faculty will be present to greet graduates and their friends and families.
We are excited to celebrate the Class of 2021 during Georgetown University’s Commencement ceremony at Nationals Park on Monday, May 24, 2021. Both ceremonies and pre-shows will be livestreamed on our Hoyas 2021 website (new window) for all graduating students, friends and family who cannot attend in person.
Additional details can be found on the Commencement website (new window), which will continue to be updated as new information is available.
We look forward to celebrating with you on May 24.