US Presswire photo
Fans wait for the gates to open outside Nationals Park.
Tonight's game between the Nationals and Diamondbacks will be played, though the start will be delayed by 20 minutes after engineers spent the afternoon confirming Nationals Park did not suffer any structural damage from this afternoon's 5.9 magnitude earthquake.
Team officials delayed the opening of the main center field gates, which normally open at 4:30 p.m., for about two hours. A line began forming outside the gate and swelled shortly before the gates were finally due to be opened around 6:40 p.m.
First pitch should be at 7:25 p.m.
"As a precautionary measure following today's earthquake, the team delayed opening gates to the ballpark to allow D.C. inspectors and structural engineers to survey the facility prior to tonight's game," the club said in a press release.
The Nationals announced that fans may exchange their unused tickets from this game for tickets of equal or lesser value to any future home game in 2011.
The Diamondbacks' team bus, which departed from their Pentagon City hotel at 4:15 p.m., didn't arrive at the ballpark until about 5:20 p.m., via a police escort.
The Nationals, meanwhile, did not take a full round of batting practice on the field, opting instead to have players hit in the underground tunnel.
The Nationals still held a pre-planned press conference at 6 p.m. to introduce recently signed draft picks Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer and Brian Goodwin.
"First time I've ever been to D.C.," said Rendon, a Texas native. "And my first earthquake, too. So it's a pretty busy day."