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Going to a Nats game? You may want to have alternative transportation plans if it runs late

Apr 19, 2011, 9:38 AM EDT


I lived in the D.C. area for three years and one of the things I loved the most about it was Metro. As far as subway systems go it’s clean, easy-to-navigate and altogether swell.  The only problem — which was way bigger for me when I was 23 than it would be now — is that it closes at around midnight, so if you’re going to a late show or event, you’re on your own for the ride home.

Most Washington Nationals games end well before midnight, but some don’t. Rain delays. Extended extra-inning affairs.  For those sorts of contingencies, the city of Washington pays Metro overtime to run late to accommodate the baseball crowd. But that may not last:

During past seasons, the city covered the costs of bringing in extra trains if there was a long rain delay or an epic 18-inning contest that caused a game to end past Metro’s normal operating hours. But that agreement is unique. All of the other sports teams and concert venues in our area pay Metro for any late-night service. Council Member Tommy Wells says he would like to see the Nationals pick up the tab, which Metro says costs $90,000 per hour.

This service benefits the Nationals first and foremost. Having it there encourages and allows their fans to come to the ballpark in comfort, allows them so buy hot dogs and beer and big foam fingers, knowing that they have a ride home.  I can’t see why the Nationals shouldn’t pay for late service like everyone else does.

  1. okobojicat - Apr 19, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    While i understand Wells’ argument, the thing is none of the other sports have unexpected late nights. The Redskins almost always play during the day and if they do play at night, its a one-time thing and usually everyone is out of the stadium by 1am.

    Any concerts or events that run late (or open early) its easy plan to set aside those costs. For baseball, its almost impossible because to plan when it is necessary to run late service because the Nationals won’t know until the game hits its rain delay or extra innings.

    All that said, if The Nats have to keep it open for 10 extra hours all year, which I think would probably be more than necessary, that’s the price of two major league minimum players. If the Nat’s can’t spare that to ensure their fans can get to a game, then they have much bigger issues.

    • kellyb9 - Apr 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

      Thats only one subway/train. If people need to make connections to get out to the ‘burbs than it’ll be a lot more than 10 hours a year.

  2. ptho16 - Apr 19, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    This is only an issue during the week, metro runs until 3 am weekends.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 19, 2011 at 5:06 PM

      True, but Metro is considering cutbacks in weekend service, to help close its budget deficit.

  3. BC - Apr 19, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    The Nats should pick it up. Not that I’d encourage it, but there are a lot of fans that will go to the game and pound down a half dozen beers or more knowing they’re not driving home and have a safe ride on the train. Having them then deal with an unexpected crazy cab fare doesn’t seem right. And let’s face it, you’re not walking home at 2am in Washington. Or Boston or Chicago or Philly or New York, or wherever.

    • Alex K - Apr 19, 2011 at 11:32 AM

      You can walk home from Wrigley at 2 am. The Cell, totally different story, however.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 19, 2011 at 9:21 PM

      Nothing wrong with walking around New York at 2 AM.

  4. Old Gator - Apr 19, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    I have horrible claustrophobia. I wouldn’t…uh…those shadows…all…that noise…there are, are…things up in the rafters…get me out of here! Aaaaaaaaaggggghhhhhh…..

  5. 18thstreet - Apr 19, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    Heck, the city already built them a stadium that they rent for $2M a year, and built them parking garages (and the team gets to keep all the money made there). I think the city should also pay the cost of their infield.

    There’s no reason — NONE — why the team shouldn’t pay for the cost of extra hours of Metro. There’s a lot of poor people in this city; the polling was quite clear that none of them wanted this team. Crap like this is why they were right.

  6. natstowngreg - Apr 19, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Agreed, the Nats should help out. Though keep in mind, the Lerners are the same owners who didn’t pay the rent for months because they claimed DC had not completed the park exactly to their specs. Councilman Wells should not hold his breath.

    I’ve been through the late-ending game scenario a couple of times; they give you 15-20 mins to get to the Navy Yard station. For most of us who arrive by Metro (and live in the ‘burbs), the motivation to move quickly is strong.

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