Nationals-Cardinals playoff game: Metro travel tips, road closures

The game begins at 1:07 p.m. Wednesday. (Photo: This Is Bossi)

On Wednesday, the Washington Nationals are set to take on the St.{ } Louis Cardinals in their first ever home playoff game. And, if you’re going to the game, here’s hoping you’ve mapped out a plan to navigate the huge crowds.

But if not, Metro is reminding fans of some important travel tips:{ }

•Nationals games will have the potential to add thousands of additional riders onto the system during already busy travel periods. Whenever possible, fans are encouraged to plan a route to the ballpark that avoids downtown transfer stations during rush hours.

•For example, riders traveling to/from stations the eastern side of the Red Line should consider connecting to Green Line service at Fort Totten, rather than Gallery Place.

•Blue and Orange line customers should consider using Capitol South Station, rather than Navy Yard-Ballpark Station, to avoid transferring at L’Enfant Plaza or Metro Center. Capitol South Station is located 0.8 miles from the ballpark via First Street SE.

•After the game, customers connecting to Yellow Line trains toward Huntington should consider making the transfer at Archives Station, rather than L’Enfant Plaza.

•Navy Yard-Ballpark Station has two entrances. Half Street is slightly closer to the ballpark and often gets very crowded. Meanwhile, the New Jersey Avenue entrance is a short three-block walk from the ballpark and is usually significantly less crowded. Both entrances are equipped with elevators, in addition to escalators.

•To avoid potentially long vending machine lines after the game, Nationals fans are reminded to load enough value on their paper farecard or SmarTrip for their entire roundtrip. Customers using paper farecards pay $1 more per trip than those using SmarTrip. SmarTrip cards can be purchased in advance at local CVS and Giant Food stores, Metro Sales offices, regional transit stores, online at, or at 47 Metrorail stations.

•Metro operates a combination of six-car and eight-car trains. Often, the last two cars of eight-car trains are the least crowded. Take note of the number of cars on the platform information displays, and spread out along the platform to take advantage of the additional space of eight-car trains whenever possible.{ }

Before and after each post-season game, Metro will operate additional trains on the Green Line to provide extra capacity for Nationals fans traveling to and from the ballpark. The additional trains will operate between Mt. Vernon Square and Anacostia Stations, making stops Gallery Place, Archives, L’Enfant Plaza, Waterfront and Navy Yard-Ballpark.

In the event of a Friday night game, Metro will delay the start of scheduled track work until Nationals crowds are through the system. Similarly, in the event of a Sunday game, Metro will end scheduled track work early.

Additional customer tips

•Sign up for MetroAlerts to be notified of Metrorail and Metrobus service disruptions.

•After boarding the train, move into the center of the car—away from the doors—to create space for customers behind you.

•Allow plenty of extra travel time. Consider arriving at the game early and waiting until crowds disperse after the game ends. If a train is too crowded, do not attempt to board it. Allow the doors to close and wait for the next train.

The Metropolitan Police Department is advising commuters that the following roads will be closed for the game:

- N Street SE, from 1st Street to S. Capitol Street will be closed at 7:00 AM • Half Street SE from M Street to N Street, will be closed at 7:00 AM

- Van Street SE, from M Street to N Street, will be closed at 7:00 AM and accessible to Taxis and stadium traffic.

- 1st Street SE, from M Street south to Potomac Avenue will be closed at approximately 10:30 AM and accessible to stadium traffic only.

- Potomac Avenue SE, from S. Capitol to 1st Street will be closed at approximately 10:30 AM and accessible to stadium traffic only

The game has a 1:07 p.m. start time. For those interested in attending, the team says "a limited number of standing room only tickets" will be available Oct. 10, beginning at 9 a.m. The tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Click here for more information.

The game will be broadcasted on the MLB Network.