Metro Nationals playoff: LivingSocial agrees to pay for extended Metro service

The Navy Yard-Ballpark station serves thousands of fans before and after Nationals games. Photo: Flickr/thisisbossi

Washington Nationals fans scored a home run Thursday after LivingSocial agreed to foot the bill for late-night Metro service during the upcoming Major League Baseball postseason, according to news reports.

WMATA, the playoff-bound Nationals and the District of Columbia have been locked in a back-and-forth for more than a month over who would pay to keep the rail system open on weeknights after games that stretch past midnight.

Metro officials will make the announcement Thursday night at 5 p.m.

The Metrorail system's 86 stations close down at about midnight Monday-Thursday, and getting fans home after playoff games that could stretch late into the night has been at the top of mind for officials and fans as the team continues to win.

Issues reached a peak in mid-August, when many Nationals fans were stranded after a 13-inning victory that finished up after midnight. Metro says that a $29,000 deposit is required in advance to keep the system open and operational for an hour after closing.

The Washington Capitals. Redskins and Wizards all have agreements like that in place in case their games run late. The Nationals do not. With that in mind, all sides involved have traded opinions on who should foot the bill for late-night rail service after baseball games at Nationals Park.

In an appearance on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt on NewsChannel 8 earlier this month, D.C. Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans said that keeping the system open late was imperative.

"We subsidize Metro to the tune of $300 to $400 million a year," he said. "Why can't the system stay open for an extra hour or two?"

Major League Baseball reportedly prefers that the Nationals don't pay for extended Metro service themselves, in fear that doing so would set a precedent for teams in other cities with similar mass transit systems.