Metro closes before Nationals game ends

The Navy Yard station serves Nationals fans during every game. © 2012 by thisisbossi, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

Monday night's 13-inning victory by the Washington Nationals over the Atlanta Braves was one of the most thrilling of the season. However, for Nats fans who took Metro to the game and stayed all night to see the conclusion of the 5-4 win, getting home was a different story.

The game, which lasted nearly 4 1/2-hours and ended well after midnight, went longer than Metro trains run, stranding plenty of fans outside the Navy Yard-Ballpark station and sent them scrambling for an alternate way to get home.

Nats fan Anthony Jackson said, "There weren't enough cabs, there weren't enough buses, so a lot of people were just standing around, walking. It was kind of sad."

Metro has agreements with local sports teams to keep its 86 stations open should games go long. But, according to WTOP, the Nationals and WMATA do not have such an agreement . Spokesman Dan Stessel says that it costs nearly $30,000 per hour to extend service past normal running hours.

The system isn't free. It costs us quite a bit of money to keep it open for additional hours, and someone has to pay for that. So without an agreement in place ahead of time, metro closed at12 as it does every night of the week," added Metro spokeswoman Caroline Lukas.

Teams pay WMATA $29,000 an hour to keep the system past scheduled times. But until there's such a deal with the Nats, fans may have to make a choice - support the team until the end or get home on time.

It's not a new problem for sports fans - during the Washington Capitals playoff run this past spring, Metro stayed open late to accommodate games that went multiple overtimes. The most notable of those games happened on May 2, when Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Capitals and New York Rangers went into triple overtime.

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