Nationals, D.C. still at odds over extending Metro hours

With the Washington Nationals fighting for a division title, the city and the team's officials are tussling over who should foot the bill to extend Metro hours for fans attending the games.

"I love the Nationals, and they just got into the playoffs, and I'm very excited about it," said Nats fan Ana Garcia of Manassas.

But those eager fans still don't know whether Metro will stay open past midnight if the remaining games go long.

"We are trying like heck to have a great season here, and we need as many fans as we can. They need the public transportation," said Rockville resident Gary Fegan.

Keeping the Metro system open late can cost nearly $30,000 an hour. The Nats want the city to pay, but the Redskins, the Capitols and the Wizards all have footed the bill in the past.

The Verizon Center paid to keep Metro open late during Madonna's concerts both last night and tonight.

City leaders have promised it'll get worked out.

On Sept. 19, Councilman Jack Evans, (D) Ward 2, said, "I'm guaranteeing that Metro will be open so that everyone who attends play of game can get home who wants to."

But with just three more home games left before the playoffs begin, there's still no deal.

"We will find a solution...perhaps if everybody contributes a little bit, we can get this done," said Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.

McDonnell has instructed the Virginia representative on the Metro board to raise the issue of extending hours for Nats games.

Just last month, a Nats game went into extra innings, forcing fans to pick between their ride home and seeing if their team pulled out a win.

Fans Kim and Ryan Shaw hope that doesn't happen during the playoffs.

"It is a long walk back to Springfield...," Kim added.

The Nationals issued the following statement regarding the Metro situation:

"There are a number of parties involved in these discussions and we are looking into all options, which is typical of any organization that is beginning to plan for a potentially large event that can positively impact the city."

A statement from Pedro Ribeiro, a spokesman for D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's office, reads:

"We continue working with the Nationals to address the issues surrounding the MLB playoffs."

Meanwhile, WMATA Spokesman Dan Stessel tells ABC7 there hasn't been any recent conversation with the Nats or the city "...regarding extended service..." during the playoffs.

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