As the Nationals get closer to October, and therefore the playoffs, a big question surrounding the transportation of fans to and from the stadium has yet to be resolved. The DC metro system and the Nats are still without agreement on how they can keep the trains running late when the games begin to run later.
Recently we heard the team has the responsibility to pay to keep the trains going after hours, possibly more than 25,000 an hour to do so. Now, D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) has explained exactly why they hold that stance.
"MLB is quite concerned about a precedent being set in this city," he told Bruce Depuyt of Channel 8 news.
As of now the DC metro trains run until just 12 a.m. during the week, a time that cuts it close already when games go late. In the postseason games may not start until after 8:00 p.m. and, with extra time for commercials, will likely leave people stranded in Southeast.
D.C. officials themselves have said they won't pay the price, that it is the responsibility of the team itself. It has been known the Washington Capitals and other event organizers have footed the bill in the past to keep the trains open late.
It looks like the league and the Nationals will have to come to a compromise at some point. The playoffs don't start for about a month, but crowds could get larger as the pennant race heats up. There remain ten home games at Nationals Park including a three-game set against the Dodgers and a season-ending series against the Phillies. Both series could be huge draws.
As more pressure mounts, something will have to give. But if you take Evans' word for it, he sounds optimistic.
"I think we'll get this issue resolved," he said.
No further details have been released on the league's policy and their thoughts on setting the "precedent." Hopefully there is more clarity to the issue soon.