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Qatar opens coffers to help Capitals fans get home (Update)


WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05: Brett Connolly #10 of the Washington Capitals celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena on May 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Patrick Smith

Here’s a strange story.

A country not located on the continent of North America is apparently putting up $100,000 to keep the trains running in Washington for an extra hour on Thursday night for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning.

With pockets bursting with money, Qatar, a small nation in the Middle East, is doing Capitals fans quite the service by flipping the bill to keep their metro system running late.

Games in Washington are starting at 8 p.m. local time., both on Tuesday night for Game 3 and also for Game 4.

Metro stays open until 11:30 p.m. local time on weeknights, meaning if the game goes into overtime, taking the train ceases to be an option.

At least it did.

Per the Washington Post:

D.C. Council member Jack Evans, also chair of the Metro board, said last week that he had been in discussions with a couple of companies that were considering paying the $100,000 fee to keep Metro open an additional hour, and Exelon and Pepco stepped up for Tuesday night.

On Tuesday, Evans told The Washington Post that the tiny, wealthy nation of Qatar has agreed to pay the $100,000 fee to keep Metro open until 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, when the Capitals host Game 4. That game also is set for an 8 p.m. start.

The Post said Qatar has previously invested in Washington’s city center.

Metro, which provides transportation service to Washington’s metropolitan area, has extended its hours on Tuesday as well after Exelon and Pepco wrote the cheque to keep the rails running, the Post reported.


According to NBC Washington, the deal is off:

A Metro source says no money has been exchanged, and D.C. Councilmember and Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans says the deal “seems to have come undone.”

The two sides are still trying to work out a deal, but Evans said he wouldn’t count on it happening.

Evans said Qatari officials attempted to change some language in the standard contract that Metro has about paying to keep the system open late.

Conference Finals schedule, TV info
NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck