WMATA made the announcement that D.C.-based online deals company LivingSocial has offered to front the costs. The deal to extend train service was reportedly signed yesterday and a press conference was held at the Navy-Yard-Ballpark Metro station.
Currently, service at the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro Station on the Green Line ends about 11:40 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. As it stands, if a rain delay or extra innings occur on these days, fans generally have to leave the game early in order to catch a train to get home.
Postseason games, which typically have about an hour later start time than regular season games, could present a big dilemma for baseball fans who want to enjoy the full game. Especially since the fans have been waiting decades to see postseason baseball games in the city.
For weeks there has been discussion about late night Metro Service now that the Nationals have made the postseason, but the problem was no one was stepping up to the plate
to pay for extended train service.
LivingSocial has fronted a $29,500 deposit to WMATA to cover at least one hour, and up to two hours of extended service. The company may be able to recoup some or all of the costs depending on ridership, reported WTOP News
Reportedly, Major League Baseball was worried that if the Nationals paid for late-night train service, other ball clubs would have to do the same. Initially, the Nationals had asked the District to pay for the extra hour or two during postseason games; this request had been turned down.
Several media outlets reported that other sports teams
and event organizers traditionally pay to keep Metro running if games run late; including a recent
Capitals/New York Rangers NHL game that went triple overtime.
With LivingSocial's offer, fans can now attend games without worry of getting home since the trains will run past midnight.
“We have a service agreement in place with LivingSocial to provide an additional hour of service for fans to get home following Nationals games during the entire postseason,” Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles said. “We are delighted to be able to provide this service for Metro-riding baseball fans, thanks to LivingSocial, and we wish the Nationals the best of luck in the postseason.”
Currently, the Nationals
continue to maintain their lead position in the NL East and will play postseason. After last night's win in Philadelphia, the Nats lead the division by four games over Atlanta.
“LivingSocial is in the business of creating great local experiences, and we want to be sure DC fans can enjoy the city’s first baseball playoffs in 79 years without worrying about how they will get home,” said LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy, in a WMATA press release
. “DC is our hometown, and we love this city. This is just a small way to say thanks to our local customers, merchants, and employees for making Washington such a great place for us to live, work, and grow.”