UPDATE: Metro to extend service after Nationals-Brewers Wild Card Game

Ben Krimmel
September 30, 2019 - 2:16 pm
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UPDATE (5:00 p.m.) – WMATA has corrected course, announcing it will extend Metro service at least 20 minutes from the end of the Nationals' Wild Card game against the Brewers Tuesday at Nats Park.

The win-or-go home playoff game begins at 8:08 p.m., an hour later than most Nationals home games, which will likely place the end of the game beyond the time last trains typically depart from the Navy Yard station. As a response, Metro "is prepared to accommodate fans by running additional trains on the Green Line, both before and after the games, as we always do."

"While there has been no formal request to extend Metrorail service," the announcement goes on, "we want to assure fans considering choosing Metro that we will get you home if the game runs later than expected.

"Trains will continue running at least 20 minutes after the end of the game, up to one hour later than our normal closing time, if necessary."

At the same time as Nationals-Brewers, the Washington Mystics will be tipping off against the Connecticut Sun for Game 2 of the WNBA Finals at the Entertainment & Sports Arena in Southeast. Mystics fans use the Congress Heights station along the Green Line for transport to games. By extending Green Line service, Metro is also addressing those fans' concerns.

The Mystics lead the best-of-five series 1-0.

While this announcement addresses the immediate concern around Tuesday’s games, the Metro Board will take up the broader issues concerning Metro’s closing time and accommodating fans during playoff season in the coming months," the Metro announcement says. "Thank you for your support of Metro. Go Mystics! Go Nats!"

It's important to note the announcement states Metro will "continue running at least 20 minutes after the end of the game, up to one hour later than our normal closing time, if necessary," meaning a potential extra-innings situation that goes beyond one hour past Metro's normal closing time could still leave Nationals fans stranded.

In 2014, Game 2 of the Nationals-Giants division series began at 5:38 p.m. and went – after 18 innings – to 12:01 a.m., or six hours and 23 minutes from start to finish. If a similar situation were to arise Tuesday evening, the latest the Green Line would remain open is 12:48 a.m. for a Branch Ave.-bound train, and 12:22 a.m. for a Greenbelt-bound train.

If the Wild Card game goes beyond four hours – not unheard of for postseason baseball – fans devoted to riding Metro home may still need to leave the game early.

— Original Story —

Step back, doors closing.

We don't know when the NL Wild Card game will end Tuesday night (or even Wednesday morning), but the familiar refrain of the D.C. Metro will sound at it's regularly scheduled closing time at Navy Yard on Oct. 1. 

Fans attending the game at Nats Park between the Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals' via the Metro will have to watch the clock if they want to take the train home after the game. The last trains will leave the station outside the outfield walls at 11:22 p.m. in the direction of Greenbelt and at 11:48 p.m. in the direction of Branch Ave.

The game, which has an 8:08 p.m. first pitch, will likely conclude after the last train leaves. The average for a 9-inning game in 2019 was a record 3 hours, 5 minutes, 35 seconds, topping the record set in 2017 by 24 seconds, per the Associated Press. In 2015, the average time was 2:46.

And while you may think that should give you enough time to make the last train, remember the average time increases for playoff games. In 2017, the average postseason fixture was completed in 3 hours, 32 minutes. During the 2016 playoffs, the average was 3 hours, 24 minutes.

Metro has stayed open late for events in the past, including All-Star Week events and the Capitals' Stanley Cup run in 2018. However, those instances involved deals between Metro and sponsors who foot the bill to keep the trains running. This could happen before Tuesday night's game, but no deal has been announced yet.

Follow @BenKrimmel and @1067theFan on Twitter.

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