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Commission to Fund Extended Metrorail Hours for Nats Games

By Steven Ginsberg
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 14, 2005; 1:33 PM

Metro officials said today that the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission will cover the costs of running subway trains if Washington Nationals' games last beyond the system's closing time.

The subway shuts down at midnight Sunday through Thursday and it costs $18,000 an hour to keep it open in the event that games run long. The system remains open until 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

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The deal ends a week's worth of negotiations between Metro, the sports commission and the team. Officials from all three had assured riders that they wouldn't be stranded, but none was willing to cover late costs.

Metro officials have also said they don't expect there to be any problems. Weeknight games start at 7:05 p.m. and it would be the rare rain delayed or extra inning game that would last until after midnight. Even so, Metro officials said it would take just 4,600 riders to cover the $18,000 it takes to run the system.

Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein also said that they eventually expect the Nationals to pay for any possible late fees.

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