The World Series spotlight shifts to the nation’s capital Friday night as the Washington Nationals come home with two wins against the Houston Astros. And D.C. is preparing for the games and the crowds they will bring.
“We are so excited to bring the World Series to Washington, D.C., for the first time in 86 years,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at a news conference Thursday outside Nationals Park.
The Nats are two wins away from winning the series, and they could sweep it in a deciding Game 4 on Saturday. The city is prepared for that to not be the case, which means Game 5 would be held on Sunday night.
“Similar to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and the Cap’s Stanley Cup run, we are prepared,” said D.C. police Chief Peter Newsham.
Newsham said there are no credible threats against the city or the games this weekend, but the police department will step up patrols. Those additional officers will focus on the area around the ballpark and D.C. night life destinations.
Newsham said road closures, and restrictions seen in Game 4 of the National League Division Series will be in effect for the home games. This includes many street parking spots near the stadium being off limits.
If the Nats win it all while at home, closures and restrictions may be extended after the deciding game, Newsham said.
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Bowser urged fans to do four things if they are attending the games, or headed to a watch party near Nats Park. “Don’t drive to the ballpark. Arrive early. Drink responsibly, and cheer loudly,” Bowser said.
Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said his employees are ready to support the games.
He said his team is also supporting the Nats with train and bus operators all wearing “Curly W” hats.
Wiedefeld said after every game, Metro will remain open for 20 minutes. He also said everyone in a line at Navy Yard Metro station within 20 minutes of a games conclusion will be allowed to board trains.
In the case of a Game 5 on Sunday, Wiedefeld said Pepco will pay to run trains along the entire system from 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Wiedefeld also wants riders to not wait until game day to refill Metro cards.
It will be a busy weekend for Metro, which will open two hours early on Sunday for the Marine Corp Marathon.
If the team wins its first World Series, fans are expected to fill the streets to celebrate. Newsham said police will be on standby to make sure the fun doesn’t get out of hand.
“Washington, D.C., has a proud history of celebrating responsibly and with class, and we certainly don’t want to ruin that reputation,” Newsham said.
A familiar tip for all big events with large crowds: Groups are encouraged to decide on a designated meeting area in case anyone gets lost.
Also, for game day information from D.C., text “NATS” to 888-777.