Metro, Capitals look to work out deal for extended hours

WASHINGTON — Caps fans booed Metro when the system closed during a first-round playoff game last week, and Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans said Thursday that he has talked to team owner Ted Leonsis about avoiding the problem for the remainder of the Capitals’ and Wizards’ playoff runs.

“I actually reached out to Ted Leonsis and talked to him on the phone about it and said, ‘We have to somehow work this out so that the system stays open later,’” Evans said. “He wants to do that too. He recognizes that.”

The Capitals-Blue Jackets game on April 15, a Sunday night, went to overtime at the Capital One Arena. Since Metro cut back hours last year the rail system closes at 11 p.m. on Sundays.

“Of course, the predictable response was everybody started to boo Metro,” Evans said.

Metro’s current policy is that the team or an event sponsor must pay $100,000 per hour to keep the system open. The team or sponsor then gets all fares paid during the extended service.

Based on the current schedule, Game 7 of the Capitals-Penguins series, if the series gets that far, could be the next game to present a problem, since it is scheduled for a Wednesday night when the rail system shuts down at 11:30 p.m. The start time has not yet been set.

“We have to work that out, and we will,” Evans said; “I’m really committed to that, as well as the Nationals and the Washington Redskins … and other things that go on — there are concerts, once you open up that box, there’s a lot of other things that go on as well. But right now we’re dealing with the Caps and Wizards.”

The Wizards play at home Friday, when Metro closes at 1 a.m.

If they advance to the next round, more games could present a need for extended hours to prevent fans from leaving early.

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