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Nationals and Metro no closer on late-night deal

Monday - 9/10/2012, 6:03pm  ET

AP: b006d516-bb7b-4801-94cc-cb382624e4f0
Major League Baseball is concerned that if the Nats start consistently paying to keep the Metro system running past normal hours, then all other baseball teams will have to do the same. (AP/Alex Brandon)

MLB worries about effect of decision on other cities' teams

WTOP's Adam Tuss

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Adam Tuss and Mark Segraves, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - The late-night transportation debate might go a lot further than the Nationals and Metro.

Major League Baseball is concerned that if the Nats start consistently paying to keep the Metro system running past normal hours, then all other baseball teams will have to do the same.

A senior Nationals source and a source with direct knowledge of the situation tells WTOP that the MLB is worried about a precedent being set around the league.

As the Nats draw closer to a potential playoff run -- where many weekday games could end after midnight and after Metro closes -- there is still no agreement on how the issue should be handled.

D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans confirmed the situation on Newschannel 8's Bruce Depuyt show Monday.

"Major League Baseball has made it clear that in no city in the country does the team have to pick up the tab for games that go beyond (closing)," he said. "It's not as clear cut an issue as it seems."

Evans said he will be working on a potential solution that satisfies all parties involved.

It costs about $30,000 per hour to keep transit open late. Most organizations, like the Capitals and the Redskins, have agreements with Metro.

WTOP contacted a number of transit agencies around the county and could not find an instance where a baseball team consistently pays to keep public transportation running beyond closing hours.

"No other MLB team has had to pay for service. We've never had to face this issue," MLB spokesperson Matt Bourne tells WTOP. "The Nationals are seeking solutions with the Metro."

He says MLB leaders will be monitoring the situation.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)