Loose Lips

Greedy Nats Let Off the Hook

The question of who should pay any extra costs associated with keeping Metro open for late-night playoff games has a clear and easy answer: the Washington Nationals.

LL's position on this has been clear: If other sport teams pay for late-night service, then so should the Nats.

The team, owned by a billionaire, is probably the city's biggest corporate welfare recipient, thanks to the super sweetheart stadium deal the city gave it. But the Nats have always been cheapos. Remember when they didn't pay rent and complained that the stadium wasn't "substantially complete" midway through a season?

This same team has now successfully shirked its civic responsibility to pony up not very much money, if any at all, so its fans can take public transportation home after weekday playoff games. Yesterday, online couponer LivingSocial scored some P.R. points by saying it would cover any additional costs it takes to keep Metro open for Nats fans. The announcement came after several weeks of the Nats digging in and refusing not only to pay for late-night Metro costs but also to provide a reasonable rationale for such a miserly position.

LL doesn't mind LivingSocial paying for the service, so long as the city or Metro isn't covering the costs. (And LL would not be surprised to learn that Ted Leonsis and Dan Snyder had already called LivingSocial to ask about expanding its subway subsidies.) But the fix still leaves unanswered the general principle of who is responsible for paying to keep the system open late in the future. Whether this becomes an issue to worry about depends on whether a) the Nats ever make it back to the playoffs and b) no corporate sponsor can be found to pay for playoff Metro rides in future years.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Emmi

    Isn't the fee actually a deposit? If enough people ride Metro after the game, the Nationals would get their deposit back.

    "Under the terms of the arrangement announced today, LivingSocial will make a deposit of $29,500 for each hour of additional Metro service. For each rider who boards at Navy Yard-Ballpark, Metro will credit LivingSocial back $2.68 (the cost of an average ride), multiplied by two to reflect a round trip. LivingSocial will get a refund of up to $29,500 per hour—it'll take roughly 5,500 riders to get there—but not more. The arrangement affects service between Sunday and Thursday; Metro stays open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights." http://dcist.com/2012/09/neither_nats_nor_dc_will_pick_up_ta.php

  • HomeSchooled

    why you be hatin on rich people, sewerman?

    this is about metro being lame and closing so early not about the nats or the lerners.

  • Tom

    So one corporate welfare recipient is paying the bill for another corporate welfare recipient?? What has this city come to...only in DC.

  • wondering

    Why would metro credit for a round trip, when these are going to be one-way trips?

  • Joe

    If the deposit wasn't included in the original stadium deal, any addendum to the deal may require city council approval. Maybe it's time to assign an FBI detail to the Wilson Building.

  • Drez

    ^ Tom called this one.

  • W Jordan

    Note, in reality DC is paying the bill for the Nats. The city gave LivingSocial a $32M(?) tax abatement. It's all BS.

  • The Java Master

    A new stadioum for the Lerners, a $30 Million tax credit for Living Social...it pays to have connections in this town! Talk about your welfare freeloaders!

  • J Burnetti

    The Nats are greedy? Really? I have taken Metro to the ballpark. $11 fare round trip, plus $4.50 for parking. Let's say there's a crowd of 40,000, and conservatively, half the crowd takes Metro. That's 200,000 plus in fares, and 45,000 in parking. A quarter of a million extra for Metro. And they can't stay open for an extra hour or two? I thought they ran a public service. If they can't provide an extra 30 or 60 thousand dollars worth of service for an extra quarter of a million in revenue, we better audit their books!

  • SaveWard7

    I agree with @The Java Master. Also, the nats are greedy. I could care less if the attendees had to walk home! You go on your own, so get home on your own!

  • noodlez

    METRO IS THE BIGGEST/LARGEST CORPORATE WELFARE QUEEN!

    WHY SHOULD ANYONE PAY THEM OR PONY UP A DEPOSIT TO FOR THEM TO STAY OPEN LATER THAN NORM? NEXT THING YOU KNOW DC CABS, CAR SVC AND PEDI CABS ARE GOING TO BE ASKING FOR SOME DOUGH TO HANG AROUND.

    SEWERMAN'S SLUDGE TREATMENT OF THIS IS TO BLAME THE NATIONALS ORGANIZATION BECAUSE SNYDEE AND TED GAVE IN TO METRO'S DUMB ASS REQUEST. MAYBE THE TAXI COMMISSION CAN COME UP WITH A PROGRAM FOR DISCOUNT RIDES W/NATS TIX FOR CAB RIDES AFTER GAMES? PROMOTE ALL THOSE DAMN BIKE LANES?

    JUST BECAUSE THE CAPS AND SKINS SHOWED GOOD FAITH DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT! METRO SHOULD STAY OPEN UNTIL 2AM EVERY NIGHT BECAUSE THE CITY IS STILL OPEN AT THAT TIME.

    RUN THE TRAINS EVERY 30 MINUTES!!! TWO ENTRANCES? CLOSE ONE SIDE DOWN TO CUT DOWN ON KIOSK ATTENDANTS. THE WMATA BOARD SHOULD'VE MANDATED THIS AS PART OF THEIR INCREASED FEES.

    SLANTING THE STORY, NAME CALLING AND HACK-OKERY DOES NOT ADDRESS THE PROBLEM. YO SEWEY INSTEAD OF EVACUATING YOUR LL METHANE GAS OVER A SMALL FIRE EXACERBATING THE PROBLEM WHY DON'T YOU RECYCLE SOME SOLUTIONS.

  • Cherrypicking

    The Nats wanted to pay for Metro. Major League Baseball is the villian here.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/will-nationals-fans-be-able-to-get-home-after-postseason-games/

  • H Street Landlord

    Lerners look like cheap bastards. First the entire stadium is paid with taxpayer money, and now they won't even pony up this lousy amount of money. If every other sports team owner in the area can do it, why can't they? Disgusting. I won't support them because of this cheapness.

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