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Nationals Game Starts to Start at 3:05 Today

Navy Yard Platform.jpg
Navy Yard Station handled large crowd for last year's papal visit. (Thomson)

Metro trains are likely to be crowded this afternoon. Navy Yard Station on the Green Line, the stop nearest to Nationals Park on the Anacostia waterfront, handled game days well last year. If Metro officials think the platform is getting too crowded, they can either delay the arrival of a train or have the operator keep the doors closed to prevent a crush. (When you get off the train at Navy Yard, turn left for the exit closest to the stadium.)

I found the crowding at the main transfer stations of L'Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place to be a bit trickier, but in my experience, Metro had enough personnel on those platforms to direct people and keep them from hurting themselves in the crush. Metro carries as many as 20,000 fans to the game and puts on extra trains and train cars.

One problem with these rare afternoon games for some fans is that if they're planning to come in from the suburbs and park at a Metro station, they'll find many of those lots and garages already filled with commuters. This link goes to the Metro brochure on traveling to the stadium.

The intense traffic congestion that I thought might develop around M and South Capitol streets was a rarity last year, and the Nats started selling parking for individual games.

Parking at RFK Stadium's Lot 8 and taking the Nats Express to Third and M streets SE proved a very convenient option last year.

The worst bet is to try parking on residential streets in Southwest Washington and on Capitol Hill during game times. The parking restrictions created last year to protect those neighborhoods are still in effect.

Here's a link to the interactive transportation page on the Nats Web site. I notice one outdated bit of travel information on that site: It still shows Metrobus N22 as the link between Union Station-Eastern Market-Navy Yard Station. The N22 has been replaced by the Circulator, the red, black and silver bus that operated every 10 minutes on that route. When the Nats are away, the Circulator hours are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays on that route. Update: If there's a night game, the service is extended to midnight. For weekend game days, the service will operate from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. if it's a day game and from 8 a.m. to midnight if it's a night game.

By Robert Thomson  |  April 13, 2009; 7:58 AM ET
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Hopefully, the Circulator will run after late games. Last year, it was unpleasant to discover that the N22 stuck to its regular schedule and stopped running at 10:30, regardless of when the game ended and despite false advertising ("Beat the crowds, take the N22 home after the game." Um, I can't Metro, if you stop running the bus before the game ends).

Posted by: DCLiz | April 13, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Also, the link above to the "interactive transportation page" goes to a non-interactive PDF map. Is this what you meant?

Posted by: DCLiz | April 13, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

OK, OK. Last comment. I hope. THAT interactive map does finally solve the mystery of the Circulator's extended game day hours. To wit:

Hours of Operation:

Monday through Friday
6:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
ADDITIONAL NIGHT SERVICE only on Nationals gamedays
7:00 p.m. to Midnight

WEEKEND Service ONLY on Nationals gamedays
8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Or depending on time of game
8:00 a.m. to Midnight

Posted by: DCLiz | April 13, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"Metro trains are likely to be crowded this afternoon"

lol. not the way the Nat's are playing. Metro only handled crowds "well" last year because the new ballpark was empty all season.

GO O's!

Posted by: terp4life1 | April 13, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

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