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Advice For Reaching Saturday Concert at Nats Park

For the first time, the baseball stadium will host a concert. The headliners Saturday are Billy Joel and Elton John, and the place will probably be full. That means you're likely to encounter traffic congestion near South Capitol and M streets, crowding on Metro and long lines at the stadium entrances.

Besides getting there early (gates open at 6 p.m. for the 7:30 show) and being patient, the advice we're hearing goes like this:

For Drivers
-- There's no Nats Express. The baseball system that allows fans to park at RFK Stadium and take the free shuttle will not be operating.
-- You can buy parking near the stadium in advance. Use this link.
-- If you're trying to get directions through an online map program, the stadium's address is 1500 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003-1507.
-- Don't think about parking on the street near the stadium unless you really know where you are and what you're doing. The District government set tough parking rules to protect the neighborhood residents.
-- This link will show routes for driving, biking and walking.

For Transit Users
-- Navy Yard, on the Green Line, is the nearest Metrorail station.
-- Metro will operate some eight-car trains on the Green Line before the concert. Afterward, there will be eight-car shuttle trains between Navy Yard and Mount Vernon Square. Metro does this after baseball games, too. It's a good plan, because most people transfer to the Blue and Orange lines at L'Enfant Plaza or to the Red Line at Gallery Place before the Green Line shuttle reaches Mount Vernon Square. However, if you do take an eight-car train to Mount Vernon Square and have to wait there for one that goes all the way to Greenbelt, remember that the six-car train picking you up is going to pull all the way up to the front of the platform.
-- The lines to get into Navy Yard Station after the show will almost certainly be very, very long. Be sure you bought a fare card or have a SmarTrip card with enough value on it, so at least you don't have to wait at the fare vending machines. Sometimes it's easier to get into the station from the M Street/New Jersey Avenue entrance.
-- The D.C. Circulator bus will not be operating Saturday night.
-- Parking at Metro lots and garages is free on weekends. That's the good part. The bad part is that Metro will be doing track maintenance on the Red, Orange, Blue and Yellow lines. (Only the Green escapes.) That means you should add at least a half hour to the time a trip normally would take. The Trip Planner on Metro's Web site is normally a great guide, but its little brain doesn't take track work delays into account.

By Robert Thomson  |  July 9, 2009; 1:05 PM ET
Categories:  Events  | Tags: Billy Joel, Dr. Gridlock, Elton John, concert  
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Comments

Metro sucks.

Posted by: blah1233242 | July 9, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

will the Circulator be running, like it does for baseball?

Posted by: RedBirdie | July 9, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Will the ballpark's bike valet lockup be open and staffed?

Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | July 9, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: No Circulator on Saturday night. Just confirmed that and added it into the posting. Still checking on the bike valet.

Posted by: Robert Thomson | July 9, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Do you know if we'll be able to park a Vespa near the stadium? I don't know what the normal Vespa procedures are for baseball games.

Posted by: mromigh | July 9, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Do you know if we'll be able to park a Vespa near the stadium? I don't know what the normal Vespa procedures are for baseball games.

Posted by: mromigh | July 9, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

No Circulator service? Why? I thought the point of that was to provide service to Nats Park when events were happening there.

Posted by: pikamander007 | July 9, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

How realistic is it - in terms of both safety and distance - to walk to the Federal Center, Capital South, or Eastern Market metro stations from Nationals Park?

Posted by: niceshoes1 | July 11, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

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