Once again, a third party will foot the bill for late night Metro service for Nationals playoff games

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The D.C. Metro system shuts down around midnight. Which isn’t always a huge problem for people going to Nationals games, as rare are the games that last past midnight. But in the playoffs when the games start later and go longer — and when they are important enough to where fans really don’t want to have to leave early to make the last train — this can present a problem.

There was a controversy about this back when the Nationals made the playoffs back in 2012. At the time it was controversial because the Nationals claimed that they could not do what all of the other sports teams in D.C. do in such a situation and pay the local transit authority to keep the Metro open late. They said it was against Major League Baseball policy. No one ever could point out what policy that was, unless it was just a broader policy in which Major League Baseball and its teams simply will not pay for things that benefit them if they think they can get someone else to pay for it. THAT policy has a long and rich history.

Of course, it was really about the Nats not wanting to pay. And they didn’t, as a third party — the company Living Social — stepped in to pay the price to keep the trains running late. It’s happening again. This morning it was announced that American University would pay.

If you’re an American University student paying big tuition or an employee wishing for a raise, I bet you’re pretty happy about that right now. If you’re the billionaire owners of the Washington Nationals, I bet you’re pretty happy about it too, as you’ve now got even more precedent on your side justifying your never having to pay for something that benefits your bottom line.