Capital One Arena – Washington Capitals

by | Apr 12, 2018 | NHL, Richard Smith | 0 comments

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Rocking The Red

The Washington Capitals started in 1974 as an NHL expansion team along with the Kansas City Scouts. The Scouts later moved to New Jersey and became the Devils.

The Capital Centre (later known as the USAir Arena) was the Capital’s home until 1997. That suburban Maryland arena was also the home of the Capital/Washington Bullets/Wizards of the NBA from 1973 to 1997, and the Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team. Many famous events were held at the “Cap Centre,” including a boxing World Heavyweight Championship bout on April 30, 1976, with Jimmy Young challenging the champion Muhammad Ali. The fight went the full 15 rounds and was awarded unanimously to Ali. The Capital Centre was demolished in December 2002, though its name lives on in a shopping complex located on the former site of stadium as The Boulevard at the Capital Centre. The site is within close walking distance to the Washington Redskins home FedExField.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment is the owner of the Capitals as well as the NBA’s Washington Wizards, WNBA’s Washington Mystics, Arena Football League’s Washington Valor and the Capital One Arena itself. The Mystics and the new G League team, the Capital City Go-Go, will be playing soon at the under construction St. Elizabeth’s East Entertainment and Sports Arena in Southeast DC, which also serves as the practice facility for the Wizards. The organization also manages the Kettler Capitals Iceplex and George Mason University’s EagleBank Arena. Ted Leonsis, a former senior executive with America Online (AOL) is its founder, chairman, and CEO.

The Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team still shares the Capital One Arena with this collection of pro teams.

The Capital One Arena was previously known as the Verizon Center and was originally known as the MCI Center when it opened in 1997. It is located in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, DC, and sits atop the Gallery Place Station of the Washington Metro subway system. Although Monumental Sports & Entertainment owns the arena, the land is leased from the city of Washington, DC. The Inaugural event was a concert performance by Barry Manilow in celebration of the then Capitals owner Abe Pollin’s birthday on December 2, 1997.

Food & Beverage 5

There are many food options at the Capital One Arena and pretty much all food options can be found in both the upper and lower concourse.

Prices are fairly high. Sodas start at $5. A souvenir soda, with free refills, is a hefty $9. Hot dogs are $5.75.

Hofman’s Quality Meats continue to be a favorite stand of fans. They are joined by the new Shock Top Beer stand as well as a “test kitchen” stand called Launch, where one is likely to find a rotating menu of his culinary offerings.

Atmosphere 4

The atmosphere at the Capital One Arena has improved greatly in the last few years. The Capitals are currently the most successful of the local pro sports teams and the fans have shown their support.

The “Let’s go Caps!” cheer can be pretty good. The fans are usually in full support of the team and they can really “rock the red.”

The arena is nicely designed and offers great, unobstructed views no matter where you are in the facility. Even the nosebleed seats do not feel too far away from the action.

The Red Rockers cheer squad is a welcome addition to the atmosphere of the Capital One Arena.

Neighborhood 5

Capital One Arena is located in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, DC, and sits atop the Gallery Place Station of the Washington Metro subway system. There are a multitude of bars and restaurants in the area that are quite excellent such as Fuddruckers, Greene Turtle, Chinatown Express.

If you like burgers a good choice is BTS, which stands for Burger, Tap, and Shake. This place has great burgers and even better milkshakes. If you’re looking for something that’s not a burger, &pizza makes the pizza pies right in front of you.

A few of my favorites away from the area are Smith Commons (in the Atlas Arts District), Doi Moi (Logan Circle) and Bar Charley (near Dupont Circle). A good suggestion is to stop by Bar Charley for some great craft cocktails and walk the few blocks over to Doi Moi to finish up with some great Asian small plates.

Did I mention you are right in the middle of Washington, DC? The amount of attractions, museums, restaurants and other sights are astounding. Spend some time pre or postgame seeing the many things around this great city. The new African American History museum just opened recently as well as the National Portrait Gallery, which is located across the street from the arena, are great choices.

Fans 3

The fans are louder than they used to be. The “Let’s go Caps!” chant used to be drowned out by the opposing team fans, especially if it is the Rangers, Flyers or Red Wings. Now it seems like the local fans are trying especially hard to overcome their “guests.”

The Capitals are still the best supported sports team in DC. The Redskins may fill up a bigger stadium 8 times a year, but the fans here show their support to a team that may also be the overall best performing local team.

Access 3

This is DC, so parking is never the best idea. Lots are around in the area at various prices. But the best option is to try and not drive in this madness and instead take the subway system, known as the Metro.

The Metro is frustratingly overpriced compared to systems in other cities. But it really does get you to nearly all parts of the city, except for Georgetown. Just be careful on weekends when trains run less often or are in single track mode, as you may encounter some extended wait times. The Gallery Place Station is right underneath the Capital One Arena.

You will also spend quite a bit of time walking around DC. It is large and spread out. So bring some good walking shoes.

The National Mall and all its attractions are just a few blocks south so try and stop by pre or postgame.

Return on Investment 4

Tickets, like most in the NHL, are expensive. But good seats can be had for decent prices when needed. That is why Flyers fans invade the place as it is cheaper to attend here than at their home up on Broad Street.

Extras 5

The team offers free programs for all games. At a time when some teams charge for almost anything this is a welcome sight.

Looking out the windows of the concourse you will see that you are in the heart of the historic part of DC. That is a great sight to see. The National Portrait Gallery is right next to the stadium. Other great attractions and museums are in close distance.

Ted Leonsis is an attraction himself. You will often times see the owner in the crowd mingling and talking to fans. I even witnessed him scooping ice cream for a family ticket event. His ownership has provided a great deal to be excited about.

The Red Rockers cheer squad is a nice sight to see. They can engage the fans pretty well.

I like that the arena is in the heart of the historic district, but also the Chinatown area. There are some great things to see in this area of town.

Final Thoughts

The Capital One Arena is a great arena, and easily one of the best in the Washington, DC area. The fans are some of the best in the area and you will have a great time at this impressive facility.


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Crowd Reviews

Latest Crowd Reviews

Date: 2018-04-11 15:43:13
By: Legacy Review

Total Score

The atmosphere at the Verizon Center has improved greatly in the last few years. The Capitals are currently the most successful of the local pro sports teams and the fans have shown their support.


Stadium Info

Capital One Arena
601 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004

Washington Capitals website

Capital One Arena website

Year Opened: 1997

Capacity: 18,506


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