Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is considering a future move for the Wizards and the Capitals out of their current Verizon Center location. Over the past few months, Leonsis has added an Arena Football League team, an “e-sports” franchise, and a new streaming network to his portfolio along with continuing to lead the ownership group that controls the Wizards, Mystics, and Verizon Center. He is also now a part-owner of CSN Mid-Atlantic, the local TV channel that covers his teams.
Leonsis made a trip to the Washington Post building Wednesday and spoke to reporters about the possible move for the Wizards and the Capitals out of their current location.
“My inclination right now would be — it’s pretty awesome where we are. And I love what’s happened to [downtown] D.C.,” Leonsis said to Washington Post reporters. “But I don’t know what’s going to happen five, six, seven years from now…I will be a free agent. I mean, that hasn’t been lost on me.”
While Michael Phelps was showing Maryland Pride in Rio, Paul McCartney repped the Pittsburgh Penguins at a concert at the Verizon Center. Wait, what?
Tuesday night, McCartney’s One on One tour rolled into the nation’s capital. McCartney took the stage at 8:30pm and three hours later, finally retired for the evening. During that stretch, McCartney covered nearly all of the greatest hits from his legendary career.
But it was during McCartney’s rendition of “Yesterday” that the former Beatle reminded many Caps fans in attendance of the team’s painful second-round loss to the eventual Stanley Cup champions.
After giving out bracelets in the first round of the playoffs, the Caps kicked it up a notch with branded styrofoam tubes for Game One of the Penguins series. The tubes lit up red when activated.
At first the giveaway seemed strange. Caps superfan Goat joked on Instagram that it was “Light-Up Miniature Pool Noodle Night’ at VERIZON CENTER!” But they were stunning. It looked like a pulsating sea of red.
Monday night, we had another example of a hockey player being super tough during the Capitals-Blue Jackets game. Columbus forward Boone Jenner got hit in the face by a teammate’s shot while skating through the crease looking for a rebound. Jenner bled all over his jersey and lost two or three teeth. He went to the locker room for repairs.
Last night we were all captivated by Spaghetti Guy, a man slurping up the Italian dish off a square plate behind the Islanders bench. He had a white linen towel resting on his knee, lest he sully his fine blue jeans. Some Caps fans were left wondering if the same level of luxury could be found at Verizon Center. I conducted extensive research Friday morning and found the answer.
Last year the Washington Capitals installed a display at Verizon Center honoring all the hat tricks scored at their home barn since 2008. It was a fantastic idea, especially featuring fans’ hats that had actually been thrown on the ice in celebration. The Caps expanded on that this offseason.
Photo credit: Chris Gordon
In recent years, as the Capitals began to falter and the Wizards and Nationals rose to playoff status, the crowds at Verizon Center slowly shrank. Though the team announced its 264th consecutive sellout after game two, there have often been large swatches of empty purple seats in the last few years.
Now, the Caps are back in the playoffs. They have a new coach, a new mentality, and are confident that they can finally bring a Stanley Cup to Washington.
With the resurgence of the team, the fans have come back. On this Friday night, the crowd brought back memories of late-game Sergei Fedorov goals and the hope and promise of the electric, run and gun Caps. At one point during game two, the decibel level reached 112. For a lot of the night, the numbers were over 100, nearly breaching the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s permissible noise level exposure limits.
The Rock the Red spirit is back and it’s pushing the Capitals forward. The team knows it. Here’s what they said after the game.
Before the Washington Capitals took on the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday, there was a wedding at center ice of Verizon Center. Mike and (the now) Liz Shannon tied the knot in front of family and friends standing inside the home and away benches.
Now, getting married wearing Caps jerseys on the ice of the Capitals home arena is pretty cool, but this is where I’m going to blow your mind: CSN’s Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin participated in the service.
Photo: Washington Capitals
A few years ago, Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis mused on his blog (I can’t find the article anymore) about someday doing something special with the hats that Caps fans throw onto the ice after a hat trick.
Fast forward a few years and Leonsis has seen the idea through. The Caps have unveiled a hat trick display at Verizon Center located behind section 111 of the main concourse.
Unfortunately, the photo that the team tweeted out is kind of hard-to-see. But don’t fret. When we get to our first home game, we’ll have some better ones to show you.
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