Capital One Arena
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Capital One Arena
Capital One Arena
Verizon Center wide.jpg
Former names MCI Center (1997-2006)
Verizon Center (2006-2017)
Address 601 F Street NW
Location Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°53?53?N 77°1?15?W / 38.89806°N 77.02083°W / 38.89806; -77.02083Coordinates: 38°53?53?N 77°1?15?W / 38.89806°N 77.02083°W / 38.89806; -77.02083
Public transit Washington Metro
WMATA Red.svgWMATA Green.svgWMATA Yellow.svg at Gallery Place
Owner Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Operator Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Capacity Basketball:
20,674 (1997-2002)
20,173 (2002-2010)
20,278 (2010-2011)
20,282 (2011-2012)
20,308 (2012-2013)
20,356 (2013-present)
Ice hockey:
19,740 (1997-1999)
18,672 (1999-2002)
18,277 (2002-2010)
18,398 (2010-2011)
18,506 (2011-present)[1][2]
Field size 1,020,000 square feet (95,000 m2)
Broke ground October 18, 1995
Opened December 2, 1997
Construction cost US$260 million
($396 million in 2017 dollars[3])
Architect Ellerbe Becket[4]
Devrouax & Purnell[4]
KCF-SHG Architects[4]
Project manager Seagull Bay Sports, LLC.[5]
Structural engineer Delon Hampton & Associates[6]
Services engineer John J. Christie Associates[4]
General contractor Clark/Smoot[7]
Washington Wizards (NBA) (1997-present)
Washington Capitals (NHL) (1997-present)
Georgetown Hoyas (NCAA) (1997-present)
Washington Mystics (WNBA) (1998-present)
Washington Power (NLL) (2001-2002)
Washington Valor (AFL) (2017-present)

Capital One Arena is an indoor arena in Washington, D.C. Owned by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, it is the home arena of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League, the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association, the Georgetown University men's basketball team, the Washington Mystics of the Women's National Basketball Association, and the Washington Valor of the Arena Football League.

Located in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., the Capital One Arena sits atop the Gallery Place rapid transit station of the Washington Metro. The arena has been largely considered to be a commercial success and is regarded as one of the driving catalysts of the revitalization of Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown neighborhood.[8]


The arena was built in the mid-1990s solely with private financing by Abe Pollin, and is situated on top of land leased from the District of Columbia. It opened on December 2, 1997, as the MCI Center. Nearly a decade later, in January 2006, Verizon Communications purchased MCI and the arena's name was changed accordingly to Verizon Center.[8] The following year, in 2007, the "first true indoor high-definition LED scoreboard" was installed in the arena.[9][10]

On June 10, 2010, following Pollin's death in November 2009, the Pollin family sold the arena, along with the Washington Wizards and the Washington-Baltimore area Ticketmaster franchise, to Ted Leonsis, who already owned the arena's other tenant, the Washington Capitals. Leonsis subsequently formed a new management company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment.[11]

A report emerged in May 2015 that Verizon would not renew its naming rights to the Verizon Center when its agreement with Monumental ends in 2018.[12][13] In the same week, it was announced that Etihad Airways signed a deal to become the official airline of the arena, sparking speculation that Etihad might be the leading contender to assume naming rights in 2017.[14] However, on August 9, 2017, it was announced the bank Capital One had purchased the rights, renaming the venue Capital One Arena.[15][16][17]

The Washington Valor began play at the arena for their inaugural season in the Arena Football League.[18] The Mystics will move after the 2018 WNBA season to a new, smaller arena currently under construction in the Congress Heights area of southeast Washington.[19]

The arena hosted games of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2018, when the Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights.[20]



When the arena opened, there was concern that it would lead to the displacement of Chinese businesses and culture in the area that is the city's Chinatown.[21] The surrounding area has indeed been dramatically gentrified, and most of the Chinese residents and businesses who lived and operated in the neighborhood when the arena first opened have been displaced because of the spike in real estate prices.[22] Recent estimates hold that the number of Chinese in the neighborhood is down to around 400 to 500.[22] The Chinese-owned restaurants and businesses in the Chinatown area are largely gone and there has not been a full-service Chinese grocery in the neighborhood since 2005.[22]

Ice quality issues

In December 2007, then-Capitals captain Chris Clark gained a bit of press by stating that he believed the arena had the worst ice in the NHL. "There's a lot of ruts in the ice. It's soft. It's wet half the time. I could see a lot of injuries coming from the ice there. It could cost [players] their jobs... Even guys on other teams say the same thing. When we're facing off, they say, 'How do you guys play on this?'" Capitals owner Ted Leonsis addressed this criticism directly.[23] The ice quality issue has been persistent both since the opening of the facility and with the Capitals franchise in general.[24] Since Leonsis' acquisition of the facility, the quality of the ice has gotten better[according to whom?] and number of complaints has noticeably decreased. During playoff games, the arena installs a system to help remove hot air and humidity to maintain the ice conditions during warmer times of the year.[]

See also


  1. ^ Carrera, Katie (December 6, 2012). "Hershey Bears Play AHL Showcase at Verizon Center, Keeping Capitals Fans Entertained for One Night During NHL Lockout". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013. 
  2. ^ Heath, Thomas (November 25, 2004). "On Hockey Nights, A Center of Inactivity". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011. 
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800-". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Verizon Center". AECOM. Retrieved 2017. 
  5. ^ Bailey, W. Scott (December 6, 2002). "New S.A. Sports Firm Set to Play Pivotal Pole in Big NBA Projects". San Antonio Business Journal. Retrieved 2013. 
  6. ^ "Verizon Center". Delon Hampton & Associates. Retrieved 2013. 
  7. ^ "MCI Center". Retrieved 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Name Change: MCI Center to be Verizon Center". ESPN. Associated Press. January 7, 2006. Retrieved 2013. 
  9. ^ "Verizon Center Shows off "First True Indoor HD LED Scoreboard"". Engadget. September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2011. 
  10. ^ Nakamura, David (December 2, 2007). "Verizon Center Marks 10th Anniversary". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Hobson, Will. "Verizon still mulling whether to renew naming rights to Verizon Center". Washington Post. 
  13. ^ "Report: Verizon will not renew arena naming rights". WUSA9. 
  14. ^ Clabaugh, Jeff. "Monumental Sports & Entertainment teams with international airline in sponsorship deal". Washington Business Journal. 
  15. ^ "MSE and Capital One Announce New Arena Naming Rights Partnership" (Press release). Washington Wizards. August 9, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  16. ^ "MSE and Capital One Announce New Arena Naming Rights Partnership" (Press release). Washington Capitals. August 9, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  17. ^ Steinberg, Dan (August 9, 2017). "Verizon Center to become Capital One Arena, starting now". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017. 
  18. ^ Ted Leonsis to announce D.C. is getting an Arena Football League team, Scott Allen, The Washington Post, March 10, 2016
  19. ^ O'Connell, Jonathan (September 22, 2016). "A sneak peek at the new Wizards practice center, designed for sports and community alike". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017. 
  20. ^ Ovechkin leads Capitals to 'unbelievable' Stanley Cup, Tom Gulitti, National Hockey League, June 8, 2018
  21. ^ Lowman, Stephen (January 28, 2009). "The Shrinking of Chinatown". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009. 
  22. ^ a b c Nakamura, David (July 1, 2011). "Wah Luck House Maintains Culture of Dying D.C. Chinatown". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011. 
  23. ^ Leonsis, Ted (December 6, 2007). "Toughness". Ted's Take. Retrieved 2007. 
  24. ^ Steinberg, Dan (February 10, 2009). "The Caps and Bad Ice: A History". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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