Tradition. That’s what we have in the hockey world when the season ends – whether the exit is from the regular season or the playoffs. So what do the Capitals’ players do? We can tell you they have some pretty set routines- with the exception of 2018. Continue reading “Capitals Summer Plans- What to Expect”
Tradition. That’s what we have in the hockey world when the season ends- weather the exit is from the regular season or the playoffs. So what do the Capitals’ players do? We can tell you they have some pretty set routines- with the exception of 2018. Continue reading “Capitals Summer Plans- What to Expect”
Well, Saturday was a blast even though it was hot. That morning I awoke to the ding of my Facebook account and messages from my friends asking if I was coming to the Caps Fan Fest. Of which of course I was. I have never missed a fan fest event. Continue reading “Happy Caps Fan”
Caps Fan Fest is always a good time. We’ve been several years in a row, and there is usually something for everyone: bounce houses, a slapshot “contest,” free prize wheels for people to spin, and all the Dunkin’ Donuts you could ever want. (Nothing’s better than hockey… other than caffeinated hockey.) And today’s Fan Fest had a lot of those things, but it had something else: THE STANLEY CUP.
This is not news. If you didn’t know Lord Stanley’s Cup was going to be the main draw at this year’s Fest, then we’d like you to direct us to the rock you’ve been hiding under, because it’s probably nice and cool under there.
Fans started lining up as early as 4:30 am to get their picture taken with that glorious silver goblet… and it’s a good thing they did. People stood for hours in 98* heat, sweating rivers under the blazing sun for their 5 seconds of fame. But for many, that wasn’t good enough. Many of the people that had started lining up at 9:30am (which was still earlier than the event was supposed to begin) did not get their chance to embrace The Cup That Ovi Slept With.
Kettler officials started telling people the line was closed long before 1:15pm, which was the posted time they announced they would do so. Hundreds of people didn’t get their chance to see their sweaty, glistening face reflected in glory.
And I’m not gonna lie: I was really, really, REALLY disappointed. I couldn’t help looking at all the other fans with a bitter hatred: their lives allowed them to come early enough. I had to pick up my stupid husband who chose an 11:40am flight into DCA. My kids weren’t gonna wait in line for hours in that heat, and I wasn’t gonna ask them to. It was one of the only times in my entire fandom that I resented the other fans, and inwardly questioned their authenticity. (“Those bandwagoners are ruining it for everyone. They certainly weren’t here last year…” were a few of my kinder thoughts.)
So I didn’t get my picture with the cup. I’m devastated. I kept glancing longingly in its direction, fantasizing about just making a run for it and tackling it in the hopes that someone would capture the whole thing on film before I got arrested.
And let’s not even get started on the prices they’re demanding at Carlson’s event in Bethesda. Bless that man for doing a great thing for charity, but ain’t nobody got the dough for that.
So here’s my plea to those in charge: Please. Please please PLEASE please give us another opportunity to hug that blessed vessel. Too many of us were there that left feeling like we’d been shafted. And I even have a cute baby (whose middle name happens to be Alexander after The Gr8 One) who was all ready to plop his chubby little buns in there for the photo opportunity of a lifetime. Instead, we had to settle for this one:
Party on Friends!
Many of you arrived really early to get in line for a chance to have your photo taken with the Stanley Cup. Some folks arrived before the sun was up- ok some of you got there the night before!
Stanley Cup Viewing
The lines for the Cup viewing and photo op wrapped down through the garage at Kettler. Last we looked, the lines were down to the third level. Unfortunately, the Capitals were unable to accommodate everyone who showed up, leaving plenty of fans disappointed. The line was cut off at 3, two hours later then planned and fans were given until 4 to make it through rather then the original 2 pm close. Of you arrived after 9, chances are you didn’t have a chance to take a photo.
It was HOT HOT HOT out there waiting in 90 plus degree weather with no shade on the roof top. The lines just seemed to go on and on and on. (Swipe for all the photos)
Security had their hands full, trying to keep the incoming cars from running people over and getting folks where they needed to be. They managed to do it with the same good cheer we saw at the Stanley Cup Parade.
Fans had some troubles in the terrible heat and long wait. There was free water available early on; however, it was only at the top of the line. Lots of folks were pretty exhausted and dehydrated by the time the made it through the garage and into Kettler. Some had to leave the line because they felt faint. We think Kettler didn’t fully anticipate the huge number of fans that were coming!!
There were numerous complaints on Twitter about the lack of information or the wrong information that was provided by the staff brought in to work the event. Additionally, some fans who were in the late afternoon crowd were forced to take group photos with people they didn’t know– other than having spent several hours standing with them in line. In the end, the Capitals issued tickets to people who stayed in line but were unable to have their photo taken. Many of you did not get a ticket, but we suggest you click this link and fill out the information. From the Caps:
Thank you for attending this year’s Capitals Fan Fest. We appreciate your patience as we moved through as many fans as possible to take a picture with the Stanley Cup. If you were in line and did not receive a photo please fill out the below and we will communicate future Stanley Cup photo opportunities to you. If you received a green or red ticket please be sure to reference the number.
Many of your were among the fortunate to have your photo taken. The Caps were overwhelmed uploading the photos and we have heard they are working as quickly as they can to load them. The link for photos can be found here.
And there was used equipment to be had. The lines for the equipment sale were so short that people were able to walk right in. There wasn’t much left following the development camp scrimmage, but some folks did walk out with hockey sticks with player names like Orpik, Chiasson, and Kempny.
Also part of the day was the the $5 ice skating. We saw many families lacing up and jumping on the ice. A great way to cool down!
And let’s not forget Caps Development Camp and the prospects scrimmage. Click for more.
Outside there were few activists compared to previous years. Most likely because the Stanley Cup line took up half the deck!
The FiCP team was everywhere and we will have more personal stories about the day. Oh and check out our piece on the Development Camp scrimmage. For now, we share this photo of our Man Dan (Daniel Johnson) and his brother. Two who made it through the lines to the prize of the day.
Photos by Brittney Marcum
Contribution photos from Daniel Johnson and Velvet Jackson
Things look a lot different around Ballston Common Mall these days. The mall is home to Kettler Ice Rink – home of the Washington Capitals organization and host of Development Camp and the Fan Fest this week. And it is undergoing a major transformation which may impact your journey there, especially on Tuesday for Fan Fest
The Washington Capitals provided the following updated information in response to our post about parking last week:
Limited parking will be available in the Ballston Commons Parking garage due to construction. Alternate parking options are available in the Ballston area.
Have no fear – we’ve got you covered. We checked on Sunday and there should be ample parking in the garage and nearby garages if necessary.
Lets start at the beginning – the entrance to the parking garage is 627 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22203. Parking on Russell is closed. Turn left into the garage if coming from Rt. 66 or right from Arlington/Alexandria on Glebe.
There is a gated ticket dispenser once you enter the garage. Push the button for your parking ticket. Rates are posted at the entry way. For up to three hours it will only cost $1.00, if you are there all day it could cost up to $10.00 It is the best rate in the area!
There is a pay machine in the Kettler Entrance if you want to pay before coming down the ramps. Or you can pay either by credit card or cash on your way back out. We find it just as easy to pay going out.
Ok, now pull forward to the stop sign and then begin the curvy drive up!
We did a check for you on Sunday and found several parking levels (3,4,5) are closed to construction. We recommend that you park on levels 6 and 7. The roof (8) will be closed for Fan Fest on Tuesday, which will decrease the number of available spaces.
You can park on the ramps for those lower levels and walk through the cones to the elevator in the far corner.
Take the elevator to level 8 – it should say ‘Ice Rink’ and enter through the glass doors.
The first rink you find is known as the “Arlington Rink” and where public skating is usually available.
Keep walking around the rink to the next set of door and enter into the lobby. Here you will find skate rentals, information about skating classes, and most importantly Eco Cater’s Caps Cafe. They have some light fare for breakfast and lunch as well as a new expresso machine. Be sure to say “hello” to Chef Robert Wood if you see him. And get his cookbook too!
There are bleachers available for viewing on the Caps rink. It is standing only on the Arlington Rink. Additionally, there is viewing from the upper level (just take the steps in the lobby or the elevator mid-way down the hall). The upper sections may be closed though for scouts and managers as they were at the end of last season.
Finally, if you can’t find parking inside the Ballston Common garage, here is a link to other garages in the area from Parkopedia.
You can also take the Metro’s Orange and Silver line to Ballston and walk over to Glebe Road. If you are used to doing that and cutting through the NSF building, you should know that the walkway is no more! Be careful crossing the streets – pedestrians are open targets in Ballston!!
However you get there, we hope you have a great time seeing the prospects up close. We post more info on Development Camp shortly.