We knew that there was a renovation underway at Capital One Arena. What we didn’t know is that you could take a piece of the old place home with you–for a price!
The Capitals sent out a notice Wednesday afternoon for those in need of a new chair for the Caps Cave at home.
Capital One Arena is dedicated to providing fans with 100% genuine and authentic memorabilia from the past 20 years of action, including the recently crowned Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics, Georgetown University Men’s Basketball and all of the unforgettable concerts and events.
As Capital One Arena is replacing all seats heading into the 2018-19 season as part of a $40 million renovation, now is your opportunity to own one of the seats being replaced.
You have two options for your purchase from this link. A used seat bottom goes for $99.99 You’ll have to click the link for your full seat!
The vision and dream that Ted Leonsis had for Washington DC finally came true on a Thursday night in Las Vegas. It didn’t matter that the Caps won the Stanley Cup away from home because the Hockey Town that Ted built celebrated just the way he envisioned. He has always wanted the DC community to be a town that was proud of its teams and one that the fans loved – be it the Wizards or the Capitals.
And when he took the STANLEY CUP from Alex Ovechkin, you could see what a proud papa he was. That look of overwhelming emotion over a goal finally achieved exemplified the feels we all felt watching.
Mr. Leonsis bought the Washington Capitals (along with the Wizards and the stadium now known as Capital One Arena) from DC legend Abe Pollin in May 1999 for about $200 million – a year after their failed final round of the Stanley Cup. Ted was 42 at the time and had a vision for both teams and a plan to engage fans in one of his favorite sports.
His dream morphed into today’s Monumental Sports and Entertainment, LLC, an organization that broadly includes the AFL’s Washington Valor, NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals, and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. And he launched the subscription –based Monumental Sports Network in 2017, which pretty much rules the airwaves around the DMV.
It’s Ted’s love of hockey and his dedication to building a Hockey Town on the east coast; one that would become a place equal to many cities in Canada and the original six hockey teams. In 1997 he brought in George McPhee (GMGM) as his general manager and began to set the tone for the future we are living today. Leonsis had a lot of faith in McPhee who would go on to acquire some of the shining stars of the Capitals, especially Alexander Ovechkin.
There is no doubt that Ted Leonsis is a savvy businessman. That isn’t why we fell in love with him. Many of us are “latecomers” to the hockey and Capitals scene. We didn’t really engage until the Ovechkin Era began that faithful day Ovi was given the keys to the city. And Ted knew how to make the most of that silly infectious grin. He knew that with the talent and charisma of Ovechkin and the management genius of McPhee, the future would be bright.
In April 2009 Leonsis shared his list of 10-point plan for rebuilding the Capitals. Among those things the plan included transparency with the fan base, investing in the draft and taking time to develop younger players, add veterans for the short-term to infuse the team with experience, and most importantly, NEVER SETTLE.
In 2012 he answered questions from fans via Japers Rink, and then said: “The Caps have made the playoffs five years in a row. We haven’t progressed past the second round in any of those years; it has been a huge hurdle despite some Game 7 opportunities. So we keep tweaking and making changes to get to the next step. It is tedious, sometimes frustrating, but it is necessary.”
Ted made some hard changes in the summer of 2014 after the Capitals failed to make it to the NHL Playoffs. The biggest change was letting go of the man with whom he built the hockey team that included Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, as well as many other notable players, but failed to help win the cup. McPhee and Leonsis seemed to know what was needed and they went out and got the best players that they thought would help reach the pinnacle of success. GMGM gave us Bruce Boudreau and unfortunately, also Dale Hunter and Adam Oates who nearly destroyed everything they had worked so hard to have in place to win.
Leonsis moved up Brian MacLellan as general manager and hired former Nashville Predators coach, Barry Trotz in 2014. The excitement began to build again. Trotz had a good reputation as a community man and as a coach. He seemed the perfect fit for the image of the Capitals we all had by that time. However, in July 2015, after another year of disappointment, Ted told reporters about Ovechkin: “I feel I haven’t met my commitment that we would build a team that would be able to win Stanley Cups.” Many of us felt that too.
Together MacLellan and Leonsis brought in reinforcements, like Justin Williams whose name was already on the cup three times and American favorite, TJ Oshie. Everything looked right at the start of the 2015/16 season. The team came together as friends in a way that we have never seen. Sadly, we know how that ended again.
Ted was one of us. He was seen walking around the Verizon Center and outside. He was known to meet and speak with people from all walks of life. We learned about the gentle heart of this big man when in 2009 he heard about a homeless man who was a huge Caps fan and spent his nights outside Verizon Center trying to catch glimpses of the game. Ted would later respond to a letter from a season ticket holder about Scott Lovell, find him a job in a local restaurant, and help him rebuild his life. Not only did the encounter change Lovell’s life, it changed Ted, who had never even had a discussion with a homeless person before. A man of the people, he recently sent 200 employees to Vegas to watch games one and two of the Stanley Cup finals.
Time and again, we have heard the stories about Ted reaching out to fans. Maybe they were from Brazil and arrived to watch a game only to be snowed out. Ted later brought our friends Pedro Rocha and his family back for a game in his box.
Tonight's contest? What country are they from? Why are they here? First correct answers gets a autographed puck. pic.twitter.com/XkphQi6SCs
Or how about Connolly Fan sensation Keelan Moxley? Somehow he always seems to want to make a bad situation better. And his actions inspire us as a result.
Six-year-old @Capitals fan Keelan Moxley was given owner Ted Leonsis glass seats to today’s game. Leonsis met with them and Keelan, who famously got a puck from winger Brett Connolly on her third try, got a signed stick from him today. pic.twitter.com/VgTwc67wtb
Never one to just relax or sit back quietly, rumors began in 2016 that he might consider moving the Caps and Wizards out of Chinatown at some point. He corrected himself later, saying: “We love Washington D.C., and we have a great, mutual respect for our city, and we have a 99-year lease on the land, and it’s been the greatest experience, so we’re very, very committed to Washington, D.C., and I’m grateful for the love that the fan base has shown us, and I hope to return that certainly for the rest of my lifetime.” For now, he continues to focus on making Capital One Arena a better place for the fan experience. He announced in February 2018 that over the summer he would be investing $40 million in improvements to the arena to “…ensure that the fan experience at Capital One Arena remains second to none.” We can expect to return to a more modern concourse, improved concession stands, two new lounges, on the 100 level, and even new padded seats!! Always making it better for us.
Thank you thank you thank you. I love you. It is heartwarming to see the community come together and nothing brings a city together like a sports championship. We have the worlds greatest fans for the worlds greatest hockey team.
So while the Capitals are a business for Ted Leonsis, it is also his passion. He is one of those rare breed of owners who actually involves himself in team and the community. We are in large part the kind of community that showed up by the thousands at Capital One Arena and in the streets of DC on a night when the team played in a place far away, because of him. And when it was all over, and the Cup came back to DC, what did he do?? He took it to the people!!
So when you line the streets on Tuesday to celebrate the Stanley Cup – make sure you wave to Ted Leonsis and scream a huge CAPS THANK YOU!!! And if you see him walking around town or the Arena – stop and shake his hand. Let him see the tears in your eyes as you thank him for investing in a sport that we all love and a team that has proven to be incredible ambassadors for Washington DC!
The third period changed up a bit as the Caps let the Golden Boys have a couple of goals (Neal and R. Smith). Not to worry, Kempny was happy to give the boys in RED the three goal lead 5-2 with a cute little slap shot over Fleury.
Wednesday our writer, Caitlin Manner, had some suggestions on how to avoid long lines at The Vault and in the process threw some shade at the Suite People. Little did she know our own Chris Cleveland was partying up a storm in one of them!!
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Just you and me. Don’t tell anybody…
Ever miss the first five minutes of a period because you’re trapped in line for the bathroom or a beer?? Ever swore in frustration as the roar of the crowd echoes throughout the halls and you realize you’ve missed something important?
Well, I’ve discovered the secret to avoiding long lines for both of those things. And no, it’s not illegal, or even shady.
You see, if you are willing to traverse a few sets of stairs, the bathroom and booze lines on the second floor are almost always nearly empty. Or at least they’re way more manageable than the ones up on the fourth – or heaven forbid – the chaos of the first floor.
This is because the second floor is where the rich people gather in their luxurious suites which have private bathrooms and booze provided. Yes, that’s right. They’re like heaven on earth: a fantastic view of hockey with comfortable seats and refreshments right at hand. The one game I was lucky enough to watch from a suite was during the 2016 playoffs, and I almost wet my pants with glee…. That is, I would have if there weren’t a fancy, clean bathroom ten feet away from where I was sitting.
Where was I? Oh yeah. So. Upon discovering this phenomenon, my husband and I made a pact to never tell anyone about our sneaky little secret. If everyone knew that the second floor was the secret to all your intermission dreams, then the whole gig would be up. So don’t tell anyone else, ok?
There was skating on Caps ice which was a lot of fun!
And let’s not forget extravagant balloon making, stunning face painting, and bingo with the young guys from Hershey.
And then there was the locker room! It felt like we were in the inner sanctuary of of the Capitals. For more video and photos, click here.
And finally, the food was better than the night at the museum. And it was fun to see old friends and meet new friends.
To the Capitals: there were mixed reviews on the night. Some we spoke with felt they didn’t have a chance to meet as many players as in previous events. And the way the photo booths were set up, even if you weren’t standing in line you couldn’t see the players as we have in the past. The improved choices for food was much appreciated.
We heard from many that they would like to go back to Six Flags or the Zoo where there was more to do and the players were at various tables throughout the venue. It seems to work easier to have a set period for lines and you can get a photo or autograph during that time.
And there is a LOT of interest in a return for CapsCon – either a pay-for event or as a STH event. Fans miss the day-long happening with chances to get autographs and the mini-seminars to learn more about the Caps, the team, and hockey.
All-in-al, the night was a success for most. And those helping us navigate our way around the arena were super!
Every year we the fans become part of the Washington Capitals giving community. We participate in raffles, auctions, and donation opportunities. The Capitals help make us aware of some of the great outreach organizations in our area. Many of the players extend their personal giving of time beyond the Capitals events, especially during the off season.
This past season, Monumental Sports sponsored several events at Verizon Center during game time. They raised a good bit of money (over $900,000) for the charities they support. Here are some highlights of those efforts and some special activities that the players are personally involved in during their own time.
The Caps and Inova host a blood drive about four times a year at Kettler Ice Plex. This summer participants received a Burakovsky bobblehead and had the joy of sharing the gift of life. Check here for the next date and to sign up to give. (The next donor date has not be set yet)
One of the strongest connections the MSE Foundation has in the area is with Fort DuPont Ice Arena. The Caps announced this summer that they have provided a “$20,000 grant for the second consecutive season in 2016-17 to continue to give children an opportunity to learn through sports” through the Up2Us Sports program. In June, MSE announced a donation of $12,000 to the hockey club to support youngsters who are interested in hockey. They also hosted the annual summer cleanup, donating another $5,000. The Caps frequently skate at Fort DuPont and this year hosted the youth and family at Kettler for a skate with Alex Ovechkin. You too can volunteer there to ensure hockey is really for everyone. Click here to become a friend of FDIA.
The Caps have a special affinity for the military, especially families of fallen soldiers. As part of the Salute to our Military, fans helped raise $56,000 through the auction of Caps memorabilia. Some of the players joined families of an evening of skating and story-sharing as part of TAPS.
Hockey Fights Cancer often links with Make a Wish to raise funds to fight cancer and to support young people by making their wish to meet and skate with Caps players come true. This umbrella program brings together some of the local organizations that are there for families. MSE announced: “$63,955 for Flashes of Hope, Hope for Henry, Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Leidos donated an additional $40,000 – $10,000 to each organization. Combined with proceeds from the evening’s 50/50 raffle, warm-up puck sales, Ellie’s Hats donations and the sale of Hockey Fights Cancer pins, nearly $140,000 was raised for the charities.”
We got to know Jay Coakley with Ellie’s Hats this year. This once one-man show has grown, in large part because of the exposure the Caps and Taylor Winnik gave them. This is a year-round group that now provides more then just hats for sick children but gift cards, backpacks, and other financial support all year. Please consider helping Jay bring smiles to the little ones in our community by donating here.
The Washington Capitals Fan Club is more than just a group of fans who meet up before games. They too are a generous giving organization. Every year they sell and auction off Christmas balls signed by the players. This past year they raised $10,000 for the Fort DuPont Kids. We’ll share more about their outreach and events soon.
T.J. Oshie has a personal connection to the struggles of family’s who struggle with the far reaching effect of Alzheimer’s. He revealed that his father Coach Oshie is in the early stages of the disease. This summer TJ asked fans to help support the search for a cure by donating to the Alzheimer’s Association Longest Day campaign. You can still give $77, or more, through the link.
Players have a way of giving back to the community by sharing their skills and time with others, usually in their hometowns. Many players find a way to give and to keep it under the radar for the most part. Just because we don’t hear about doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
Every year, now former Cap, Justin Williams hosts JW Hockey Camp in his hometown of Cobourg, Ontario. All proceeds go to his charity, the Justin Williams Foundation.
Tom’s former roommate, Michael Latta, takes time out every offseason to work with youth on their skating skills. He is a great coach, encouraging the special needs kids at camp Kid’s Abilty to go the extra distance.
Coach Trotz is an avid supporter of Best Buddies. Last October the Capitals wives and girlfriends put together a team, with the Trotz Strolling with Nolan Team, walked to raise awareness during the Best Buddies Friendship Walk on the Mall. Sign up here to walk this year on 21 October.
Speaking of wives and girlfriends, they have always been champions for fund raising and bringing awareness to special interests. In addition to supporting Best Buddies, they (especially Taylor Winnik) supported events with baskets to raffle, highlighting Ellie’s Hats, and of course the annual calendar that Taylor shot for Homeward Trails. Sales garnered $67,000 for the pups in need. We really will miss Dan and Taylor and the impact they made on our community.
We learned this summer that Evgeny Kuznetsov was part of a group of Russian skaters who donated donated “new uniforms to a sled-hockey team [in Chelyabinsk,” according to CSN. He, like Ovechkin, supports an orphanage in Russia. He hopes to one day open a hockey school there too.
Dmitry Orlov frequently spends the offseason supporting local charities in Russia. This year we have seen him throwing his support behind a local hockey training center.
We’re sure there is much more going on that with the players and coaches that we don’t always know about. Many prefer to do what they do quietly and privately. At the end of the day we know that hockey players have a reputation for giving and so do their fans. We encourage you to keep the giving and community outreach going over the summer and to stash a little away to supoort MSE, the Fan Club, and other great organizations during the season.
Throughout the summer of 2016 and the entire 2016/17 season, Brittney Marcum and Mel Abernethy captured Caps fans and season ticket holders around the area. They also caught the Capitals doing their best on the ice and interacting with the fans and the Washington DC community. Here are some of their favorite photos. ENJOY!
The Washington Capitals will host four country-inspired heritage nights this season. First up is German Heritage Night on Thursday. Ticket packages include a special German-style Caps beer stein and access to a Q&A with goalie Philipp Grubauer following game. Ticket packages are still available here. Available tickets are running from $49 to $119 a seat, although only the higher-end seats may be available now.
Heritage Night is a fun night. The arena will offer German-themed food and fans are encouraged to wear traditional German colors of black, red, and gold to the game.Some of you soccer fans probably have team shirts buried somewhere in a closet!
Many season ticket holders have complained that they feel excluded from the Q&A events. Last year all they had to do was register to attend and some have expressed a concern that Caps management aren’t thinking about the STHs. If STHs want to attend the Q&A they can list their own tickets for sale and purchase the package. Some creative fans have bought the Heritage Night tickets and given them to their friends while remaining in their own seats. Still others have offered their seats as a donation and are sitting in these package seats. Where there is a will, there is a way!!
On the up side, non-STH fans finally have a chance to participate in events similar to the benefits offered STHs. Rather than just purchasing a ticker for a single game, this gives fans the opportunity to meet players and see behind the curtain. And maybe encourage them to become season ticket holders (or partial plan) too!
We suggest those of you (us included) who are unhappy about dwindling benefits as STHs contact your rep and voice your opinion. Better yet, send them an email which they can forward up the chain. Let your voices be heard!
And in the meantime, we say is “alles gut” and enjoy the night!