Photo credit: Bruce Bennett
The Washington Capitals played in the final game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on April 27. The Caps lost that contest to the New York Islanders, but their Game 7 victory in Washington put an end to hockey at the Coliseum. It was a glorious moment. Six months later, the Islanders have left the brutalist circular abode behind, moving to the opulent Barclays Center in Brooklyn. After closing out the Coliseum, the Capitals got the chance to play one of the first games in the new place, beating the Isles 3-1 Monday night.
The differences between the two buildings are striking. While the old concrete blob featured notable amenities such as rat poop and a TV angle that seemed to be coming from St. Louis, the new barn has a bus elevator, which is a freaking elevator for buses.
“I’ve never been on a bus elevator,” Jay Beagle told RMNB. “At first we were kind of like, what’s going on here? And then we realized it was an elevator for a bus, so that was kind of cool.”
In case you’re wondering how that works exactly, Nate Schmidt tried to describe the experience for us.
“We first show up there and they shut the bus down, I’m like ‘oh man we’ve gotta walk all the way up there,’” Schmidt said. “Nope. A drug dog comes around the outside and it starts back up again, goes in the elevator, shuts back down, go down the elevator and go down to this gigantic saucer and they spin the saucer and aim the buses inside of the docks. It was unbelievable. Next level stuff.”
Elevators are a great convenience of modern life, especially if you’re lazy like me. They aren’t, however, entirely foolproof. Once, in Russia, I got trapped in my apartment building’s lift for five hours before being rescued by the Moscow fire department. The next time I took it I brought a plate of nachos just in case something happened. That scar remained with me and I was scared of elevators for years. Beagle, it seems, shares those fears.
“We would die,” Beagle said when asked what would happen if the elevator broke. “You’re trapped in there. I’m claustrophobic. I would open the escape at the top of the bus. There’s an emergency escape and I think I’d go sit on top of the bus to get some air.”
Barclays Center cost New York taxpayers $305 million in public subsidies. But it has shown us all the future — in bus and, in fact, goal horn technology.
— Barclays Center (@barclayscenter) September 29, 2015
Additional reporting by Katie Brown
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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