What seemed farfetched months before is now becoming a reality.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Monday during a press conference that Capital One Arena and all large sports venues in the district will have their capacity restrictions lifted on June 11.
That means that if the Washington Capitals make a deep run in this year’s postseason, they could play in front of a full building.
— Mark Segraves (@SegravesNBC4) May 10, 2021
During her press conference, Mayor Bowser also said she expects to approve a waiver from Monumental Sports & Entertainment that would allow the building to have 25 percent capacity by May 15, giving the Capitals a boost for the start of the postseason. The Capitals own the number two seed in the divisional playoffs and have home ice in the first round. The team was previously playing in front of 2,100 fans (10 percent capacity).
#BREAKING Mayor Muriel Bowser just said she expects to approve a waiver allowing the Caps & Wizards to increase capacity to 25% for the playoffs, which will start on Saturday for the Caps.
The 25% capacity will start on Saturday and go to June 11th.
After 6/11…100% capacity.
— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) May 10, 2021
“I didn’t know that so this is the first I’m hearing of that,” Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said. “I think it’s fantastic. The fact that we get to bring more of our fans back in the building. I haven’t experienced it as being a head coach of the Washington Capitals yet, but I’ve been in this building plenty of times and I know the energy that comes in here, and I know how loud it can get, and I know how passionate these fans are. I’m excited to be a part of that and on the right bench to enjoy it.
“It seems like everything’s kinda going that way,” he added. “You walk outside, there’s just a different feel to it. That’d be awesome.”
Laviolette would have to lead the Capitals likely to the Eastern Conference Final to experience a sold-out Capital One Arena.
“That would be a good plan to have in place,” he said smiling.
Ted Leonsis thanked the mayor in a tweet.
Thank you @MayorBowser for allowing @MSE to welcome more fans @CapitalOneArena for playoffs. @WashWizards @russwest44 making @NBA history, @RealDealBeal23 chasing a scoring title and @Capitals in playoffs for 7th consecutive season. Fans deserve to see these excellent teams play!
— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) May 10, 2021
Bowser’s announcement comes as several large sporting events were held in Florida recently at or near full capacity including Wrestlemania 37 (Raymond James Stadium; outdoors) and UFC 261 (VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena; indoors). While the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on (worldwide, it’s the worst it’s ever been), the United States has seen its 7-day average of positive COVID-19 cases fall to 45,817 per the CDC. The United States’ improvement has been spurred on by warmer temperatures and vaccinations. Forty-five percent of the country (58% of American adults) has been administered at least one dose of vaccine (149,462,265 people).
4:16 PM Update: The Capitals began sending out emails this afternoon to season-ticket holders announcing they could host up to 25 percent capacity in the first round of the playoffs.
STH email from the @Capitals… guess they got that waiver updated: "we are excited that we can now welcome up to 25% of capacity for fans starting with Round 1 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoff" (@russianmachine/@JapersRink )
— can we brunch again yet? (@jakesauser) May 10, 2021
4:20 PM Update: It’s official.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment Increases Capital One Arena Capacity to 25% for Washington Capitals and Wizards Fans Beginning Friday, May 14, Full Capacity for All Events Beginning Friday, June 11https://t.co/plFdpJ0tLI
— x – Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 10, 2021
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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