Tag Archives: Verizon Center

Kids won at Verizon Center this weekend, Wizards and Capitals did not

Verizon Center experienced two RAIN DELAYS on Saturday night as a leaky roof dripped water on the court during a Washington Wizards vs. Houston Rockets game. During one of them, Rockets center Dwight Howard played one-on-one with a kid from the stands:

I remembered the kid getting a layup through. The Wiz lost 107-114.

Sunday, another boy, Braden Nienaber, got to do a ceremonial faceoff before the Washington Capitals game with Alex Ovechkin and Buffalo Sabres center Steve Ott.

Sending the visiting player out of the faceoff was the highlight of the game. Naturally, the Caps went to a shootout, but lost 2-1. I hope Sabres goalie Ryan Miller plays like that in the Olympics for the US team.

As for the hole in the roof, I blame The Post‘s Nationals beat writer Adam Kilgore:

He related it back to his beat as well:

His lede on the gamer was also strong:

Verizon Center had shown uncommon rudeness toward the Washington Wizards all season, but at least it had the decency not to spit on them. It’s one thing for the Wizards to rarely win at home relative to the rest of the league. It’s another for the building to turn against its tenants.

From Washington Wizards lose to Houston Rockets under leaky Verizon Center roof

Well played, Kilgore, well played.

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Verizon Center now serves DC Brau & Port City beers


Good news for local beer lovers, Verizon Center, home of the Washington Capitals, Wizards and Mystics now serves two local brews, Port City and DC Brau. They haven’t even put out press releases yet. It looks like Port City’s Downright Pilsner and DC Brau’s Citizen (Beglian Style Pale Ale) and Corruption (IPA) are what’s currently available.

I’ve heard the taps as being located behind section 114 or 115. It’s somewhere over there. I have to go see it for myself. This team with “no weaknesses” is 1-3 after last night’s 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, so the secondary market should be getting pretty cheap.

Thanks to Frank Chang (@chanuck) for answering some of my questions and Jeff Lucas @jephilip for allowing use of the top photo.

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Verizon Center switching to Pepsi

Throwbacks
Verizon Center to switch from Coke to Pepsi products – DC Sports Bog, The Post
The best news out of Ted Leonsis’ Monumental Sports & Entertainment since Game 7 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs is that Pepsi products will soon be the official soft drinks of Verizon Center. Coke drinkers are not taking the news well which isn’t surprising.

Of course, it is going to be a while before I get my first Verizon Center Pepsi. I’m boycotting the teams there because Leonsis is presiding over his third lockout – second in hockey and second in consecutive years (Capitals now, Wizards last year). Hard to cheer for a team and sport when ownership doesn’t want to play.

Pepsi was sold at Washington Nationals games when they were at RFK Stadium. I think that is still true for DC United. Nationals Park and FedEx Field both sell Coca-Cola products.

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An updated list of deliverables for Ted Leonsis

Back on April 28, right after Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis took control of the Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics and Verizon Center from the estate of Abe Pollin, I came up with a list of items that he needed to deliver on. Rather than update that old post, I figured I’d start with a fresh one. Keep in mind that championships are the primary deliverable, but what follows below are things that he has direct control (or close to it) over:

1. Fix the Capitals winter classic sweater

A patch with the Capitals script just isn’t doing it, go all the way with the throwback or not at all. This may be on Reebok, but regardless it is their best interest to fix this cheap looking sweater. My full explanation: Reebok messes up Winter Classic Capitals sweater

2. Better ice conditions at Verizon Center

Turn down the thermostat for hockey games! The Capitals are a young, fast team and sloppy ice negates that advantage, not too mention is dangerous. Remember all of those groin injuries a few years back? Soft ice was likely a factor. There have not been as many complaints as of late though, but let’s never have them again.

The initial reports are that this is happening.

3. Red, white and blue Wizards uniforms

First off, Leonsis is not changing the name to back to Bullets and he wasn’t ever going to because of the respect he had for Pollin. You may recall that Pollin no longer felt comfortable with Bullets after so many shootings, including Yhitzak Rabin.

The colors changing back to the original Washington Bullets red, white and blue is a forgone conclusion, the only question is when? Does Leonsis do it immediately or wait until the team is close to turning the corner like he did with the Capitals? I think the Wizards have bottomed out so much that they will do it as soon as possible, the team really needs a reboot. I have a prototype in mind too…

The Mystics should be red, white and blue too.

Last week, it came out that the Wizards will be in red, white and blue starting next season. Ted, I have some design concepts in mind :)

UPDATED 05.11.2011: Yup, new red, white and blue uniforms delivered.

4. Improved food stands in Verizon Center

The one thing that Nationals Park has over every other sports venue in D.C. is the selection of food vendors, especially ones with a local connection. Yes, Ben’s Chili Bowl needs to be in Verizon Center, but places like Hard Times Cafe and other favorite local eateries ought to be as well and not just for the club seats.

Oh and get them up to code too.

5. NHL All-Star game and/or NHL Draft

When I interviewed Leonsis back in 2006, he said that they had not pushed for the NHL All-Star game because they “did not own the building.” Well, he owns it now, get those events in D.C.

6. Appropriately colored seats

I’ve never understood why Verizon Center has purple seats since there has never been a purple team to play there. When the seats get redone, they ought to make them blue or red or both. Maybe put a Caps logo on one side, Wizards on another, Mystics and Georgetown on the ends. Signage around the arena should reflect the teams colors as well.

Given that Leonsis is painting the stairs red, this is probably a matter of when, not if. How about some sort of red, white and blue pattern, Ted?

7. A Manute Bol/Muggsy Bouges statue

After Manute Bol died I came up with a great idea — how about putting the famous photo of Manute Bol (7 foot 7 inches tall) and Muggsy Bouges (5 foot 3 inches tall) on the side of the building. Then I got to thinking, why not go even further and put a life size statue of the two of them.

8. All HD broadcasting

I put this at the bottom because I’m still using a CRT television, so it isn’t specifically important to me. It sure is important to other people though.

9. D.C. Winter Classic should be in D.C., not Baltimore

Baltimore was discussed as a possibility for the Winter Classic the Caps will host. That’s just stupid. FedEx Field in Landover, Md. (across the Capital Beltway from the old Capital Centre site) would be okay I suppose, but it is hard enough to watch a football game from the top of that stadium, much less hockey. Ultimately, Nationals Park is the place for the Caps to host the Winter Classic do it due to modern facilities, no other events around then and location. Oh and there is the matter of one of your minority owners, Mark Lerner, owns the Nationals with his family. Plus, the logo could use a curly W :)

Already completed

Take down the Mystics attendance champions banners

Leonsis announced he was having the attendance banners removed on May 7.

P.S. Winning the season/post-season series with the Devils, Flyers and Penguins is good too, since I win La Coupe Hauxer when that happens.

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Verizon Center food concessions failed health inspections

I bet that Ted Leonsis did not think one of Abe Pollin‘s legacies would be 100% of the Verizon Center concession stands having health code violations in 2009, according to an ESPN Outside the Lines report. From Vendor inspection reports:

Verizon Center
Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals
Vendors with critical violations: 100%

Inspection report excerpt: Mice droppings, a critical violation in Washington, were found at at least 10 vendors.

FAIL! Leonsis has already explained what he is doing about the problem on his blog. I’ve added cleaning this up the list of deliverables.

As for the other big league in BeltwayLand, here is how they did:

Nationals Park
Washington Nationals
Vendors with critical violations: 25%

Inspection report excerpt: One location received a critical violation for not having a D.C.-certified food manager’s card.

Not exactly cringe-worthy, but still something that is completely avoidable. I think a bigger problem there is vendors skimming off profits by “making deals” with customers. Oh that and the glacial pace at which said vendors operate.

FedEx Field
Washington Redskins
Vendors with critical violations: 36%

Inspection report excerpt: An employee touched his/her face and then prepared food with his/her hands without washing or changing gloves.

No word on how RFK Stadium, home of DC United, did.

DC Sports Bog, The Post: The food at Verizon Center

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New deliverable for Ted Leonsis: Manute & Muggsy statue

In remembering Manute Bol, I mentioned that the famous photo of him with Muggsy Bogues ought to be put on the side of Verizon Center.

Greatest photo in Washington Bullets history

A publicity photo of Manute Bol and Muggsy Bogues, the tallest and shortest NBA players ever. Shocking, this Bullets team did not make the playoffs. I'd put this on the side of Verizon Center for all time.

Then I got to thinking, why limit it to just a big poster, we need a life size statue of the two somewhere at the Phone Booth.

Seriously.

I don’t know where it would go, but that would be a wonderful addition to Wizards experience. Who wouldn’t want to get their photo taken there?

While we are at it, lets get Wes Unseld and Abe Pollin statues too. Better include some Capitals too, maybe Dale Hunter streaking towards Ron Hextall and Rod Langway in all his mustached glory as well. Let’s not make the same mistake as Nationals Park though.

My other deliverables for Leonsis (one has already been met)

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Deliverables for Ted Leonsis as he takes over Wizards, Verizon Center

Congratulations go out to Ted Leonsis for completing an agreement with the family of the late Abe Pollin to buy the Verizon Center and Washington Wizards. His brand of management will help the NBA franchise and his control of the building should help the NHL Washington Capitals.

UPDATED 06.19.2010 — I’ve added a new one — a Manute Bol & Muggsy Bogues statue at Verizon Center.

There are several things I would like to see from Leonsis:

1. Better ice conditions at Verizon Center

Turn down the thermostat for hockey games! The Capitals are a young, fast team and sloppy ice negates that advantage, not too mention is dangerous. Remember all of those groin injuries a few years back? Soft ice was likely a factor. There have not been as many complaints as of late though, but let’s never have them again.

2. Red, white and blue Wizards uniforms

First off, Leonsis is not changing the name to back to Bullets and he wasn’t ever going to because of the respect he had for Pollin. You may recall that Pollin no longer felt comfortable with the name after so many shootings, including Yhitzak Rabin.

The colors changing back to the original Washington Bullets red, white and blue is a forgone conclusion, the only question is when? Does Leonsis do it immediately or wait until the team is close to turning the corner like he did with the Capitals? I think the Wizards have bottomed out so much that they will do it as soon as possible, the team really needs a reboot. I have a prototype in mind too

The Mystics should be red, white and blue too.

UPDATED 05.11.2011: Yup, new red, white and blue uniforms delivered.

3. Improved food stands in Verizon Center

The one thing that Nationals Park has over every other sports venue in D.C. is the selection of food vendors. Yes, Ben’s Chili Bowl needs to be there, but places like Hard Times Cafe ought to be as well and not just for the club seats.

4. NHL All-Star game and/or NHL Draft

When I interviewed Leonsis back in 2006, he said that they had not pushed for the NHL All-Star game because they “did not own the building.” Well, he owns it now, get those events in D.C.

5. Take down the Mystics attendance champions banners

Really, those things are embarrassing. There is probably nothing stopping him from doing it now since he owns the Mystics.

UPDATE: Leonsis announced he was having the attendance banners removed on May 7.

6. Appropriately colored seats

I’ve never understood why Verizon Center has purple seats since there has never been a purple team to play there. When the seats get redone, they ought to make them blue or red or both. Maybe put a Caps logo on one side, Wizards on another, Mystics and Georgetown on the ends. Signage around the arena should reflect the teams colors as well.

What deliverables do you have for Leonsis, besides game 7 tonight and championships sooner than later?


Also, here is Ted’s take of the deal on his Ted’s Take blog.

Also, another Post profile and a Tracee Hamilton column on what awaits him with the Wizards.

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