- The Washington Times
Monday, April 12, 2021

Monumental Sports and Entertainment on Monday announced the dates when fans can return to Capital One Arena for Wizards and Capitals games after the District loosened coronavirus attendance restrictions.

The Wizards will host fans starting April 21 against the Golden State Warriors. The Capitals will do so on April 27 against the New York Islanders. 

Both events will be capped at 2,100 fans — or 10% of Capital One Arena’s capacity. 

In a statement, Monumental Sports and Entertainment said that the first two events will have some of the tickets reserved for the area’s first responders and frontline workers.

“In the coming days, our valued season ticket members, partners are fellow sports fans will be receiving additional information on the ticket process to attend games,” the company said in a statement. 

The Wizards and the Capitals are among the last teams in the NBA and NHL to play without at least a limited amount of fans in attendance. In the NBA, there are only seven teams still waiting to receive clearance for when fans can return. In the NHL, the Chicago Blackhawks are the only U.S.-based team to not play in front of fans, while seven other Canadian-based teams continue to play in near-empty arenas.

Christopher Rodriguez, the director of D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, said in a letter that alcohol sales will be modified for upcoming games at Capital One Arena for the time being. 

Fans at Wizards game can only purchase alcohol from concessions stands until the end of the second quarter, while in-seat order will end at the start of the fourth quarter. For the Capitals, alcohol sales at concession stands end midway through the second period while in-seat sales stop at the beginning of the third. 

Neither team will have roaming vendors during games.

The District gave permission for the Capitals and Wizards to host fans on Friday, not long after owner Ted Leonsis took to social media to criticize the city for their apparent reluctance in permitting fans. 

Players from both teams expressed their excitement about fans returning.

“Our fans bring a lot of energy to our arena,” Capitals winger Jakub Vrana said. “They’re like an extra player for us. Even if it’s not going to be full, we’ll still be happy to see somebody in the stands cheering for us, giving us some extra energy. We’ve been missing that. Without them, it’s been quiet out there and just excited to get them back in the arena.”

Wizards guard Bradley Beal said: “We really miss our fanbase and our home crowd. It will definitely mean the world to us, coming back being able to play in front of some of our fans.”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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