Increased capacity means more fans for D.C. pro sports

Pro Sports

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDVM) – On Monday, D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser announced COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted by June 11th, in a press briefing on Monday morning. Large sports venues would follow limits, and restrictions, three weeks prior to June 11th.

Monumental Sports and Entertainment announced Monday afternoon, that they had applied for, and been approved for an increase in capacity for Capital One Arena, for Washington Capitals, and Washington Wizards games, that go in effect on May 14th.

The Washington Wizards would welcome close to 5,000 fans back to Capital One Arena, when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, May 14th. The Washington Capitals will welcome a larger fanbase, just in time for the start of their Stanley Cup playoff run.

“We are grateful to Mayor Bowser for allowing us to welcome more fans into Capital One Arena in time for the playoffs,” said Ted Leonsis, Founder & CEO, Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “Russell Westbrook is making all-time history in the NBA as Bradley Beal is chasing the NBA’s lead scoring record for the season. And the Caps are in the postseason for the seventh consecutive season. We are thrilled to have the best fans in sports together with us again to see these excellent teams chase championships!”

“I think its fantastic.” said Peter Laviolette, Head Coach of the Washington Capitals. “The fact that – we get to bring more of our fans back in the building. I haven’t experienced it as being the 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, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”

“I love it. We missed them all year.” said Scott Brooks, Head Coach of the Washington Wizards, “I would have loved to have fans see this team all year, they know what we’ve gone through and a lot of times you get behind that, and the way Brad [Beal] has played, an the way Russell [Westbrook] plays is amazing to see up close, so we get a little bit more. So that’s great.”

The Washington Mystics, who play in the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Ward 8, have also been approved for an increased capacity limit, bringing it to 25% for their home games.

“It would be awesome.” said Mike Thibault, “Both from a fan standpoint, and energy in the building, it would be great. And from a financial standpoint, I mean the fact that all of our teams are losing a lot of money, it would be nice to be able to kind of head back in the right direction on the business side too. So it’s exciting, more of our fans get to see more games. They’ve had to be patient a long time.”

According to the press release sent by Monumental Sports and Entertainment, fans will still have to wear their mask inside Capital One Arena, covering their nose, and mouths, regardless of their individual vaccination status. All fans will be required to complete a verbal health survey. There will be specific points of entry, and tickets will be issue electronically.

The Washington Nationals have applied, and been approved for a new capacity limit of 36% at Nationals Park. In a statement from the ball club, “The Washington Nationals are delighted by Mayor Bowser’s announcement today, which will permit the ballpark to operate at full capacity beginning June 11. The team was also granted a waiver to expand seating to 36% effective May 14.”

The Washington Nationals will be able to welcome more fans, when they are back at home for a weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles, on May 21st.

For more information about the new guidelines about the new restrictions for Monumental Sports and Entertainment, click on this link.

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