Fresh off its 20th anniversary and the Washington Capitals’ first Stanley Cup, Capital One Arena is undergoing an intriguing renovation. Set to be completed by the start of the 2018-19 seasons of the Capitals and NBA’s Wizards, the arena is being overhauled in several areas, including technology, seating, concourses, and dining options.
Last December, Capital One Arena celebrated a milestone when it turned 20 years old. The arena in Washington’s Chinatown neighborhood has received some improvements over the years, and the renovations this offseason focus on modernizing the facility in a few key areas.
In a change that will be noticeable to every fan in the venue, Capital One Arena is undergoing a total seat replacement. This will result in the arena’s purple seats being swapped out in favor of new, padded seating that includes cupholders.
Concourses on the 100 and 400 levels are being addressed as well, with changes to the décor, flooring, and lighting in the works. Capital One Arena is also preparing to debut a revamped PwC Club, new lounge areas, and an overhauled menu that includes food options from chefs such as David Chang, Cat Cora, and Alex McCoy. In addition, the renovation will result in a revamped flagship retail store that will be opened year-round.
Those changes are some of the highlights of a broad $40 million renovation announced by Monumental Sports & Entertainment earlier this year. What is clear from the privately financed renovation, along with a slate of recently announced entertainment initiatives, is that technology is a major component of the fan experience that is being reshaped at Capital One Arena.
Improvements to the concourse will include digital signage, while the arena is also set to receive a new sound system. Some of these changes—the sound system in particular—should have a pronounced effect on the gameday experience at the arena and will work in conjunction with other upgrades to change the entertainment offerings at Capital One Arena. One of the more notable additions for this year is a permanent 3D on-ice/court projection system, which should create a more immersive experience during pre-game introductions for both the Wizards and Capitals. A DJ stage will also be added for both sports, along with an in-bowl broadcasting platform for NBC Sports Washington.
The renovation taking place at Capital One Arena is not as broad in scope as other renovations unfolding this summer at similar NBA/NHL facilities, but it does stand out for a few reasons. The project is focused on making technology a focal point for arena events, extending from the signage found on the course to the new sound system and 3D projection system. A revamped club area and total seat replacement should also result in a more comfortable experience in some areas, following trends that have seen other NBA and NHL teams try to boost their fan experience with improved seating and overhauled premium areas.
Capital One Arena has remained open for events this summer, including games for the WNBA’s Mystics. The renovations are expected to be completed by the start of the 2018-19 seasons for both the Capitals and Wizards.
Renderings courtesy Monumental Sports & Entertainment.
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