Are you thinking about attending training camp? Have you always wanted to check out a Caps practice? Many of you have asked about it in the past, so we thought we’d put together some general information to assist you in your planning efforts. The following provides the basics, but should you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to NoVa Caps, or to the fine people at Kettler.
Kettler Capitals Iceplex is located at 627 North Glebe Road, Arlington, Virginia. You can reach them via phone at 571-224-0555, or visit them on their website. For practice times during the season, check the red “Caps Today” button in the upper right hand corner of the NoVa Caps home page. If you are going to training camp, the practice schedule (and roster) can be found here.
A QUICK HISTORY AND OVERVIEW
After years of having their training camp in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and practicing in Piney Orchard, Maryland, Washington Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis decided his team needed an updated facility to call home. So in 2006, with the help of dedicated builders, Leonsis constructed a state of the art complex that became Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Kettler Capitals Iceplex houses two ice rinks, a weight room, training rooms, offices for Capitals and Washington Mystics staff, eight locker rooms, a lounge area, seating for 1,200, a video room, a team store, a pro shop, and a cafe. What makes it unique is that it is situated on the eighth-level of the Ballston Mall parking garage, in Arlington, Virginia. It is the highest ice Rink in the United States, and is the home rink for the Georgetown University and George Washington University club teams; in addition, it also hosts numerous youth teams throughout the year. Kettler is a must-see for any Capitals fan. Here is everything you need to know about the best practice facility in the NHL
The parking garage can be accessed from either Randolph or North Glebe Road. Since the ice complex is situated at the top of the parking garage, parking space is abound at Kettler. The top-level usually has several spaces open, but during fan events and other big activities, parking is limited. Parking is an ultra-affordable $1 for under two hours of parking. Once you get to the top, parking is usually easy to find.
Kettler is one of, if not the, best places to get autographs and pictures from your favorite players. After talking to media and practices, players can be found signing autographs at the rink. After practices, fans can stand outside the players’ exit and wait for players to exit the facility. (It should be noted that some players park on other levels of the garage, depending on day, player, etc. Level 7 is used by many of the players). The players are always happy to take a photo or sign an autograph, so don’t hesitate to ask, but please be courteous to the players and understanding of their time commitments. They are the best, so lets treat them like they are.
TEAM STORE/PRO SHOP
Kettler houses two shops, one dedicated to fan apparel and souvenirs, and the other to player equipment such as pads, skates, sticks, stick tape, etc. The pro shop is located on the upper level of the facility and is open until 10:30 pm Sunday–Friday. The team store is the best place to find car decals, t-shirts, hard, sweatshirts, jerseys, and much, much more. If you hate paying shipping costs on Shop.NHL.com, Kettler customizes blank jerseys for a mere $60. They also have jerseys of the team already made and they come at a price of $185. Kettler is the go-to destination for any fan looking for the perfect gift.
Kettler provides food and drink at the Caps Cafe, located on the main floor of the facility. Fans can enjoy chips, coffee, pretzels, and other delicious treats while enjoying practices or other events. If the cafe isn’t filling, Kettler is just above the Ballston Mall, which has a food court with the likes of McDonald’s, Chick-fil-a, Subway, and other good dining options.
Kettler is one block from the Ballston Metro stop, located on the Orange and Silver Lines.
By Michael Fleetwood