Happy 10th Birthday, Capitals and Kettler Capitals Iceplex!

kettler-capitals-iceplex
Photo: Kettler Capitals Iceplex

Friday marks the 10-year anniversary of the Washington Capitals opening up shop in Arlington, Virginia. The Capitals officially christened their new headquarters and practice facility at 10:30 AM on November 11th, 2006, when the team took to the ice for their first practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex (KCI). 

As CSN’s Tarik El-Bashir, then with the Washington Post, reported, “the interior isn’t completely finished. Some of the training areas and offices still must be painted, carpeted and furnished. The team’s front office staff will move in next month.”

Earlier in the month, (November 1st) the Capitals announced they had sold the naming rights to Kettler, a Northern Virginia based real estate development company. Sources say the deal was for seven years and called for Kettler to pay the Capitals approximately $400,000 per year.

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The opening of the $43 million, 137,000-square-foot facility had been delayed several months because of construction complications related to building atop a parking garage adjacent to Ballston Common Mall. The club had been temporarily practicing at Ashburn Ice House.

Former Washington Capital Matt Bradley provided the first (grainy) video tour of the Capitals new facility.

The facility was funded by Arlington County and is leased long-term to the Capitals. KCI is the highest ice rink above street-level in the United States

HISTORY
piney-orchard2The Capitals had long practiced at a rink in Piney Orchard, Maryland, near the Capital Centre, even after the team moved to downtown Washington, D.C. in 1997.

Ted Leonsis, who bought the Capitals in 1999, began looking to build a new practice facility and in 2004, the team secured agreements with Arlington County to build a new rink on top of the Ballston Public Parking Garage.

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Graphic: Arlington Economic Development

Arlington County, Virginia had purchased the parking garage at the Parkington Shopping Center in 1984 as part of an economic development plan in the Ballston area. The facility was subsequently renamed the Ballston Public Parking Garage, and the original 1950’s structure was renovated and expanded to provide 2,800 parking spaces on seven floors. This expansion was financed with $22.3 million in variable rate revenue bond.

kettler-capitals-iceplex
Photo: Washington Capitals

NOTES
The Capitals spend about 300 hours annually practicing at the arena, which has 12,000 hours of ice time available annually. The Iceplex also serves as the home ice for the club teams of Georgetown University and George Washington University.

Related:
Capitals Bring Old Baggage to New Facility (Tarik El-Bashir, Washington Post)

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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