The Capital Centre was the first-ever home of the Washington Capitals and was constructed in 1972 under former Capitals Owner Abe Pollin, who owned the team from its inception in 1974 to 1999, when he sold the team to current owner Ted Leonsis. The historic arena was demolished in 2002 to make way for the shopping complex that currently bears its name, The Boulevard at the Capital Centre. Now, 44 years later, there will be a Family Reunion to celebrate and reminisce about what was once one of the DMV’s most famous buildings.
The Family Reunion is geared towards those who worked past events, box office, parking, backstage operations, former Capitals and Washington Bullets (now Wizards) front office members, and arena maintenance, but IS open to the public. The event will be held at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Maryland on Sunday, May 21, 2017, from 2:00-4:30 P.M. The event will also feature a Heavy Metal Parking Lot exhibit, which looks back at the filming of a short documentary filmed at the arena in 1986. The film was about a group of heavy metal music fans that partied during a Judas Priest concert (British heavy metal band). The event will also feature items from the Capital Centre on display, videos from the building, and the University of Maryland will be donating any items for an establishment for a Capital Centre Collection. More info about the event can be found here.
The Capital Centre was the home of both the Capitals and Bullets/Wizards until 1997, when the teams moved to downtown Washington D.C. to the MCI Center (now the Verizon Center).
The building would remain standing for another five years before being demolished. The Capital Centre saw some amazing moments in Capitals’ history, including former Capitals captain (and Head Coach) Dale Hunter score a goal on a breakaway in overtime in Game 7 of the 1988 Patrick Division Semifinals, the 1982 NHL All-Star Game, and of course, the very first game in franchise history. It was the first arena to feature built-in suites, computerized ticketing, and the first jumbotron, known as the Telescreen.
**Thanks to Jeff Krulik, the filmmaker who shot the Heavy Metal Parking Lot documentary, for his help on the details of the event!**
By Michael Fleetwood