Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Capitals, underwent a second phase of renovations this summer, which included a new jumbotron, four new huge dual-screen televisions in the corners of the arena, new LED lighting, and a new “sky ring” for graphics, game information, and advertisements.
The new jumbotron is indeed “jumbo,” sporting 7,000 square feet of LED lighting. It has three tiers: a large upper screen that shows live video and replays during the game; a middle screen that is used to show the score, live statistics, and penalties as well as side panels that show what players are on the ice; and a lower ring that shows information on the outside and also has video on the interior that allows fans in the lower bowl to see the video easier than the larger upper screen.
While the new jumbotron has a lot of advantages, it is not ideal for fans in the lower bowl who may have an obstructed view of parts of the ice. The upper screen is too high to effectively watch live action in the corners while the video on the inner part of the lower ring is too small to see what’s happening with the puck. One nice thing that they added was putting the game stats on the lower screen and the players on the ice on another. For those fans, watching the replays on the large dual-screen televisions might be the best bet.
The new sky ring was similar to the rings around lower-bowl except for the fact that it was slanted downward a bit. It includes over 9,000 square feet of LED video. There has been some speculation that the new sky ring could eventually include information related to sports betting once the new William Hill sportsbook at Capital One is open.
With new LED lighting, the ice looks a lot brighter than in the past. There were some complaints during the preseason that the lighting was poor on television, but it appears that the lighting was tweaked before opening night. The Capitals predict that the new LED lighting will use 60 percent to 75 percent less energy than the old lights.
The Ultra Club (previously the PwC Club) also got a few upgrades to the interior. It includes upgraded food offerings with six different stations. Fans with Ultra Club seats can gain entry to the arena 90 minutes before puck drop.
One change for fans with VIP seats (rows A, B. and C in the lower bowl) is that they can no longer visit the Ultra Club before games. They now get to enter the arena 75 minutes before puck drop instead of 90 minutes before game time. Instead of having access to the Ultra Club, VIP ticket holders will enter directly onto the main concourse. This caused some minor confusion for fans on opening night as the change came as news to VIP seatholders. Fans with suite tickets can still gain access to Capital One 90 minutes before game time.
The 200 level concourse got an overhaul, with new flooring, lighting, and decor, and the Club Level also got several new food concessions.
The 400 level features an updated Devil’s Backbone Lounge that includes craft beers in a large open space for fans.