As the coronavirus spreads across to the planet and recently came into the DMV, the D.C. Health Department recommends “non-essential mass gatherings, including conferences and conventions, be postponed or canceled. Mass gatherings are defined as events where 1,000 or more people congregate in a specific location.”
Please keep in mind that this is a recommendation. Capital One Arena, which carries a capacity of 20,356, and other facilities across the area will remain open. You will not see any cancellations or postponements as of right now.
The Washington Capitals kick off a three-game homestand against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night with games against the Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers to follow on Saturday and Monday, respectively. They have eight home games remaining in the regular season.
The Capitals spoke about the coronavirus and of the possibility of playing with no fans in the arena, which has been done across Europe.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) March 11, 2020
Center Nicklas Backstrom said, “I think hopefully we don’t have to go down that road [of playing without any fans in the arena], but I think everyone makes their own decisions, but for us as a hockey player, that would be [a] really bad idea and I wouldn’t like it personally.”
Monumental Sports and Entertainment announced later on Wednesday that “At the current direction of the NBA and NHL, our games will go on as scheduled and be open to spectators. We are in constant contact with both leagues and should they update their guidance, we will update the public accordingly.”
By Harrison Brown