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Verizon Center: A Round-up of the Season’s Best Games 2006-2007
Here’s a roundup of what sports teams you can catch at the Verizon Center this season and what you can expect from this state-of-the-art $200 million sports and entertainment facility.
The Facility, the Teams, and the Best Games
601 F Street, NW; 202-628-3200, www.mcicenter.com
Closest metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown metro
On any given night the Verizon Center is host to one of a variety of events: concerts, family shows, and sports competitions. This season's roundup covers the Washington Wizards, Capitals, Mystics, and Georgetown Hoyas.
Metro and Parking
The Verizon Center is located closely to the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro which travels along the red, yellow, and green lines. The Verizon Center also has its own parking garage which is located on 6th Street NW (underneath the building) and typically costs $20 for event parking. The garage is open an hour and a half before events and open an hour after the conclusion of events. There are also several public parking garages around the Verizon Center.
Inside the Verizon Center
Once inside the Verizon Center there are several places to eat and drink along with a place to shop, and various entertainment areas.
Dining: There is a private restaurant for club seat and suite holders, the Johnny Walker Coaches Club for Gold VIP season ticket holders, Dewar's 12 Clubhouse which is open to the public an hour before and after events, and drinx Bar & Restaurant which is also open to the public.
Shopping: Fan Gear is open to shop for your favorite team's merchandise.
Exercise: VIDA Fitness Center is available for those looking to work out.
Of Note: You can also check out the Wizards and Mystics regulation sized practice court where all of their practices are held. The Verizon Center also has two video walls located on the main concourse so that you can watch sports highlights and previews of upcoming events at the venue.
NBA’s WASHINGTON WIZARDS
In 1974 Washington landed its own professional basketball team when the team from Baltimore moved into the area. They were known as the Washington Bullets until 1997 when the team made their home the new Verizon Center, moving from Landover, Maryland, changing their name to the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards have made back-to-back trips to the NBA playoffs and ended the 2005-2006 season 42-40. There is an impressive group coached by Eddie Jordan including Eastern Conference All-Star Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antwan Jamison.
According to the team's website here are some 2006-2007 home games that should prove to be great to watch:
- A pair of visits from the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat (12/15, 2/28)
- Two regular season chances at revenge at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers (11/18, 4/6)
- Western Conference clashes against Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns (1/23), Kobe Bryant's L.A. Lakers (2/3), Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs (2/7), the Minnesota Timberwolves led by Kevin Garnett (2/20) and Chris Paul's New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (3/17)
- In addition to Eastern Conference match-ups with the Atlanta Hawks (11/28, 3/2), Boston Celtics (11/4, 1/20), Charlotte Bobcats (12/1, 4/4), Chicago Bulls (1/10, 4/15), Detroit Pistons (11/25, 1/30), Milwaukee Bucks (11/10, 1/3), New York Knicks (1/17, 3/10), Orlando Magic (12/29, 4/17), New Jersey Nets (11/12, 4/10), Philadelphia 76ers (3/28) and Toronto Raptors (3/6, 3/30)
NHL’s WASHINGTON CAPITALSwww.washingtoncaps.com
The last time the Capitals won the Southeast division was the 2000-01 season and hopeful fans and players alike are waiting for the Capitals to play to their full potential. With 2005-06 NHL rookie of the year Alexander Ovechkin leading the team fans hope that there is no looking back.
The 2006-2007 team is led by last season's top goal scorers, including Ovechkin, Chris Clark, Matt Pettinger, and Dainius Zubrus along with the top four scoring defensemen, Bryan Muir, Shaone Morrisonn, Jamie Heward, and Steve Eminger and goalie Olie Kolzig.
According to our friends at On Frozen Blog (www.onfrozenblog.com) these are the games that Washingtonians shouldn't miss this season:
- Saturday, Dec. 16 vs Philadelphia: The Capitals/Flyers rivalry always makes for intense games; it's also the Toys for Tots toy drive, so bring an unwrapped toy to donate!
- Saturday, Jan. 6 vs Atlanta: The Thrashers return to DC for some Old Time Hockey (176 minutes of penalties last game!). Bad blood between these two teams means excitement for fans.
- Saturday, Feb. 10 vs New York: Free Capitals baseball caps for all attendees, plus a chance to boo former Capital Jaromir Jagr.
- Sunday, Feb. 25 vs New Jersey: Capitals Alumni will be signing autographs during this 1:00 PM matinee game.
- Friday, March 16 vs Toronto: How better to warm up for the next day's St. Patty's celebrations than to see the Caps battle an Original Six team? You'll get to hear the Canadian national anthem too.
- Tuesday, Mar. 27 vs Pittsburgh: The Capitals' two Alexes (Ovechkin and Semin) against the Penguins' crop of young talent (Crosby, Malkin, etc.) should make for an exciting and fast-moving game.
- Saturday, April 7 vs Buffalo: The high-flying Sabres come to town for the last game of the season. And it's Fan Appreciation Day, featuring giveaways throughout the game.
WNBA’S WASHINGTON MYSTICS
As one of the first WNBA expansion franchises the Mystics have had a spotted history of winning and losing seasons since their beginning in 1998. WNBA All-Star and Duke University standout Alana Beard, DeLisha Milton-Jones, Nikki Teasley, and Coco Miller have helped lead the team to past playoff appearances but the Mystics lost in the first round of playoffs in 2006 ending with an 18-16 record. The Mystics have a spring/summer season.
COLLEGE BASKETBALLThe Verizon Center will be hosting the first and second rounds of the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's basketball tournament for the third time. In the past the Verizon Center has hosted the 2006 Washington Regional Round of the NCAA Division I Men's basketball tournament, the 2005 ACC tournament, and the 1998 NCAA Division I Men's basketball tournament.
The Verizon Center is also home to the Big East's men's basketball team, the Georgetown Hoyas, who ended last season 23-10 after making it to the NCAA tournament and the Sweet 16 for the first time since the 2000-01 season.