The Verizon Center is undergoing a series of renovations and enhancements. The US$10m initiative features more than 15,000ft2 of hospitality space and involves all four levels of the arena. It also includes the installation of the latest technology to enhance the overall game day experience, new specialty food and beverage offerings, the reduction of the arena’s overall environmental impact and more.
“We began this US$10m initiative during the summer with an emphasis on our fans and the game day experience and to ensure Verizon Center continues to be one of the top five buildings in the country for sports and entertainment events,” said Ted Leonsis, founder, chairman, majority owner and CEO of venue owner and operator, Monumental Sports & Entertainment.
“Verizon Center is an entertainment destination, and we’re focused on keeping the latest in technology and game day experiences at our fingertips for everyone who visits the arena.”
More than 15,000ft2 of space across all four levels of the arena is involved in the initiative, and the US$10m project brings the total invested in the arena since 1999 to US$69.5m. New hospitality areas and renovated spaces include the 10,000ft2 VIP club, Draft Ops Fantasy Lounge, team lounge, AK Lounge and media work area. Additionally, new flooring in all of the executive suites, new dasher boards and glass for increased player safety, and a new arena subfloor have been installed.
“All four levels of the arena have been a part of this major initiative to enhance the game day experience for all fans, including the improvement upon our sustainability efforts by installing more efficient utilities,” said David Touhey, senior vice president and general manager of Verizon Center. “The scope of the project reaches fans from every angle of the game day environment, whether you are sitting in the arena bowl, wandering the concourses or getting a bite to eat.”
“We’re excited to bring to the table some great new offerings in the hospitality space that will be available to season-ticket members and to all fans who attend events at the arena,” added Jim Van Stone, chief revenue officer for Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “The new VIP club and Draft Ops Fantasy Lounge are a cross-section of the latest in technology offerings, game day experiences and food and beverage options. They’ll both be a one-of-a-kind experience to check out this coming season.”
A total of 13 new LED signs throughout the arena bowl and a new ultra-high resolution LED video wall have also been installed at Verizon Center. The LED signs in the arena bowl include new portal signage and a new scorer’s table. The LED video wall, the first of its kind to be used in a sports setting, will be featured at the main entrance to the arena and sits at 19ft 1in wide by 5ft 10in tall with a 1.25mm pitch. It will feature live in-game video, partner and social media content as well as wayfinding.
“Technology is a major element of the current game-day experience and resonates with all fans,” said Leonsis. “The new LED video wall in particular at F Street will provide for an unprecedented experience as fans enter the arena for a game or an event.”
The game day experience will also be enhanced with four new bars located on the 100 and 400 level with new food offerings, such as sliders and taco salad. Two brand new displays on the main concourse for the Capitals and Wizards are also planned. The Capitals display details jerseys and helmets from the NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic. The Wizards display, which will debut this autumn, features the franchise’s history of team jerseys. Additionally, fans will now be able to order customized jerseys through the Team Store for the Capitals and Wizards.
Additional technology being incorporated throughout the arena includes 200-plus iBeacons to provide access to special game day offers and seat upgrades, and new mobile apps during the 2015/16 season for the Capitals, Wizards, Mystics, Verizon Center and EagleBank Arena. The team’s mobile apps will enhance the game day fan experience and be integrated into the new Monumental Rewards platform, which is now open to anyone and provides for the collection of points to redeem prizes, including suite tickets for events, team merchandise and memorabilia, special partner offers and unique experiences.
STRIVR Labs virtual reality technology will also be used by the Capitals, Wizards and Mystics as the first teams in each respective league to utilize their virtual reality technology for enhanced player development and to enhance the game day experience for fans. From an environmental perspective, the arena’s impact has been reduced by installing pint valves in all restrooms to reduce water usage by up to 88%. A completely new lighting system has also been installed and boiler burners have been replaced with energy efficient controllers for an estimated saving of 12%.
Additional hospitality spaces within the arena have also been renovated and rebranded, and include the Budweiser Brew House, the Maryland Live! Casino Players Club and the Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille.
October 2, 2015