A Guide To Buying Tickets At The Verizon Center

The Verizon Center, formerly known as the MCI Center, opened in 1997 and has become the home for the Washington Capitals, the Washington Wizards and the Georgetown Hoyas. Over the years, the Verizon Center has hosted some amazing events including the 2001 NBA All Star Game, NCAA tournament games in basketball and hockey, NBA playoff games and the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals. Michael Jordan called the Verizon Center home for his final three NBA seasons. Jordan ended up becoming the first and only player above the age of 40 to score 40 or more points in an NBA game (43 points in 2003) in the Verizon Center.

Verizon Center Seating MapSince 2007, the Washington Capitals have finished in first place for every season except 2011-12, when they finished second, and last season, when they finished fifth. Despite not getting out of the conference semifinals since their Stanley Cup run in 1998, the Capitals have consistently commanded one of the highest average ticket prices in the NHL on the secondary market the past five years.

With a flurry of young talent, the Washington Wizards have again put together a playoff winning team back on the basketball court in the Verizon Center. Last year's team, which finished second in the Eastern Conference, has energized the city of Washington which has increased the season average of ticket prices on the secondary market.


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Both teams are at new highs on the secondary market this year after each team took a dip in price for the 2013-14 seasons. The Capitals took the biggest hit last year, when they finished fifth in the standings, dropping $46.21 (33.5%) in average price from 2012-13 ($137.80) to 2013-14 ($91.59). The secondary average ticket price has rebounded almost completely in 2014-15, bouncing back to $131.89. From 2010-11 to 2011-12, the average ticket price on the secondary market for Capitals games increased from $101.33 to $108.43 before making the big jump to $137.80 in 2012-13.

The Washington Wizards have commanded way less money for games on the secondary market for the past five seasons. Up until this season, the average ticket prices have been about the same. Ticket prices in 2014-15 have almost doubled in value from the 2013-14 season. In 2013-14, the average ticket price on the secondary market cost $64.52 for Wizards fans. After a 44-38 season last year, ticket prices rose to $110, a 70 percent increase. The increase in price surely had to do with success, as they had not won more than 40 games since 2008. It was also their second most wins since the 1996-97 season (they changed names from the Bullets to the Wizards following the 1997 season).

5-Year Season Average for Capitals Tickets at Home:
Season Average Price
2010-2011 $101.33
2011-2012 $108.43
2012-2013 $137.80
2013-2014 $91.59
2014-2015 $131.89

 

Capitals 5 Most Expensive Home Games of 2014-15

Date Opponent Avg Price Get-in Price
1/1/2015 Blackhawks (Winter Classic @ Nationals Park) $493.58 $182.00
4/11/2015 Rangers $243.03 $41.00
3/11/2015 Rangers $226.22 $39.00
3/13/2015 Stars $215.65 $29.00
3/28/2015 Predators $205.21 $27.00
11/28/2014 Islanders $202.68 $26.00

 

Capitals 5 Least Expensive Home Games of 2014-15

Date Opponent Avg Price Get-in Price
11/11/2014 Blue Jackets $34.00 $5.00
11/4/2014 Flames $51.23 $6.00
10/14/2014 Sharks $64.49 $11.00
10/16/2014 Devils $66.69 $10.00
11/2/2014 Coyotes $70.50 $8.00

 

 5-Year Season Average for Wizards Tickets at Home

Season Average Price
2010-2011 $64.38
2011-2012 $68.31
2012-2013 $65.81
2013-2014 $64.52
2014-2015 $110.09

  Wizards 5 Most Expensive Home Games Of 2014-15

Date Opponent Avg Price Get-in Price
2/20/2015 Cavaliers $244.43 $53.00
11/21/2014 Cavaliers $217.48 $55.00
12/3/2014 Lakers $183.73 $22.00
1/21/2015 Thunder $182.66 $33.00
1/9/2015 Bulls $165.39 $29.00

Wizards 5 Least Expensive Home Games of 2014-15

Date Opponent Avg Price Get-in Price
11/12/2014 Pistons $37 $2.00
11/19/2014 Mavericks $53.27 $5.00
11/5/2014 Pacers $55.21 $4.00
11/25/2014 Hawks $57.78 $4.00
11/15/2014 Magic $58.32 $9.00

 

Verizon Center is also considered one of the most wheelchair accessible arenas in sports. The arena offers accessible seating in every section, with numerous wheelchair friendly entrances and exits from the arena as well.

Within the Verizon Center, there are a multitude of concession choices. Fans of eating local will love the Hard Times Cafe and the Green Turtle. The Hard Times Cafe, which is located in Sections 112 and 119 offers chili in any way imaginable: on top of spaghetti, frito pies, nachos and hotdogs, or just in a bowl. Other food standouts from the Hard Times Cafe includes wings. The Greene Turtle is another fan favorite in the Verizon Center. The stadium version of the local eatery offers boneless wings, pulled pork sandwiches and cheesesteaks. While it is accessible from Section 117, people can access the restaurant along F Street. If you're watching the game from the Club Level, visit the Acela Club, which is located in sections 220-225. The 11,000 square foot restaurant is a members-only eatery (it'll cost you $15 for one game or you can purchase a pass that costs $249 per person that will give you access for every Capitals and Wizards game). The spread features Farmhouse and Artisan cheeses, a Southwestern Salsa Bar, Sliced Italian Meats, five different types of mac 'n cheese and more.

Hard Times Cafe Food

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If you're looking for just regular concession offerings, the Verizon Center has their own Dunkin Donuts in Section 120, Papa John's in Sections 106, 119 402 & 416 , Dippin Dots in many different locations and a wide variety of beers from Coors Light to Stella Artois. Fans also rave about the funnel cakes and cotton candy.

According to NerdWallet.com, the Wizards offered the ninth most affordable home games in the entire NBA in the 2013-14 season. This factored in the price of beer, soda, parking, hot dog and the ticket price itself. Beer prices are below average for the entire NBA at $5.33 a pop while parking is the fourth highest in the league so if you can, try to take pubic transportation to the game and spend that money on an extra beer or two.

The Verizon Center has hosted many other events outside of the sporting world, too. If you're a fan of music, you'll be sure to find a band or artist that will entertain you all night. The Rolling Stones performed their last United States show in June 2013 at the Verizon Center. Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Coldplay, Cher, Miley Cyrus, Michael Buble, and Elton John have all performed for sold out crowds at the arena. Other standout events at the Verizon Center included Mike Tyson's final fight and a plethora of WWE wrestling events including Summerslam. Other sporting events have included NCAA men's basketball events such as the first and second rounds and regional finals, the NCAA Frozen Four, ACC basketball tournaments and both the WNBA All Star game and the NBA All Star game.


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