A fan's guide to returning to Capital One Arena originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
If you are among the lucky few to get your hands on a ticket to attend the Wizards or Capitals' first games in Capital One Arena with fans in over a year, things are going to look quite different since your last time around.
Fans have been itching to get back to the arena ever since Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser approved a 10% capacity for Wizards and Capitals games earlier this month, allowing about 2,100 fans to start. The Wizards will play in front of fans first on Wednesday night.
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Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors come to town for a fun showdown with Bradley Beal as the two superstars battle for this season's scoring title and both teams fight for a spot in one of the NBA's play-in games.
The Capitals will play their first game in front of fans on April 27 against former Stanley Cup-winning coach Barry Trotz and the New York Islanders in a game that could help decide the winner of the East Division in this 56-game season. It will be the third of three games in a row against New York.
Things will look quite different for the fans' first return. Masks will be required, fans will be socially distanced, fans who feel any symptoms before are asked to stay home, and more.
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Here's everything you need to know:
What to bring
- What kind? Face coverings that cover both the mouth and nose. Neck gaiters, masks with vents, bandanas, and costume masks are not allowed. Face shields can be worn in addition to masks, but not without masks.
- Who needs them? Everyone aged 2 and older.
What NOT to bring
- Paper Tickets: All tickets will be sent electronically. Fans are asked to enter through the gate specified on their mobile-only tickets.
- What kind? Only medical bags, wallet-size clutches, and parenting bags are permitted.
- Capital One Arena concessions will use no-touch pay options like credit and debit cards or Apple Pay.
What else is new?
- Screening: Fans will be asked three questions before entering. If the response is "yes" to any of them, then the fan will not be permitted to enter.
- Social distancing: Fans are required to stay six feet from those not in their party. Tickets will be sold in pods of one to four.
- Glass Dividers: Plexiglass dividers have been installed in certain locations to further mitigate risk
- Parking: There will be no parking in Capital One Arena's garage.
Who will be at the first game?
- Around 2,100 fans: Preference will be given to season-ticket holders. At both the Wizards and Capitals first games on the April 21 and April 27, hundreds of frontline workers will be honored