The big day has FINALLY ARRIVED! Your Washington Wizards will finally host their first home playoff game in six years.
That said, it's best to make sure that you plan accordingly to make sure that your experience traveling to and from Verizon Center doesn't override the experience of what should be an exciting basketball game. Here are some advisories for you all so you know this beforehand.
Ain't no luck
Game 3 is coming up in the Wizards-Bulls first round match-up and 'Game 5, if necessary', doesn't mean what you thought it could. Luck has nothing to do with it.
1. The Washington Nationals are playing at home tonight.
The MLB team in the nation's capital will play at 7:05 p.m. against the San Diego Padres. Since this is a Friday night game, there should be a good crowd headed to Nats Park. You also could hit some of the tail end of rush hour traffic.
Since there is a special light show going on at 7:45 p.m. (you will need to use the Wizards mobile app for iOS or Android), that should give you a little more incentive to get there early.
If nothing else, you want to make sure that you're in your seat as starting lineups are introduced, since we all need to put on our best first impression as a raucous crowd that fills every seat to the national and international television audience that will be watching.
A packed and raucous crowd, even before game time will help the Wizards get more buzz nationally and even locally, where they have often found themselves taking a backseat to the Nationals, Capitals, and Redskins over the past several years. I know many, if not most of us are fans of some combination of the other major teams in the area, but if there's a time to be really hyped for the Wizards, it's now.
2. If you are driving to Verizon Center, reserve yourself a parking space at a nearby garage.
If you are driving, your commute to Verizon Center will likely take longer than usual, but you don't want to make things worse by not finding a place to park for the game in time, in particular if you find yourself going to a lot that is full.
There are two sites you can use to reserve yourself a spot at a number of garages, and in most cases you can still go to those garages and park there, even if there's a sign that says that that facility is full.
Monumental Sports' official partner for this service is Parking Panda and you can click here to see which garages have space available for you to reserve. ParkWhiz is a similar site where you can reserve a space and click here to get to their site. Some of the parking garages are listed on both sites, but not all, so best that you check both sites.
3. At 10 p.m. Friday until Sunday, there will be delays on Metro.
If you're taking Metro, there will be track work on the red, yellow, green, orange, and blue lines on the way back home. You can read more about the delays by clicking here.
And if you're taking Metro to and from Verizon Center, you will probably have Nats fans coming back from their game as well so be prepared for a long ride back home if this is the case. But with a Wizards win, that should be the least of your worries.
Other than that, enjoy the game and go Wizards!