Ted Leonsis has done what he could to improve the Wizards fan experience at Verizon Center from the moment he became majority owner just a little over five years ago.
One area was improving the experience of those who hold premium seats. Instead of just refurbishing some ultra-exclusive areas of the building, he decided in the summer of 2010 that he would give all VIP season ticket holders perks like complimentary parking, food, and beverages (which include beer and wine):
I would rather give our customers free food and beverages than spend the money on carpets, woodwork and furniture for just a few people. I think you will love this area as it works great in other arenas.
The idea certainly has been a hit ever since. VIP tickets are popular because they give fans a great seat to the game. They also get their food, drinks, and parking taken care of. It's a great value all things considered.
Even though the VIP experience was great as it is given how crowded the food stations are, there's still room for improvement. The Coaches Club was never intended to house as many people as it does today, and the Courtside/Rinkside Club is clearly a makeshift solution because it was always intended to be a storage and logistics hub.
For the Capitals, the VIP ticket holders can only access the already crowded Coaches Club, and NOT the Courtside/Rinkside Club. Since they are expanding VIP seating for the 2015-16 NHL season, something had to be done to accommodate more people in this small space.
I was not surprised to learn that Monumental Sports would eventually upgrade the furnishings around the VIP clubs, and increase ticket prices considerably. This fall, a new VIP club will open for these holders. What will happen is that the Coaches Club will be expanded and an adjacent press room will now be part of the Club. All-in-all, the club will be 10,000 square feet, and there will be some other enhanced features like more TV's and food offerings.
Here are some simulated pictures from the Wizards' ticket website:
My take: I'm glad to see that premium ticket holders now have a more open space to mingle. With the Wizards becoming a bigger part of the sports scene in the area, there are more fans who mingle in these seats today than in the past.
As for the food, I don't think the new menu is radically different from what I've seen before though the Capitals' VIP Club site implies that things will change there too. But we'll see how things look this fall.