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D.C. Government allows seating capacity of 10 percent at Capital One Arena for the remainder of NBA, NHL seasons

The approval is in effect immediately, but it may take some time for teams to sell tickets before fans actually attend Washington Wizards and Capitals games.

Charlotte Hornets v Washington Wizards
There will be fans after all at Capital One Arena this season.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

On Friday, Michael Brice-Saddler and Candace Buckner of The Washington Post reported that Monumental Sports & Entertainment was granted a waiver to allow fans at up to 10 percent capacity for the remainder of Washington Wizards and Capitals games for the 2020-21 NBA and NHL seasons. Fans were previously not allowed due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

The move is not unexpected because MSE applied for a waiver last month. The waiver also came after the Washington Nationals MLB and DC United MLS teams were allowed to host fans at their season openers. The two teams are now allowed to host up to 25 percent capacity. The 25 percent capacity limit also applies to Washington Spirit NWSL games that are played at Audi Field, DC United’s home venue, including their NWSL Challenge Cup match against Gotham FC on April 27 which will have fans.

Capital One Arena can seat up to 20,356 people for NBA games and 18,573 for NHL games in a pre-pandemic world. With the waivers, the Wizards can host up to about 2,035 fans and the Capitals, up to about 1,857 people, respectively.

The earliest the Wizards can host a game with fans is next Friday, April 16 when they host the New Orleans Pelicans. The Capitals’ next home game is on Tuesday, April 13 against the Philadelphia Flyers, but they may not be able to finish the logistics of selling tickets and the like before then.

Like the Wizards and Capitals, the Washington Mystics will also be able to host their home games at 10 percent capacity when their season begins toward the summer. Assuming they play at the Entertainment and Sports Arena, they will only be able to host about 420 fans since the facility has just 4,200 seats. That said, if they play more games at Capital One Arena, they would be able to have up to about 2,035 instead.

I don’t plan on going to any Wizards game this season. But I also understand if many of you, especially if you are vaccinated for the coronavirus, do. So do you plan on going to Wizards, Capitals and/or Mystics games this spring and summer? Let us know in the comments below.