Friday, September 24, 2010

One Owner, Two Different Schedules

Last spring, everyone was delighted to learn that Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Capitals, had also become the owner of both the Verizon Center and the Washington Wizards NBA franchise. Caps fans rejoiced at the end of the team's 'second class status' as far as arena revenues, publicity and scheduling. But with the rather short amount of time from his taking possession of the arena and the Wizards, was there time to even out the schedule for both teams?

Looking at the official Verizon Center Schedule of Events, I looked at the number of times the Caps play a game the day after (and in some cases, the evening after an afternoon game) either an NBA game, Georgetown Hoyas game or a concert. Then I did the same for the Wizards. I excluded pre-season games, unless one of the teams was playing a regular season game the next night. Here's what I found:

  • Wizards Games: 20
  • Hoyas Games: 3 (2 of which are played at noon on the day of a 7pm Caps game)
  • Concerts: 4 ('The Wall' Live, Minister Dr. David Jeremiah, a choir competition and Lady Gaga)  
  • TOTAL: 27 games

  • Capitals Games: 15
  • Hoyas Games: 4 (3 of which are played at noon on the day of a 7pm Wizards game)
  • Concerts: 1 (Trans Siberian Orchestra)
  • Others: 1 (2nd Round of NCAA March Madness)
  • TOTAL: 20 games

So there you have it. The Caps play 7 more games after another Verizon Center event than do the Wizards. And, speaking with no experience in the matter, I'd imagine a basketball-to-basketball change-over is less intensive, yet still affects the ice surface below it. With so many floor-to-ice transitions throughout the season, it's no wonder that the Verizon Center ice's quality is questioned from time to time. It's a credit to the fine change-over crew at the arena that there were far less complaints last season than in seasons prior.

Hopefully with a full season of full ownership under his belt, Ted can ensure that the Caps and Wizards will have a more balanced schedule for the 2011-2012 season.

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