Verizon is a top name in cellular phones, so it is no wonder they have purchased naming rights for an arena. The arena is called the Verizon Center and it is in Washington D.C. Locals have nicknamed the arena the Phone Booth because of the phone relationship. Verizon Center Arena opened its doors in 1997. Since then the Washington Capitals and Wizards have called the facility home. The Capitals are an NHL team and the Wizards are NBA. In 1998 the Washington Mystics WNBA team joined the arena. By 2001 the Washington Power NLL team joined the arena calling it home. Unfortunately this lasted until 2002.
The owner and operator of the arena is the Washington Sports Entertainment company. The construction costs were $260 million, which is no surprise since the facility has state of the art electronics as well as plenty of seating for the DC area. Basketball games can hold up to 20,100 and ice hockey tops out at 18,277 seats.
The Verizon Center replaced the older US Air Arena. The older arena was unable to sustain the growing need for more seats and needed a huge renovation. It was decided a new arena would be the best option. The location is in China Town. In 2007 a mild renovation was done to the Verizon Center Arena. A new scoreboard with LED lights was added.
The Verizon Center located in the United States Capital has certainly seen some notable events over the years. In 1998 the Stanley Cup Finals came to the center. Also the Champions on Ice, Ringling Brothers Circus, Van Halen, WCW, NCAA Men's basketball tournaments, WWE, Janet Jackson, and Britney Spears events have been at the facility. A WNBA All Star Tournament, Mike Tyson versus Kevin McBride, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Shakira, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez with Marc Anthony, and AC/ DC are other notable events.
Michelle Obama hosted a Kid's Inaugural event in 2009 once she and her husband gained the White House. Also the center has enjoyed events like Tina Turner, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, The Jonas Brothers, Sarah Brightman, Metallica, and Kiss. Coming in 2009 and 2010 will be AC/ DC on a comeback tour, Miley Cyrus, and the WWE Survivor Series. Bruce Springsteen, The Wiggles, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra are a few of the other tours coming to the Verizon Center.
Entertainment is not the only thing the Verizon Center Arena can offer. To keep people happy during events there are plenty of concessions. A few places to eat include Dunkin Donuts, the Greene Turtle Sports Bar, and Noah's Pretzels. For shopping needs the Verizon Center offers Fan Gear. It has many of the team's jerseys and sports memorabilia guests may want to have. It can be found on the main level on F Street. Vida Fitness is also nearby for pre show spa appointments or exercise. For some ticket holders the Dewar's Clubhouse and Acela Club Restaurant are available. Anyone with club seating or suite tickets is able to enjoy these amenities.