Verizon Center prepares for Caps

Verizon Center staff are happily preparing to host professional hockey games once again.

Michelle Basch,

WASHINGTON – Training camp for the Washington Capitals could begin as soon as this weekend. And although no games are scheduled yet at the Verizon Center, the arena is preparing the home ice.

The process began around 5 a.m. Wednesday, and by the afternoon crews were carefully painting lines and moving cloth logos into place on the ice.

The logos have to be covered with at least 1 inch of ice to protect players’ safety. But making that 1 inch of ice takes lots of time and about 10,000 gallons of water.

“You have to do it in layers. The guys come out here, they flood from one end to the other, it freezes up and then you come back down again,” says Jamie Gibson, assistant director of operations for the Verizon Center.

Gibson says it will be nice to see the Caps play at home again soon.

“It’s been kind of boring without it. It’s great, yeah, happy to have it back,” he says.

Gibson says all of the ice should be in place by Thursday afternoon, and on Friday crews will likely level it with an ice resurfacing machine.

Gibson’s been doing this kind of work for quite a while.

It was 1987 when he started work on a hockey crew at what was then the Caps’ home: The Capital Centre in Landover.

Related Stories:

Follow @mbaschwtop and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)