Caps fans flock for Stanley Cup championship gear

BETHESDA, Md. — If a T-shirt reads “Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals,” it’s got to be true, right?

Dozens of sleep-deprived Capitals fans in search of morning-after Stanley Cup gear were standing on the Wisconsin Avenue sidewalk Friday morning, waiting for Modells Sporting Goods to open its doors at 6 a.m.

All had watched Thursday night’s 4-3 Game 5 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights — some at home, some on the huge screen outside Capital One Arena. Some had slept a few hours, others had not.

Modells, Dick’s and other sporting good chains had opened their doors immediately after the final horn Thursday night, to sell Caps merchandise, which had arrived in boxes Thursday, with the instructions: “Do not open unless the Capitals win.”

Dozens of sleep-deprived Capitals fans in search of morning-after Stanley Cup gear were standing on the Wisconsin Avenue sidewalk Friday morning, waiting for Modells Sporting Goods to open its doors at 6 a.m. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Dozens of sleep-deprived Capitals fans in search of morning-after Stanley Cup gear were standing on the Wisconsin Avenue sidewalk Friday morning, waiting for Modells Sporting Goods to open its doors at 6 a.m. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Modells, Dick's and other sporting good chains had opened their doors immediately after the final horn Thursday night to sell Caps merchandise and remained open until early-morning demand withered. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Modells, Dick’s and other sporting good chains had opened their doors immediately after the final horn Thursday night to sell Caps merchandise and remained open until early-morning demand withered. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Whoever winds up wearing this will not have waited as long for their first Stanley Cup as most other Caps diehards. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Whoever winds up wearing this will not have waited as long for their first Stanley Cup as most other Caps diehards. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Even before the doors opened, fans were in line waiting to get their hands on Caps merchandise celebrating the team's first Stanley Cup Championship. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Even before the doors opened, fans were in line waiting to get their hands on Caps merchandise celebrating the team’s first Stanley Cup Championship. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

A long line for championship merchandise at the Capital One Arena team store. The line for gear runs around the corner. (WTOP/John Domen)
A long line for championship merchandise at the Capital One Arena team store. The line for gear runs around the corner. (WTOP/John Domen)

Customers shop for gear a day after the Caps win the Stanley Cup Finals
Customers shop at the Capital One Arena team store for new Washington Capitals gear a day after the Caps won the Stanley Cup Finals (Courtesy Don Squires).

Customers shop for gear a day after the Caps win the Stanley Cup Finals
Customers lime up for new Washington Capitals gear at the Capital One Arena team store a day after the Caps won the Stanley Cup Finals (Courtesy Don Squires).

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Dozens of sleep-deprived Capitals fans in search of morning-after Stanley Cup gear were standing on the Wisconsin Avenue sidewalk Friday morning, waiting for Modells Sporting Goods to open its doors at 6 a.m. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Modells, Dick's and other sporting good chains had opened their doors immediately after the final horn Thursday night to sell Caps merchandise and remained open until early-morning demand withered. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Whoever winds up wearing this will not have waited as long for their first Stanley Cup as most other Caps diehards. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Even before the doors opened, fans were in line waiting to get their hands on Caps merchandise celebrating the team's first Stanley Cup Championship. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
A long line for championship merchandise at the Capital One Arena team store. The line for gear runs around the corner. (WTOP/John Domen)
Customers shop for gear a day after the Caps win the Stanley Cup Finals
Customers shop for gear a day after the Caps win the Stanley Cup Finals

Stores remained open until early-morning demand withered.

By 6 a.m. Friday, displays were coordinated, waiting for joyous fans to snap up items including the light gray cap Alex Ovechkin wore immediately after the game.

“I wanted the ones the players had on last night,” said one woman, as she bought hats and shirts that she said she plans to wear “today at work, and then at the baseball game tonight.”

Entering the store in an Ovechkin uniform, a fan who said his first name was Alex — seriously — said he planned to wear his new $34.99 to his job Friday. “Technically not allowed, but see if someone protests.”


Within minutes of doors opening, another fan was in line at the cash register, ticking off mementos he said he’ll share with his wife: “I’ve got T-shirts, stickers, license plate frames, pennant, a welcome mat.”

Modell’s store manager Larry Smith said, “We had a mountain load of boxes delivered Thursday morning, and we still have plenty of it left.”

Smith said fan support for the Capitals has been palpable

“We’re feeling that energy, and getting that energy,” Smith said. “We’re feeling it, and we’re loving it.”

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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