What fans can expect at the Capitals’ home opener

Ovie might be questionable for the Capitals’ season opener against the Rangers on Wednesday night, but the team says there’s plenty for fans to look forward to at Capital One Arena.

The game starts at 7:30 p.m. Here’s some of what to expect:

Rock the Red Carpet on F Street from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Karl Alzner, Peter Bondra and Rod Langway are scheduled to appear. COVID protocols prevent players from participating, but fans can enjoy stilt walkers, bubble hockey, face painters, photo opportunities on the red carpet and more. And Northern Virginia’s Junkfood band will play in front of the arena before the game.

There will also be a virtual arrival show hosted by Caps’ radio play-by-play voice John Walton and digital host Taryn Bray. Fans can tune in to the virtual event on the Capitals’ Twitter and Facebook accounts and on MonumentalSportsNetwork.com

Capital One Fan Van: The Fan Van will be parked outside Capital One Arena starting at 5:30 p.m. Onboard the van is limited edition apparel, interactives and prizes. There’s also gonna be a mock Capital One penalty box for photos and a puck plinko game.

Meet at the Metro with the Caps: The Capitals are taking over the Gallery Place-Chinatown metro station. There will be Caps alums, mascot Slapshot and a hype squad from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Fan giveaways: All fans at the game will get a 2021-2022 schedule magnet and red light sticks.

Game-time entertainment: Capital One Arena will debut new and enhanced special effects for the home opener. There will also be individual player intros and new videos.

Safety protocols: Here’s a big one. Monumental Sports is following federal, state, D.C. and NHL health requirements. That means all fans have to wear masks at games and events at Capital One Arena.

In addition to COVID protocols, bags, backpacks and purses aren’t allowed inside the arena. Wallet-sized clutches 5 inches x 7 inches or smaller are OK, as are medical and parental bags no bigger than 14 inches x 14 inches x 6 inches. There’s a bag check near 6th and F streets if you don’t meet the requirements. It costs $15 per bag.

More information is available online.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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