Snowy Situation: Will the Capitals Play?

UPDATE: Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty declared a snow emergency that went into effect at 9:30 a.m. Friday. For Caps fans, that means no parking on 7th Street, 6th Street, and H Street at tonight’s game. Here’s the Snow Emergency Routes map.


With Snowpocalypse II: Electric Boogaloo on its way to the region, I asked the Washington Capitals’ front office how they will assess the situation’s impact on the Caps’ Friday night and Sunday matinee games.

Per the Caps, any game cancellation is done in consultation with the league. A number of factors are considered, including:

  • Are the teams already in town
  • Are officials already in town
  • Are players/coaches/officials able to make it to the arena
  • Can the arena provide enough staff for the game to open its doors

That first bullet is of interest regarding Sunday’s contest: the Penguins have a game in Montreal starting at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday; even if they came straight to D.C. from Montreal, air traffic schedules in the northeast are likely to be a shambles this weekend. The Thrashers’ concern could be after their scheduled game, trying to catch a flight back to Atlanta to host the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Obviously we are hopeful that the Capitals will host the Thrashers and Penguins as scheduled. But what is the Capitals’ plan to get the word out if the weather does indeed force a delay or rescheduling of this weekend’s games?

The Capitals’ Kurt Kehl elaborated: “If there is a postponement, would be the central point for information. We also would use a traditional news release along with utilization of broadcast partners (CSN, WFED, WTOP), emails to ticket holders, Twitter, Facebook, mobile alert, front office voice mail, etc.”

Of note for fans who take Metro rail to the games, be aware of the following WMATA policy: “If snow accumulations are 8″ or higher, above-ground service will be suspended and Metro will operate below-ground service only.” This, too, could be an issue for staffing the arena adequately Friday night, as arena workers who rely on Metro may have problems getting home after the game.

Additionally, special parking rules go into effect if DDOT declares a snow emergency. Snow Emergency Routes in the Verizon Center area include 7th Street, 6th Street, and H Street—so if an emergency is declared, no parking will be permitted on those streets.

So while nobody yet knows how accurate the weather forecasts are, or exactly how that weather will impact the area… cross your fingers that the Caps’ games proceed as scheduled, and that all this hang-wringing is for naught.

Keep an eye on the Caps’ site for official announcements as things progress, and plan some extra time for getting to, and returning from, the games. All of us at OFB wish you safe travels this weekend.

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20 Responses to Snowy Situation: Will the Capitals Play?

  1. Grooven says:

    The first of many to come I’m sure. From NBC4 regarding Dulles airport.

    “All Southwest Airlines flights for Friday will stop taking off around 2 p.m. Friday and resume Sunday morning if the weather improves. Southwest has also cancelled all service for Saturday, Feb. 6 and some of its early morning departures for Sunday, Feb. 7.”

  2. xke4me says:

    I’ll bring my sleeping bag to Verizon Center and work the game for them!

  3. XKE, I admire your enthusiasm! 🙂

  4. Ron W says:

    If the snow is as bad a spredicted, the City, Maryland and Virginia should basically take the decision out of NBC and Bettman’s hands. Frankly, this is a public safety issue, not simply whether folks like me are able to even get to the game. No extraordinary resources should be made available to help the game take place. These resources are needed to clean streets, including secondary resident streets, of snow, and insure the safety of the entire area. Flight cancellations on airlines won’t effect chartered flights like the Penguins coming in from Montreal, but priorities on planes should be to get folk who must get to DC for various reasons. BTW (who knows when the local airports will have emergency runways open. In any event, since I rely on Metro, chances of attending the game are like zero to none,

  5. jcl says:

    So if the game is still on and the metro isn’t running to the outdoor stations. Where would somebody like me driving up from southern VA park? I usually just jump on at Franconia/Springfield, but that doesn’t look like it will be an option.

  6. bucknelldad says:

    Since Barack Obama is probably a big Pittsburgh Penguins fans (he seems to like people from Pittsburgh, e.g. Art Rooney, owner of Steelers and now Ambassador to Ireland), I’m sure he’ll order his Orcs to clearn National Airport (I’m sure Obama will never call it “Reagan Airport”) so the Turd Birds can descend from their Death Star.

  7. DCNative says:

    Any idea what cancellation policy is re: tickets? Will the game be rescheduled and will they honor our tix?

  8. @ DCNative: If the storm is severe enough, the game could be postponed but not canceled. Therefore your tickets for this game would be valid for whenever the rescheduled date.

    At this point (2:45 p.m.), however, the game is still on…

  9. Jason K says:

    If the game is on tonight, so is Caps Poster Night Contest. The back of the poster has instructions on entering a contest using your mobile phone to win an autographed jersey, stick or lower level tickets for Pens and Rangers. If you can’t get to the game, enter at Drawing is in a week.

  10. @ BucknellDad: If the President indeed has Orcs at his disposal, I say he should dress the Orcs in Capitals uniforms the next time the Flyers come to town and let ’em do what they do best. 🙂

    BTW I too still call it National Airport — Ronald Reagan, as you can see here ( has plenty of places renamed in his honor already. I also still consider BWI to be BWI (instead of Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport). Both new airport names are just too unwieldy for my liking.

  11. Concerned Fan says:

    I saw BOO to the Caps front off, the league, etc. Not everyone lives in D.C. or within a driving distance, thirty miles or less, and according to the weather service not only should we as a community not be on the roads to allow for VDOT, DDOT and MDOT to perform their work, it will be unsafe and “life-threatening”. Per the weather service –

    I think that the Caps should take into consideration that the game is not only for the teams taking part, but also for the mass of fans that will be unable to make it to the game tonight due to the unsafe driving conditions and Metro which will almost certainly be closing down stops due to severe weather.

  12. Grooven says:

    At 5p, the ground in downtown DC is almost covered, but no real accumulation yet. Unless it snows at a rate of 2″/hr (not too likely), Metro will still be running to the outdoor stations. And I’d wager many of the roads will still be safely driveable.

  13. Dougeb says:

    I have one ticket for tonight’s game versus the Thrashers — sect 404 row c seat 13 that I would give away to someone who emails me @

  14. @ GROOVEN: I’m with you — it seems the worst of this storm will happen in the wee hours of the morning, well after the Caps’ game concludes.

    Sunday’s matinee is still in doubt IMO, given the area blew its snow-removal budget long ago.

  15. JackRussell says:

    Metro says that they won’t shut down the outdoor stations until the snow reaches 8″ deep. Right now we have one or two, and it isn’t coming down all that hard, so my guess is that if you are arriving by Metro, you shouldn’t have a problem. But the trick is getting to Metro, as the roads are getting pretty slippery.

  16. xke4me says:

    Mike, I’m just hoping I would get snowed in with the Caps. HMM, twenty five or so highly conditioned athletes….They may have the world’s largest slumber party at Verizon this weekend!

  17. Valleycapsfan says:


  18. Cathy W says:

    Well I made the right decision to stay home as I take both Metro rail and Metrobus. While Metro is suspending above ground service rail service at 11 pm tonight, Metro is suspending all bus service as of 9 pm. I would have been in big trouble as it is too far to walk (besides no sidewalks and being dark, the route from the nearest Metro now includes VDOT construction zones) and there is never any taxis at that Metro stop.

  19. Grooven says:

    Best idea I’ve heard for the game tomorrow…. date swap. Thrashers on Sunday (since they’re still in town), Penguins in April (when the Caps were scheduled to play the Thrashers).

  20. Victor says:

    Word is the off-ice officials have been in hotels since Friday. The Flightless Foul flew (uhhh…you know) into Richmond and will be bussed up. I expect they will be tired, sore, and whiny.

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