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, WashingtonCaps.com 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.