With the majority of East Coast states easing various restrictions and raising attendance capacities, the District of Columbia has decided to join in as well.
During her Monday daily news conference, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced COVID-19 capacity restrictions for most business will be eased starting May 21, with a full reopening of D.C. set for June 11. Many Virginia residents, where sports betting is also legal (as it is in D.C.), attend games and events in D.C.
CHECK OUT: Virginia’s Hometown Heroes
But some of the pro teams in the district will begin allowing more fans on Friday. The Washington Nationals and D.C. United can expand capacity to 36 percent starting Friday after receiving permission from the city. That’s well ahead of the full lifting of restrictions next month. Monumental Sports & Entertainment, in a news release Monday, also said capacity at Capitals and Wizards games at Capital One Arena would increase 25 percent this Friday, allowing for about 5,000 fans. Full capacity can return June 11.
The Wizards will play their first home game in front of a 25% capacity on Friday versus the Cleveland Cavaliers and that same percentage will be allowed when the Capitals play their home playoff games.
“We are grateful to Mayor Bowser for allowing us to welcome more fans into Capital One Arena in time for the playoffs,” Ted Leonsis, founder & CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, said in a news release. “Russell Westbrook is making all-time history in the NBA as Bradley Beal is chasing the NBA’s lead scoring record for the season. And the Caps are in the postseason for the seventh consecutive season. We are thrilled to have the best fans in sports together with us again to see these excellent teams chase championships!”
Sportsbook at Capital One Arena
D.C.’s first brick-and-mortar sportsbook by William Hill (now Caesars) is in the arena.
The Washington Nationals will be able to expand Nationals Park’s capacity to 36%, starting on May 21, as they return to home for the three-game Beltway Series against the Baltimore Orioles.
All safety protocols involving masks and social distancing will still be in effect.