Capital Centre

Capital Centre

stadium_name = Capital Centre| nickname =

location = 1 Harry S Truman Dr
Landover, MD 20785
broke_ground =
opened = 1973
closed = 1997
demolished = 2002
owner = Washington Sports & Entertainment (Abe Pollin)
operator =
surface =
architect =
former_names = USAir Arena (1993–97)
US Airways Arena (1997)
tenants = Washington Bullets/Wizards (1973–97)
Washington Capitals (1974–97)
Georgetown Hoyas (NCAA) (1980–97)
Washington Warthogs (CISL) (1994–1997)
Washington Warthogs (1994–97)
Washington/Maryland Commandos (AFL) (1987–1990)
Washington Wave (MILL) (1987–1989) | seating_capacity = 18,756 (basketball)
18,130 (hockey)
The Capital Centre (also briefly known as US Airways Arena and USAir Arena) was an indoor arena located in Largo, Landover, Maryland; a suburb of Washington, D.C. Completed in 1973, the arena sat 18,756 for basketball and 18,130 for hockey. It was renamed for corporate sponsor US Airways in 1993, but reverted back to its original name of Capital Centre after the airline dropped its naming rights. The venue's name is also sometimes written as Capital Center, Capitol Center, Capitol Center Arena or Capital Center Arena. The venue closed in 1997 and was demolished in 2002.

As a sports venue

The arena was the home of the Washington Bullets of the NBA from 1973–97, the Washington Capitals of the NHL from 1974–97 and the Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team from 1981–97. The Washington Wizards were known as the Bullets until 1997, and played the first 5 games of the 1997–98 NBA season at the old arena. All three teams departed for the MCI Center (now Verizon Center) just north of The Mall in D.C. when it opened on December 2, 1997. The Capital Centre hosted its first NBA game exactly 24 years earlier on December 2, 1973, with the home team defeating the same visiting team, the Seattle SuperSonics. During November 1973, the Capital Bullets held their home games at nearby Cole Field House on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park.

In 1978 and 1979, the arena hosted games of the NBA Finals, when the Bullets played the Seattle SuperSonics.

The ACC men's basketball tournament was held there in 1976, 1981, and 1987. The 1980 NBA All-Star Game and 1982 NHL All-Star Game were held there, as was the WWF's Survivor Series 1995.

The arena also was home to a few epic NHL Playoff games.

The Washington/Maryland Commandos of the Arena Football League also called the arena home from 1987 to 1990. The Maryland Arrows, Washington Wave and Washington Power lacrosse teams used the arena, as did The Washington Warthogs professional indoor soccer team.

A boxing World Heavyweight Championship bout took place at the venue on April 30, 1976, with Jimmy Young challenging the champion Muhammad Ali. The fight went the full fifteen rounds and was awarded unanimously to Ali.

Footage of past Washington Bullets games held at the Capital Centre were used in the 1979 comedy film "The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh".

As a concert venue

The venue hosted concerts by many famous musicians and bands, including The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye, Elvis Presley, George Harrison, The Who, Aerosmith, Queen, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Bon Jovi, The Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, AC/DC, Bob Seger, Kiss, The Police, The New Barbarians, Blue Öyster Cult, Styx, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Great White, Judas Priest, Whitesnake and Phish. The Capital Centre was home to several Toys for Tots concerts in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The Smashing Pumpkins played their last concert with touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin here.

The first two volumes of Kiss' retrospective DVDs "Kissology" included bonus discs of late-1970s shows videotaped at the Capital Centre. Concert videos by Van Halen (a popular bootleg recorded on October 12, 1982) and Blue Öyster Cult (a 1978 show on the "Some Enchanted Evening" Legacy Edition CD) from the venue have also been released. A recording of The New Barbarians' concert on May 5, 1979, during the band's only concert tour ever, was released on "".

The video documentary short "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" was shot by Jeff Krulik and John Heyn on May 31, 1986, in the venue's parking lot, comically documenting thousands of heavy metal fans as they party before a Judas Priest concert (with special guests Dokken). (The parking lot itself was divided into four sections with patriotic emblems to aid patrons in remembering where they parked after an event: Liberty Bell, Capitol, Eagle, and Stars and Stripes.)

The Grateful Dead's live CD set "Terrapin Limited" was recorded on March 15, 1990 at the Capital Centre.


The arena was imploded on December 15, 2002 to make way for The Boulevard at the Capital Centre, a town center-style shopping mall.


The Capital Centre was the first indoor arena to have a video replay screen on its center-hung scoreboard. The four-sided video screen was known as the "Telscreen" (or "Telescreen") and predated the DiamondVision video screen at Dodger Stadium by seven years. It was also the first arena to be built with luxury boxes and a computerized turnstile system.

The Centre also had one of the NBA's most notorious fans, [ Robin Ficker] , who for twelve seasons sat behind the visiting team's bench and heckled opposing players.

External links

* [ First game in MCI Center] , "Sports Illustrated", 2 December 1997

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