Fresh off the Capitals’ first Stanley Cup title, the folks at Monumental Sports and Entertainment are betting fans will want a piece of D.C. sports history by trying to sell them a piece of Capital One Arena.
On Wednesday, season ticket holders for the Wizards, Capitals, Mystics, Valor, and Brigade received an email offering them the chance to purchase a seat bottom from Capital One Arena for $99.99 through Fanatics, the NHL’s merchandise provider. (The promotion is available to everyone, not just season ticket holders.) The arena is replacing all seats this summer heading into the 2018-19 season as part of its $40 million renovation.
Want a pair of seats with armrests? You’ll need to fill out a form to find out the price.
“We were getting demand from fans to purchase the old seats, especially from Caps fans after the Stanley Cup run,” MSE vice president of communications Kate Bedingfield writes in an email. “We can’t match up specific seats to the season ticket holder, unfortunately, but we are seeing great demand for seats already.”
For fans like Conor Fennelly, a seat from Capital One Arena is the perfect way to commemorate the Stanley Cup title. Fennelly, 21, lives in Tampa, Florida and has never been to a Capitals game in D.C. He started seriously rooting for the team once Alexander Ovechkin was drafted in 2004 and says he was “in shock” after the Caps clinched the Stanley Cup title in Las Vegas earlier this month.
With the seat cushion “I could bring Capital One Arena to me,” says Fennelly, who goes by @ConorOvechkin on Twitter. “I’ll sit on it while watching the Caps win back-to-back championships.”
But not all fans are as enthused. Fennelly says the “entire appeal” of the promotion is that the Caps won the Stanley Cup and the reaction on social media was far more mixed. For fans that have stuck with the various D.C. teams through the dark times, these seat cushions might be better used to pad a room or as a punching bag for when they make you want to lose your mind.
Capital One Arena, formerly known as Verizon Center, and MCI Center before that, opened in 1997 and has housed more heartbreak—and sometimes fans of the opposing team—than success. Aside from the Caps this season, the teams that play in the arena have not given fans much reason to commemorate their time on F Street NW.
“At first I thought it was kinda silly,” says Wizards season ticket holder Patrick Macatangga of Colmar Manor, Maryland. “I honestly thought, ‘Who would want to purchase that?’”
Plus, there’s also the chance that the seats, which will come with a “statement of authenticity,” will be rather gross. Thousands of butts, not to mention spilled food and drink, have touched them over the decades.
Macatangga, 28, admits he may not be as nostalgic about the Wizards/Bullets because he’s only been a season ticket holder for three seasons (he’s already renewed for the upcoming season), but understands the appeal of a memorabilia seat cushion—to a degree. He’d just rather purchase a championship hat or t-shirt.
Although, he adds he may reconsider if the Wizards win the NBA championship.
“But I don’t think that will happen any time soon,” Macatangga says with laugh. “Let’s say I’ve been a fan for 10 to 20 years, then I can see some value in having a seat cushion.”