Signage above the main entrance to Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

Capital One Arena

Our guide to Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., includes information on events, tickets, parking, public transportation, nearby hotels and restaurants, seating and more. Read on to find out how to get the most out of your gameday experience.

* * *

The area of Washington, D.C., known as the Penn Quarter, between the U.S. Capitol and the White House, is a hub of entertainment and nightlife — full of trendy restaurants and bars.

At the center of it all is Capital One Arena, the home of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and NBA’s Washington Wizards.

It’s hard to dispute the argument that the arena, which began life as the MCI Center in 1997, is the reason for all there is to do nearby. The area was downtrodden and struggling beforehand; now, it’s a hotspot for locals and tourists alike.

The profile of the neighborhood only goes up when Capital One Arena’s tenants are doing well. Witness the spring of 2018, when throngs gathered outside the building to watch Capitals road games during the Stanley Cup Final — including the Cup-clinching Game 5.

With the Capitals and Wizards, the Georgetown men’s basketball team and a robust concert and family event schedule, there’s something happening at Capital One Arena most nights, and plenty of reasons to visit the building and the vibrant neighborhood surrounding it.

Looking for Capital One Arena event tickets? Search events on Ticketmaster.

Top photo credit: DC Stock Photography/Shutterstock.com

Banners hang at Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Capitals and Wizards

Getting to Capital One Arena

Considering its central location, you’d think Capital One Arena would be easy to reach via public transportation, and you’d be right.

The Gallery Place/Chinatown station of the Washington Metro subway system is directly underneath, and it serves as a transfer point for three different lines. If your starting point is within the District, the Metro is by far the most cost-effective and timely way to get to the arena.

For those coming from the suburbs in either Maryland or Virginia, commuter rail services are offered via MARC (in Maryland) or VRE (in Virginia). Both offer service to Washington’s Union Station, from which riders can travel two stops on the Metro Red Line to Capital One Arena.

Driving to an event at Capital One Arena presents some difficulties, and not just in the challenge of finding parking within a dense downtown neighborhood. For the uninitiated, Washington’s street grid is notoriously confusing and most locals will avoid driving into central D.C. as much as they can.

If you’re unfamiliar with Washington, it might be best to consider landmarks as signposts as you navigate the streets. For example, Capital One Arena is several blocks northwest of the U.S. Capitol and several blocks directly west of Union Station. Follow the link for driving directions from each of the region’s airports.

Parking at Capital One Arena

The density of the area surrounding Capital One Arena means that parking options largely consist of independent and private structures attached to the many commercial buildings and residences in the surrounding blocks.

Expect the cost to range between $20-30 if you park within 2-3 blocks of Capital One Arena, and considering the other attractions in the area, farther away doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper — especially as you get closer to the White House, about eight blocks to the west. You can save yourself a little trouble by purchasing parking in advance via SpotHero.

Washington hotels near Capital One Arena

If you’re a visitor to D.C., there are numerous brand-name hotels within reasonable walking distance of Capital One Arena — owing to the numerous attractions in the area.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC – 0.1 miles away
Motto by Hilton Washington DC City Center – 0.1 miles away
Riggs Washington DC – 0.2 miles away
Search for more Washington hotels on Booking.com.

Map of the Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C.

Things to do around Capital One Arena

The possibilities are endless for pre- and postgame fun, really, limited only by your time and budget.

Some of Washington’s major tourist attractions are within reasonable walking distance, starting with the National Portrait Gallery across the street and continuing with places such as Ford’s Theatre, the International Spy Museum, the Museum of Crime and Punishment and more.

Still other attractions are a short subway ride away, including the Capitol, the White House, the National Mall and the Smithsonian museums, the Lincoln Memorial, and on and on. Consult our Washington sports travel guide for a deeper dive into all there is to see.

As your event gets closer, there’s much to do in the immediate vicinity of Capital One Arena. Look to 7th Street and the blocks just west for many of the food and drink options, ranging from well-known chains such as Legal Sea Foods, Shake Shack and Bar Louie to independent and local favorites.

If your culinary tastes are a little more adventurous, venture a few blocks northeast of the arena, where the city’s Chinatown lies and a number of acclaimed Asian eateries are there for sampling. Follow the link for a guide to Chinatown restaurants.

For more on visiting Washington, D.C., check out our Washington sports travel guide.

Washington restaurants near the arena

Legal Sea Foods – seafood, 0.1 miles away
Rosa Mexicano – Penn Quarter – Mexican, 0.1 miles away
District ChopHouse – steakhouse, 0.1 miles away
Search for more Washington restaurants on Tripadvisor.

Capital One Arena Washington Capitals Wizards events tickets parking hotels seating food

Watching a game at Capital One Arena

Capital One Arena was part of a wave of 1990s-era construction that saw a number of new arenas built for NBA and NHL teams across the country, and from an architectural and aesthetic standpoint, there isn’t much that sets this facility apart from the others built during this period.

The exterior, adorned with lighted billboards, livens up the surrounding area and wouldn’t look out of place in New York City, helping bring a sense of vibrancy.

Though most of this glitz can be found on the arena’s west side, the main entrance is actually on the south side, along F Street (aka Abe Pollin Way, named after the former Capitals and Wizards owner who steered Capital One Arena into reality). Though you’ll find the highest number of turnstiles here, there are also entrances on each side of the arena if you find the main entrance to be too crowded.

Capital One Arena’s interior is bright and modern but corridors are narrow in some spots, and the seating bowl is the pretty standard upper-and-lower-bowl structure, with a club/suite level in between.

The upper seating level at Capital One Arena, also known as the 400 level, doesn’t feel too far removed from the action, and the viewing experience is enhanced by an HD videoboard and ribbon boards.

Also, Capital One Arena recently fixed a running issue for patrons in that level, installing seating with larger cupholders.

In 2021, Capital One Arena set itself apart from its venue peers by becoming the first major American venue to welcome a sportsbook (a trend since picked up by several other arenas around the country). The Caesars Sportsbook can be found on the southeast corner of the 100 level.

Even if you’re not interested in gambling, the space invites fans to hang out and watch out-of-town games both before and after Capitals and Wizards games. It includes a restaurant/bar that has celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s name attached to it.

The sportsbook is also open on days when there isn’t an event at Capital One Arena and has become a destination for fans to watch the action on NFL Sundays in the fall.

Interested in a suite at Capital One Arena? Buy suite tickets on SuiteHop.

Food and drink at Capital One Arena

Capital One Arena has seen its food offerings change markedly in recent years, with several big-name eateries cycling in and out. The current offerings include regional favorites Box Frites, District Doughnut and Rita’s Italian Ice.

Korean taco truck TaKorean also operates a stand on the 100 level, as one of the more adventurous food options at the arena.

Beverage choices can be surveyed at one of several bar and lounge spaces on both the 100 and 400 seating levels, including the Bud Light Bar on Capital One Arena’s east side.

Technological advances have also come to the arena, with the introduction of pour-your-own-beer stands and self-ordering kiosks.

And if you’re a Capital One account holder, you’re in luck: The arena naming sponsor offers discounts on food and merchandise to anyone paying with a Capital One card. (Note: The facility, like many others in the country, has gone cashless, so you’ll have to pay with a credit card one way or another.)

Original publish date: February 4, 2016
Most recent update: November 3, 2023

More guides | View all

The Particulars

Home Teams
Washington Capitals
Washington Wizards
Georgetown Hoyas

Address
601 F St. NW
Washington, DC 20004

Year Opened
1997

Capacity
18,506 (hockey)
20,356 (basketball)

Upcoming Events
All times local
Colors Of The East Festival
Friday, May 24, 2024
6:00 pm
Get tickets at Ticketmaster »

Aventura - Cerrando Ciclos
Saturday, May 25, 2024
8:00 pm
Get tickets at Ticketmaster »

Aventura - Cerrando Ciclos
Sunday, May 26, 2024
8:00 pm
Get tickets at Ticketmaster »

Diljit Dosanjh - DIL-LUMINATI TOUR
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
8:00 pm
Get tickets at Ticketmaster »

Washington Mystics vs. Chicago Sky
Thursday, June 6, 2024
7:00 pm
Get tickets at Ticketmaster »

See all events »


View Seating Chart »