The opening of what was called the MCI Center in 1997, now the Capital One Arena, ushered in a new era for a formerly rundown part of town known mostly for its Chinese restaurants. When developer Abe Pollin and his wife Irene, owner at the time of two Washington sports teams, led a group dedicated to building a sports arena at 7th and F streets, they hoped to turn this part of town around. The Pollins built what is now the Capital One Arena, and the crowds came.
And the Penn Quarter neighborhood and the city itself were re-born.
In homage to the Pollins, the strip of F St. bordering the Capital One Arena between 7th and 6th streets is called “Abe Pollin Way.”
There’s always something going on at the Capital One Arena , whether it’s Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics games during the separate pro men’s and women’s basketball seasons; Georgetown University’s Hoyas basketball games; National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals matches during ice hockey season (Capitals enthusiasts might be the city’s loudest sports fans); and concerts and other events all year long.
The 20,000-seat arena frequently holds more than one event on the same day, magically turning, for instance, from ice rink to basketball court.
Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown on the Red, Green, and Yellow Lines. 7th and F St./Arena exit.