Capital One Arena visitor guide: everything you need to know

Published by: BouncePosted Updated
Capital One Arena visitor guide

Situated in the heart of Washington, DC’s bustling Penn Quarter, Capital One Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena that serves as the primary entertainment venue in the city. In 2008, the venue underwent a name change from the Verizon Center to the Capital One Arena, but this 20,000-seat arena remains DC’s best place to see a show or game. 

Capital One Arena functions primarily as the home for the NBA's Washington Wizards, the NHL's Washington Capitals, the WNBA's Washington Mystics, and the Georgetown Hoyas basketball team. Needless to say, it’s a busy building from fall to spring. Beyond sports, the arena hosts Washington, DC’s biggest concerts, family-oriented shows, comedy shows, and other live events throughout the year.

Its prime downtown location makes it easy to get to from various parts of the city, with a few Metro stops nearby. But the best attribute of Capital One Arena is the impeccable access to DC’s best cultural, historical, nightlife, and dining features. If you’re traveling into the city for a game, it will be easy to experience the best of what the capital has to offer. 

If you’re hoping to hit all the best monuments and museums before seeing a hockey or basketball game, you’ll want to be able to get around easily. If you’re stuck with your luggage or other belongings, finding a place to securely store them for a few hours can come in handy. For Washington luggage storage, your best option is Bounce. We have dozens of locations across the capital, including a few within a short walk of Capital One Arena.

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Capital One Arena bag policy

Capital One Arena bag policy 

The Capital One Arena bag policy is strict and prohibits all bags larger than 5” x 7”. This includes backpacks, briefcases, and larger purses, so you’ll have to leave them at home or store them somewhere else because there aren’t storage lockers in the arena. 

There are a few exceptions to the bag policy, including medical and parenting situations. These are resolved at the gate on the corner of F Street and 6th, where an advisor will help check the bags and approve them. 

For luggage and larger items, Bounce has convenient locations throughout the city. In the Penn Quarter, the Massachusetts and L Street locations are both located within a short walk from Capital One Arena. 

Capital One Arena food policy

According to the Capital One Arena food policy, aside from one empty plastic water bottle that can be refilled at water fountains, outside food and drink are strictly prohibited at the venue. 

The stadium does have plenty of excellent dining options, including vegan and vegetarian options from local favorites like Swizzler, District Doughnut, and Takorean. Of course, Penn Quarter, Chinatown, and other nearby neighborhoods are great places to eat before the game or show.

How to get to Capital One Arena

Capital One Arena transportation

Public transportation

The arena is conveniently accessible via the amazing public transportation system in Washington, DC. The nearby Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station is served by the Red, Green, and Yellow lines and is located right next to the arena. Basically, it’s not hard to figure out how to get to Capital One Arena using public transportation.

Driving

Capital One Arena is located near major highways, including Interstate 395 and Interstate 295, but parking in downtown D.C. can be challenging, if not a nightmare. It's advisable to arrange parking via a service like SpotHero or research a parking garage before heading to the game. 

Taxi and rideshare

Services like Uber and Lyft are easy to use in Washington, DC, especially near Penn Quarter and Capital One Arena. The arena has designated ride-share pickup and drop-off points, but you can walk for a bit and avoid the crowds before calling a car or hailing a cab. 

Walking

Depending on where you’re staying, the arena is within walking distance of most downtown hotels. 

Capital One Arena camera policy 

For sporting events, the Capital One Arena camera policy dictates that fans may bring in SLR and point-and-shoot cameras. Video equipment, including camcorders, GoPros, and other equipment, is strictly prohibited, as are professional equipment like monopods and tripods. To the relief of many, Capital One Arena has banned selfie sticks. 

The camera policy may vary based on the event and organizers, but most concerts will have the same policies in place. It’s best to check the promotion’s website regarding this, but assuming it will be the same as a game is the best way to go.

Capital One Arena camera policy 

Capital One Arena rules 

Permitted items 

Capital One Arena allows small signs, flags, and posters that are related to the event. They can't be attached to a stick or pole and may not be large enough that they obstruct the view of other fans or stadium sponsors. 

Entry

Stadium gates open one hour before the start of the game or show. If there is a ceremony or some other promotional component to the event, gates may open earlier, which will be stated on the ticket. Will call is available at the onsite box offices, and ticket pickup begins 90 minutes prior to the start of the event.

Ticket PDFs can no longer be printed from home, so fans will need to use Mobile Entry options like Google or Apple Wallet or The Ticketmaster app. 

Payment 

Capital One Arena is a cashless venue, so mobile payment, credit cards, and debit cards will be the only payment options for concessions and merchandise. 

COVID-19 

There is no longer any vaccine or testing requirement in order to gain entry into Capital One Arena. Event organizers and franchise owners have asked patrons to use their best judgment before heading to the game or show! 

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that there’s a lot to do in Washington, DC, but catching a game or show at Capital One Arena is one of the most underrated. With an excellent location, it’s easy to plan around a visit to the stadium. There are plenty of cool neighborhoods to stay in, and all of them are accessible from Capital One Arena. The arena is also near some of DC’s best nightlife options, so you can hit up a rooftop bar or swanky restaurant before heading to the game. However you plan your trip, let Bounce take care of the bags!

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