Note: This is a feature that will run periodically at BHDL, based mostly on our own experiences, and partly on the upcoming games scheduled for the Blackhawks. Our hope is that eventually we will have a post for all 29 NHL arenas that the Blackhawks visit. We might even get a UC write-up from a visitor's perspective. If you've seen a Hawks game in another team's barn and want to contribute, send an email to
Today's entry comes from friend of the blog, Elaine. You can follow her on Twitter @imaraindancer. Notes from resident writer ChiBlackhawks have been added. If you've been to a game at the Verizon Center, add your comments...well, you can add them in the...comments.
A few years back I was in DC for the March for Life. I snuck away from our group and used my cuteness to sneak into the third period of the CAPS game. They didn't play the Hawks, but it was free hockey so I cannot complain.
Its always less expensive and easier to find flights into Baltimore and take a bus or the Metra into DC.
If you fly into Dulles you can take the super shuttle ($22) into DC. (Chi's Note: It's actually cheaper if you purchase tickets with the Washington Flyer-- $10 one-way, but $18 if you purchase a round trip.)
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport: I don't know much about this airport since i've never flown into it so I left you a sweet link to peruse :) http://godc.about.com/od/
From the Airport: Depending on which airport you are coming from, walking, bus, metra, and cab are all good choices. If it's night time don't be a dolt and walk alone.
Hotel: Henley park hotel Is one of my favorites to stay at and pretty reasonable considering what they offer you.
But if you can’t get in there the State Plaza hotel near GWU is pretty awesome.
The places I love the most are the different Hostels in the city. I’ve never seen the movie "Hostel," but from what I’ve heard about the movie it’s not like that at all. (Chi's Note: I'll second the hostels. They're good, cheap alternatives to the more expensive hotels around the DC area, even if you may sacrifice a bit of privacy. I have also seen decent prices at the Best Western in Georgetown.)
Transportation: There's the Metra and the bus. Depending on where you stay it’s quite easy to walk around the city. Be forewarned Chicagoans, people on the Metra are not nearly as awesome nor as nice as those who ride the “L”. (Andrew's Note: Elaine does not live in Chicago so she seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the "L" and how it usually smells of pee and is filled to the brim with hobos.) If you laugh too loud daggers shoot straight from their eyes and kill you. (Chi's Note: I thought the trains were a bit cleaner than the El usually is. It's easy to get around DC-- it's a walking city. More than laughing out loud though, be careful to stay on the right side of the escalators. The left side is for people in a hurry.) (Andrew's Note: I don't care what city you're in, if you stand on the left side of an escalator, I hate you.)
Arena Accessibility: The Metra runs directly below the stadium. You get off at the Chinatown/gallery exit. Take the escalator up and walk right into the stadium. DO NOT call it the subway. They get really feisty about that.
Tickets: Tickets range from $75 to $340 so not horrid. I'd only spend the money if I could see Ovie get in a fisticuffs with The Murdersaurus. RAWR RAWR
Arena: There really isn't a bad seat in the place. I've been going to mass at the Verizon Center every year for the March for Life so I've sat in pretty much every section, including the top along the wall. If you can see a Priest break the host clearly, then you can see the puck pretty well. When I went I got to stand where they go in for the locker rooms. I got to wear a helmet and everything...that could be for other reasons though.
In-Game entertainment: Nothing really stuck out to me at the game, but I only did get to see one period. And there is a guy who bangs a drum and gets everyone to yell “LETS GO CAPS.”
City Recommendations (making the most of your trip):
Pregame Meal: http://www.choptsalad.com/ is like Chipotle but healthier and with more choices.
If that’s not your cup of tea there is Fuddruckers and the Greene Turtle. There's also a hooters and a plethora of Chinese restaurants, since the stadium is literally right on the line of Chinatown.
PostGame Drinks: Rocket Bar or your local hotel. Best part about getting drunk at the hotel bar is not having to walk so far to get to your room. Bad Part: bringing home nasty grenades and or bringing home a disease.
Hangover Breakfast: Seeing as though I was on a trip with a group of super conservative Catholics, drinking was not an option but I do know the Starbucks has yummy breakfast sandwiches.
Also, if you have time while you are in DC take some time to breathe in the beauty of the city. Go see the monuments at night! They are absolutely gorgeous when lit up. If you get cold the Washington Monument blocks the cold and the lights around it are really great hand warmers. It may seem lame but ALL the museums are awesome. All of the Smithsonians are free so no need to spend money there. :)