Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: dcsportsbog and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Leonsis: no stage lighting at Wizards games

Back when Ted Leonsis broke the news about the incoming urinal cup-holders at Verizon Center, he promised hundreds more changes, including this one: "we want to change the lighting; that's something we're looking into, so it's more traditional, like the Garden and L.A."

Well, that effort failed, at least for the upcoming season. And Leonsis immediately explained what happened, and offered an apology, on his blog.

First off, the process would take four months, so there isn't enough time before the season starts. But also, Verizon Center's roof can apparently hold about 125,000 pounds of weight, and the current scoreboard, lights and rock-show lights can run as much as 105,000 together. The stage lighting get-up weighs another 45,000, pushing the total well over the max, and Leonsis said he also wants to add a new sound system, which would add even more weight. And he said the lighting would require a second line of power, which would be "a step back in our movement to be more ecologically sensitive."

That means, at least for this season, no stage lighting. And that news comes with an apology:

"So -- I believe we shall stand down on this new lighting as a deliverable for next season. We will work to find alternative ways to light the building in a more programmed fashion....I am sorry I couldn't deliver on this one -- we still are working hard on literally hundreds of other changes; but I wanted everyone to know where we are on this one; I will report on our successes and I will report on our failures. I failed you all on this one."

"I am sorry" are not words that pro sports owners very often say to their fans, so it seems worth noting. Well done.

On the other hand, I'll go ahead and disagree with Leonsis's assertion that the beer choice at Verizon Center is just fine, thanks very much. He apparently was sent several notes complaining about the lack of variety in Verizon Center beers, and responded with the complete list of 52 offerings, adding that on this issue, the arena is "good to go."

I'd point out that including 13 garbage domestics does a whole lot to lessen that variety, especially when so many of the others are owned by the big 3 domestics. And it's one thing to say the arena sells Starr Hill and Old Dominion, but another to find them. Maybe the suggestion in his comments -- a beer map available on the arena's Web site -- could solve that problem. And maybe you don't need to have high-quality microbrews in order to enjoy a Caps or Wizards game. But having a lot of different types of bad beer doesn't mean you have a great selection. Maybe some beer experts could weigh in on his list.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 2, 2010; 11:03 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , Wizards  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: An Albert Haynesworth practice gallery
Next: The latest Philly fan invasion


I can't even get a decent beer at a ballgame up here in Milwaukee of all places. And no, it's just just Miller Park where our local macro-brew has a monopoly on everything that comes with the naming rights. Also true at other venues. Honestly, if you want actual variety, I don't think there's any sports venue in the country that really qualifies. A game is not the place to go for purposes of being a beer connoiseur (sp?)

Posted by: JS26121820 | August 2, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I'd take a stay-at-home defenseman. You give me one of those and I won't need to be tanked to watch future Caps playoff games.

Posted by: CF11555 | August 2, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I am highly disappointed. That lighting like the Garden was totally drawing me in to be a Wizard fan this year.

Posted by: DangerNat | August 2, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I agree that while having a variety of beers is a good (great?) thing, actually knowing where you can get your beer is totally different. One stand tucked away in the corner carrying your Drifter Pale Ale, or whatever, doesn't really matter. I want my good beer to be easy to get, not a wild goose chase. At some point I think the Nats had a beer list by section, which would be helpful at Verizon.

The lack of any Flying Dog beers is disappointing though.

Posted by: nepetro | August 2, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The beer selection is ok. it's not great. most of those beers are varieties of barely different macro brews. also there should be a distinction between draft and bottle selections.

what we would like is a greater draft beer selection featuring more local beers. the area has some very good breweries. adding more of them (and dumping macro crap) would add to the enjoyment of visiting fans and further entrench the arena within the community.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | August 2, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg: could you possibly be any more in the tank for Leonsis? If memory serves, Snyder did an interviewing apologizing to Redskins fans for the disaster that was last season and I don't remember any similar "well done." My take on Leonsis is that he talks a good game, but his team underachieves in the playoffs, he gouged the fans at the first opportunity and the "accessibility" thing is a big joke. All you get in response is condescending nonsense like "you can be happy, try it." Most overrated sports figure in town.................

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 2, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@Pogues points taken.

As I recall, Snyder said things like "we're apologetic" and "I feel sorry for the fans." To me, that's not the same as saying "I'm sorry."

Also, Snyder did it in November, during possibly the worst season in Redskins history, with fans revolting. Leonsis did it in August, over a previous promise to deliver stage lighting, without anyone demanding accountability.

I think you could easily argue that Leonsis's accessibility and accountability act is for public relations purposes. But would you rather have someone say the right things for show, or not say them at all?

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | August 2, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Can somebody tell me -- what the hell is "stage lighting" and how is it any different than the lights we have now? Maybe it will help the team shoot better...

Posted by: ddell | August 2, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

He's owned the Wiz, what, a month, and he's already complaining about how inadequate the arena is? That was fast. Ted seems so nice, but like other owners he may soon demand a new taxpayer-funded palace for his teams.

Posted by: caryoreilly | August 2, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg: I think you are splitting hairs with the Snyder thing, presumably because you like Leonsis and don't like Snyder. Snyder obviously had more reason to apologize at that time, but an apology is an apology is an apology. And in response to your question, I like owners who bring home championships. Jack Kent Cooke, for example. Everything else is menaingless. But I admit I have a special aversion to Leonsis because I think he's a phony and the local media just laps it up because he gives them interviews.

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 2, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"...he also wants to add a new sound system, which would add even more weight."

Great. Now my post-game headaches will be even worse.

Posted by: capsfan77 | August 2, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Beer selection is fine in the suites. Please remember that we live in a different world, Ted. There aren't waiters bringing these beverages to us. I like that you're trying, just remember to change your glasses as you look into things.

Posted by: deiulay | August 3, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company