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Ted Leonsis helps clean Verizon Center




At least one person has already accused me of being in the tank for Ted Leonsis, so let me hereby promise that any time any D.C. sports owner cleans the ladies room at his or her venue, I will write about it. With photos, as necessary. Men's bathrooms may or may not qualify.

Anyhow, as promised, Ted Leonsis joined the cleaning crew for a sweep through Verizon Center on Sunday, a few hours after he had chilled with the president. He was joined by his son Zach and Caps communications official Kurt Kehl; the concession stands and their attendant mouse droppings were not part of their responsibility. From his post-scrub blog:

We all cleaned toilets using a brush and a disinfectant. We all restocked paper towels and toilet paper. I watched as the Supervisor wrote down what had been done and at what time. Later a crew would come in and sweep and mop the floors. There is a lot that goes into cleaning bathrooms in a public arena; fans sometimes will intentionally plug up toilets; or spit gum into urinals; or spit out tobacco chew onto the floor -- or spill beer. Caps fans evidently drink the most beer and work our toilets the hardest, by the way.

Um, not surprised. On either score. And that's not even counting all the urinal art Caps fans distribute. Then Leonsis went into the stands to pick up garbage, where he discovered more arena truths.

Gum is bad. Peanut shells are bad. Popcorn dumped on the floor is bad. Soda spilled is bad. Beer spilled is bad. I found wrappers from granola bars -- I found tobacco products; I found band aids on the floor; you name it -- we picked it up. An Arena is the only place in the world that you feel comfortable just dumping your garbage on the floor. I have some ideas here now that I have done the work and met with the folks; we will discuss in the future .

Well, an arena and a baseball stadium and a football stadium, but it's an interesting point. How did it become socially acceptable to just throw things on the floor of sporting venues? And how can we pass similar legislation about downtown offices?

Among Leonsis's concerns after working that shift: streamers and confetti are brutal for the workers, and massive peanut shell scatterings are dangerous for people with allergies.

Among your concerns: will the Caps get a stay-at-home blue-liner, and will the Wizards find another veteran big man. I know you care more about that than about garbage. But garbage is interesting, too.



By Dan Steinberg  |  August 2, 2010; 3:17 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Wizards  
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Next: Redskins fans are optimistic

Comments

Hands down coolest owner in sports. This guy GETS IT.

Posted by: noahjacobs | August 2, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. Leonsis, DC United on line three..."

Posted by: Juan-John1 | August 2, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

What Leonsis gets is PR. He's a blowhard. But he gives interviews, so the local media laps it up................

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 2, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Not a whole lot you can do about peanut shells other than quit selling peanuts or install trash bags on the back of every seat.

On a semi-related note, I think fans at Nats games should be encouraged to toss their hot dog wrappers and empty beer bottles at anyone getting up during play.

Posted by: tha_prophet | August 2, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Dan, don't sell the importance of this post short! Wiz/Caps fans have plenty of other sources to read about what personnel moves the teams should/might make.

But as a paying customer, this is a huge deal to me. I imagine if I or my child had a peanut allergy, this would be a huge deal to me. The fact that Ted gives a rat's ass does and will translate into a better fan experience and more fan loyalty.

Yay.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | August 2, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

So long as sports arenas charge me $8 for a beer and $5 for a small bag of peanuts, I will not hesitate to throw my trash on the floor.

Posted by: natsfan76 | August 2, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

On a semi-related note, I think fans at Nats games should be encouraged to toss their hot dog wrappers and empty beer bottles at anyone getting up during play.

Posted by: tha_prophet | August 2, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Can we add Philly Fans and Mets fans to this list of people to throw trash at? just in general?

People can complain that its all PR, but guess what SPORTS are entertainment its 90% PR and 10% athletic talent.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 2, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Someone should pull Ted aside and break the news to him since he apparently found this out just yesterday: scrubbing toilets and cleaning up various arena refreshments is no one's idea of fun. When trying to build a successful business enterprise, I'm not sure you start out w/ a toilet brush and some Comet.

We might finish 25-57, but at least the bathrooms will be clean and the ketchup will be good.

Posted by: randysbailin | August 2, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

@randysbailin: Okay so if bathrooms were dirtier and food worse, then the wizards would be what, a winner! Come on, what ever the reason, it is nice to see an owner give a darn. When was the last time, Daniel Snyder even used a FED EX restroom?

TL is a class guy, i remember when the CAPS traded Peter Bondra, i sent a scathing,email to him, he replied with a lengthy reply. while frustreated with their early playoff losses, i appreciate having a player of the calibur such as OV, etc. This guy also tried the other way, the Snyder way.

Thank you TL, now bring the CUP to the DC area!

Posted by: hunter321 | August 2, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

So long as sports arenas charge me $8 for a beer and $5 for a small bag of peanuts, I will not hesitate to throw my trash on the floor.

Posted by: natsfan76 | August 2, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm one of the fools walking around FedEx picking up plastic beer cups, so I think I've done my time, but yeah, I won't fault anyone as long as the prices are that crazy.

Where else does it happen? Try the movies, where the prices are just as wack.

Posted by: WorstSeat | August 2, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

"So long as sports arenas charge me $8 for a beer and $5 for a small bag of peanuts, I will not hesitate to throw my trash on the floor. "

No one is making you buy them.

Posted by: Longgoneposter | August 3, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

The stuff gets tossed on the floor for two reasons.

#1. It's easier to toss it on the floor of the venue than it is to get up and use a trash can during the game itself.

#2. And if you are the type who tries to use the trash can, the trash cans are usually overflowing with trash in the first place.

Posted by: CapsNut | August 3, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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