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Tom Poti: Verizon Center ice "an embarrassment"

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Old
02-10-2009, 02:50 PM
  #76
sk84fun_dc
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edit: I thought I was typing Pollin incorrectly, oops, I am not going back to edit, but Polin should be Pollin

another link, summary with a lot of the quotes and links to articles and blogs on the topic link to McErlain piece

One of the things that bugs me (along with his recent quotes in the article about the quality of the product) is Leonsis continuing to point to the Caps home record as a defense when the ice problems are pointed out. As someone that has been in many NHL (and other) arenas from preseason games to game 7s of the Stanley Cup Finals in southern arenas, VC is consistently one of the warmest arenas I have ever attended games in up until now and that is something that has to change, multiuse arena or not.


About Georgetown games, as has been pointed out in this thread, VC isn't the only NHL arena sharing facilities with Div 1 college basketball programs (see the Hurricanes and NC State; Devils and Seton Hall; as 2 examples) although in those cases there isn't an NBA tenant. The people proposing Georgetown moving games elsewhere are not being realistic, IMO.

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02-10-2009, 03:07 PM
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk84fun_dc View Post
edit: I thought I was typing Pollin incorrectly, oops, I am not going back to edit, but Polin should be Pollin

another link, summary with a lot of the quotes and links to articles and blogs on the topic link to McErlain piece

One of the things that bugs me (along with his recent quotes in the article about the quality of the product) is Leonsis continuing to point to the Caps home record as a defense when the ice problems are pointed out. As someone that has been in many NHL (and other) arenas from preseason games to game 7s of the Stanley Cup Finals in southern arenas, VC is consistently one of the warmest arenas I have ever attended games in up until now and that is something that has to change, multiuse arena or not.


About Georgetown games, as has been pointed out in this thread, VC isn't the only NHL arena sharing facilities with Div 1 college basketball programs (see the Hurricanes and NC State; Devils and Seton Hall; as 2 examples) although in those cases there isn't an NBA tenant. The people proposing Georgetown moving games elsewhere are not being realistic, IMO.
There are several other arenas that host 3 teams at once.

Boston, Denver, Philly, Toronto and New York all have Basketball, Hockey and Indoor lacrosse going on right now.

Had the AFL not suspended operations, a couple of cities (I know Philly) would have 4 professional teams operating out of one building at once during March.

The whole "3 tennants" thing doesn't cut it for me.

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02-10-2009, 03:12 PM
  #78
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I don't either. I don't think the ice is poor because the building is hopping. I think the ice is poor because of infrastructure needs, and/or the willingness to operate the existing equipment. Now, the question is who is responsible for deficiencies there: Does Abe Pollin get in the way of Ted Leonsis, who is trying to take action? Or does Ted Leonsis have recourse, but is taking the cheaper route?

As mentioned, it's a question without an answer, from the outside. Hell of a topic for a journalist to look into, I'll say that much.

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02-10-2009, 03:15 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Drake1588 View Post
I don't either. I don't think the ice is poor because the building is hopping. I think the ice is poor because of infrastructure needs, and/or the willingness to operate the existing equipment. Now, the question is who is responsible for deficiencies there: Does Abe Pollin get in the way of Ted Leonsis, who is trying to take action? Or does Ted Leonsis have recourse, but is taking the cheaper route?

As mentioned, it's a question without an answer, from the outside. Hell of a topic for a journalist to look into, I'll say that much.
Katie, we know you're reading. Take this up with your bosses and get someone on it, please.

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02-10-2009, 03:27 PM
  #80
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The 7pm start is a bit ridiculous. They want you there for dinner IMO. It just makes folks late or makes some that have to work late not go at all. I think its high time to see some revenue stats related to the change to 7pm starts for the teams that changed. Those forced to buy dinner at the games is offset by many that refuse to go because they cant make 7pm. Saturday games should always be delayed on multi sport days since we hear constantly how the VC crew had to work overtime to prep the place. Their sweat is probably part of the problem.

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02-10-2009, 03:29 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by Drake1588 View Post
3...

As mentioned, it's a question without an answer, from the outside. Hell of a topic for a journalist to look into, I'll say that much.
As mentioned earlier, I agree, an issue for an investigative reporter/journalist not a beat writer.

From turning the temperature down and covering that bill to dehumidifiers to actual infrastructure changes, there are plenty of questions and few, if any, answers.

The ice was poor on Saturday because in general it is not good and then there were the extra factors. And if it led to Poti's latest vent out of frustration, that is the only positive, IMO.

And I agree about the tenants, I was just reacting to it being used as an excuse and reading some comments elsewhere focusing on Georgetown as a third tenant. I knew there were some arenas with 3 (or 4) tenants, but wasn't wasting energy to come up with them. Do I expect a busy arena in DC to have the best ice, no; however, I expect it to be much better than it is and for the organization to do whatever it can to improve it.

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02-10-2009, 03:32 PM
  #82
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The 7pm start is a bit ridiculous. They want you there for dinner IMO. ....
To clarify my stance, I'm not advocating changing the start time for all games, I am advocating a late start on days when there is a basketball game the same day. It only happens a handful of times a season and in those cases, the delayed start is worth it, IMO.

The 7 vs 7:30 start time on weekdays is a different argument for a different thread

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02-10-2009, 03:35 PM
  #83
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Originally Posted by sk84fun_dc View Post
To clarify my stance, I'm not advocating changing the start time for all games, I am advocating a late start on days when there is a basketball game the same day. It only happens a handful of times a season and in those cases, the delayed start is worth it, IMO.

The 7 vs 7:30 start time on weekdays is a different argument for a different thread
hee hee i am all in favor of the 7pm start time. when I am at home waiting for the game to start. During the week going to the game, its a rush to get everyone together and not stress the inevitable metro delays I seem to hit. I end up leaving work early.

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02-10-2009, 03:36 PM
  #84
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I think step one should be killing the intermission festivities.

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02-10-2009, 03:39 PM
  #85
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Originally Posted by RandyHolt View Post
hee hee i am all in favor of the 7pm start time. when I am at home waiting for the game to start. During the week going to the game, its a rush to get everyone together and not stress the inevitable metro delays I seem to hit. I end up leaving work early.
The whole point of 7 pm vs 7:30 was to keep the work day people around. I personally much MUCH prefer the 7 pm start myself.

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02-10-2009, 03:44 PM
  #86
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The whole point of 7 pm vs 7:30 was to keep the work day people around. I personally much MUCH prefer the 7 pm start myself.
I figured it was to make money, whatever the reason. I think Caps fans are spread out all over the area, and regardless, all have staggered leave work times. If a vast majority of caps fans work inside DC, yeah its probably a good idea. FWIW, I am the only one of my group of friends that works in DC.

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02-10-2009, 04:12 PM
  #87
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Steinzo has a pretty good post about the ice over at the WaPo Sports Bog. It'd be funny if it weren't so sad.

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02-10-2009, 04:32 PM
  #88
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Steinzo has a pretty good post about the ice over at the WaPo Sports Bog. It'd be funny if it weren't so sad.
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcs...a_history.html

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02-10-2009, 08:23 PM
  #89
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Well soft ice is good for figure skaters. They love to toe pick into nice soft ice and leave big gouges. Now that I realize that the ice is so soft it explains why I noticed some players falling. It's got to be worse for the heavier players. They'll just dig themselves into the ice.

I remember thinking that there was something wrong with their blades that they had lost an edge or something. But if there are ridges in the ice plus the ice is not getting enough of a flood and drying time then that would be an explanation.

I've also noted how warm it is and have had to shed the layers that I came to the game with. Definitely need stronger chillers or AC, fans or whatever is used to bring the inside air temperature down.

We can start a new contest. Who can count the times that the bad ice causes a player to fall, bobble or misplay the puck.

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02-10-2009, 08:39 PM
  #90
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Had one game at VC about 7 years ago and the ice was a definite trip. It was soft but not wet which I've still never encountered ice like that at any local rink. Maybe they have some chemical in the water that is different than the typical local rink.

It was great initially for making cuts but obviously it got chewed up pretty fast.

I'd vote to kill those 2 or 3 minute on ice intermission activities and maybe push back the starting time when there is a BB game the day of.

Ultimately from the rumblings here and there...there needs to be some capital expenditure improvements for the VC in form of dehumidifiers.

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02-10-2009, 09:00 PM
  #91
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This would be a disaster if a player got hurt now that Ted and others know of the problem. How many judges would be sympathetic to ownership who had the knowledge and ability to stop a problem and just ignored it. The cost issue wouldn't be a defense since if you own a business you are required to make sure problems like this that could result in injury are taken care of. As for Ted stating that Poti should have kept it in house, he had every right to take it to the NHLPA and ask them for help and get them to apply pressure towards the club. When your ice is bad to the point where a player speaks out about it, its nobody's fault but those in charge.

It seems that Abe wants to have as many sources of revenue while not paying the expenses required to make it all work. Just another chapter in the Abe book of Epic Fail.

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02-11-2009, 02:56 AM
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake1588 View Post
Two thoughts:

1) Ted is a marvelous spin doctor. It comes with the territory as a marketing man.

2) Until Abe keels over, this isn't Ted's fault. The answer is that older multi-use buildings need to have their innards ripped out and periodically replaced for hockey. That is an expensive proposition that does not interest a basketball club.

It's not ideal for ice conditions, with a busy multiple tenant schedule, although when the team struggles, the Caps win because the whole group of interests (Caps, Wizards, Hoyas, Mystics, and the Verizon Center) serve to help each other out, buttress each others' business when any of them are hurting. The advantages of multi-use buildings outweight the disadvantages. None of these teams is going to move as a result. It's a package Washington sports team cash cow. That building is hopping nearly year-round, to an extent most arenas could only hope to see.

Rexall is not really a multi-use building, besides the odd concert, and the climate is as cold as it gets. Nonetheless as an older building, Edmonton's home ice is surviving on reputation these days. That's no longer the clear frontrunner for best ice in the game, simply because the plumbing, humidity machines, and A/C older buildings start to degrade over time. That's an old building that needs to be scrapped. Verizon is newer, and probably needs a mid-life extension program.

When Ted buys the lot of the teams and the building, lock, stock and barrel, there will probably be quiet changes.

It's not in Ted's interest to get into a war with Abe Pollin at this stage, or at any stage, really. Yes, there are problems, and yes, Abe probably stops the Caps from major infrastructure investment (or even dialing up the A/C). Yet given the nature of the relationship, what's Ted going to do? He is patiently waiting to take over, and it would be foolhardy to make an enemy of Abe.
Remember a few years ago when it all hit the fan following the empty building on Easter Sunday?

Hopefully this link will get you the article from the Washington Times in April 2003, but I pasted the key paragraph just in case.

Quote:
Meanwhile, WSE officials yesterday declined to respond to Leonsis' heated criticism of that company's management of event dates at MCI Center. The Caps played back-to-back home games last week during Passover and played again on Easter Sunday, scheduling he blamed on WSE booking the Jordan Capital Classic for last Thursday.

"I'll make sure that doesn't happen again. The party's kind of over [with WSE]," Leonsis said.

But privately, WSE officials defended their right to maintain an active calendar for the privately financed, debt-laden building. The Caps took an eight-game road trip in October and a six-game road swing in March because of other arena events.

Both the NHL and the Caps' lease for MCI Center, however, mandate that the building be available during the Stanley Cup playoffs or leave potentially conflicting events flexible. Neither appeared to have happened fully with the Capital Classic, an annual showcase of top high school basketball talent, keeping its place on the calendar.

NHL officials yesterday defended the scheduling, calling the eight first-round series a large mosaic that at once must attempt to satisfy each team, its fans, league sponsors and, perhaps most critically, the league's TV partners.

"This is a very difficult, very thankless job," NHL spokesman Frank Brown said. "It's one huge series of moving parts, and the unfortunate reality is that there are times when teams have to accept something reluctantly and there are no other options."
This was around the time Ted blew up about performers using the Caps locker rooms at the arena and finding their supply of juice and water missing as well as drug paraphernalia left behind after certain shows. In addition to the live and dead rats in the players benches. I know there was an extensive article in the Washington Post from April 2003, I just can't find it. Off Wing Opinion references the article.



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Frozen Four week: While there is one Wizards game the following week, the last scheduled event in the arena leading up to the Frozen Four (Thursday and Saturday) is a Sunday hockey game (of course, a 3pm game after an evening basketball game.)
That's IF NBC doesn't pick it up and change it to 12:30. While the schedule says 3 p.m., the ticket has TBD for the time. It's that way with all remaining Sunday afternoon games.


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That is an excellent point. There is no reason that game can't start at 7:30, and you could make an excellent case for the 8pm start time on a Saturday night, and probably Friday nights as well.

I cant see any involved parties having a valid retort when the reasons are explained. Neither club was active on Sunday or Monday.
The day the Caps played Detroit at 12:30, the Wizards played that night. The first time they did the change over from Caps to Wizards following the lockout, they had problems getting the court ready and it caused a delay in starting the game. Any games thereafter, the Wizards have started at 8:00 p.m. Why, on a Saturday, this can't be done for a Caps game when it follows afternoon basketball boggles my mind. The extra hour would maybe help a little bit in getting the ice ready.

And it would be nice if Friday games started at 7:30 since the boss tends to forget things until the last minute on Fridays causing me to stay well past 6:30 more often than not.

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02-11-2009, 07:58 AM
  #93
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Having read Ted's latest post, what I don't get is he says it has been unacceptable a few times.

But according to the Washington Sports and Entertainment guy, it has never gotten a grade below acceptable (or some random rating they give, I think he said never lower than marginal or a marginal)


So, who is spinning and who is telling the real story?

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02-11-2009, 08:02 AM
  #94
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At least Abe and his crew have not left a dead rat under the bench in a while.

BTW...anyone know of Lloyd has Abe's address?

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02-11-2009, 08:29 AM
  #95
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Having read Ted's latest post, what I don't get is he says it has been unacceptable a few times.

But according to the Washington Sports and Entertainment guy, it has never gotten a grade below acceptable (or some random rating they give, I think he said never lower than marginal or a marginal)


So, who is spinning and who is telling the real story?
Maybe the officials are discouraged from giving out the lowest rating so as not to cause a **** storm of trouble?

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02-11-2009, 10:38 AM
  #96
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Division I hockey officials discuss and review ice management for upcoming Frozen Four at Verizon.

Hopefully they share and collaborate their findings and solutions. Good to have another group on the task, so long as there's ample cooperation.

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02-11-2009, 12:11 PM
  #97
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I am so tired of the namby-pamby culture. The ice at VC sucks. Poti identified it and said so. Good for him! He is supposed to keep it "in house"? Sheesh. Facts are facts. At least he didn't say that Rap music sucks.

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02-11-2009, 09:39 PM
  #98
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Division I hockey officials discuss and review ice management for upcoming Frozen Four at Verizon.

Hopefully they share and collaborate their findings and solutions. Good to have another group on the task, so long as there's ample cooperation.
Well one thing I can tell you from being at last year's Frozen Four in Denver is that the Washington DC committee did send a delegation there to get input from everyone from the NCAA to the teams that were there to the Pepsi Center staff, among others about what they should be doing in DC this year to make it a successful Frozen Four. I've gone to Frozen Fours around the country over the last several years and the Denver people did a fantastic job of putting on the Frozen Four last year. It was good to see that the Washington DC committee cared enough to send a delegation to get feedback and suggestions so that they can (hopefully) put on an equally, if not better Frozen Four at the Verizon Center come April.

..and in case if anyone's wondering about tickets being made available to the general public, good luck. The Frozen Four sold out back in July (I believe it was).

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02-11-2009, 11:26 PM
  #99
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Well one thing I can tell you from being at last year's Frozen Four in Denver is that the Washington DC committee did send a delegation there to get input from everyone from the NCAA to the teams that were there to the Pepsi Center staff, among others about what they should be doing in DC this year to make it a successful Frozen Four. I've gone to Frozen Fours around the country over the last several years and the Denver people did a fantastic job of putting on the Frozen Four last year. It was good to see that the Washington DC committee cared enough to send a delegation to get feedback and suggestions so that they can (hopefully) put on an equally, if not better Frozen Four at the Verizon Center come April.

..and in case if anyone's wondering about tickets being made available to the general public, good luck. The Frozen Four sold out back in July (I believe it was).
Thanks for the input.

As for tickets, I know a number of Caps STH who received notice they won the ticket lottery but they don't know where the seats will be located.

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02-12-2009, 12:02 AM
  #100
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At least Abe and his crew have not left a dead rat under the bench in a while.

BTW...anyone know of Lloyd has Abe's address?
I'm just glad one of those suckers didn't come scampering out from under my seats. DC rats are the size of small dogs.

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