As soon as the Wizards-Pacers second-round playoff schedule was released, some people noticed a potential issue. Via Michael Lee:
The dates for the seven-game series have already been set, but if the series extends to six games, the Wizards would have a scheduling problem on May 15 because of a Lady Gaga concert that is already booked for that night. The Wizards released a statement on Saturday night that read, “We are aware of the potential conflict and are working with the promoter in the event Game 6 is necessary, more information will be released when it becomes available.”
Now, musical acts bumping up against D.C. playoff series is nothing new. A Yanni concert in Pittsburgh in 2009 forced the Caps and Penguins to play Games 4 and 5 on back-to-back nights, and as NBC Washington noted, Ted Leonsis was none too pleased:
“It is a shame that both teams will have to play back-to-back games…because the Pittsburgh building — against NHL rules — booked a series of concerts and forced the league to alter the playoff schedule,” Leonsis wrote on his blog back then. “This is bad for the league, both fan bases and for the players. The playoffs are very intense and physical and players need time to recoup. No one is advantaged by playing back-to-back games so no one can complain but it is unfortunate that the Yanni concert takes precedence over high quality NHL playoff hockey.”
A 2000 series with Pittsburgh was even weirder. Via Kornheiser:
Let me see if I’ve got this straight. Because of a conflict with open dates in the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, the Washington Capitals will not have Games 1 and 2 at home in Washington, like they should. Because Mellon Arena is already rented out to a “WWF Smackdown” wrestling show, a two-day Latin dance concert called “Burn The Floor” and a barnstorming ice show with Olympic figure skaters, the NHL has juggled the playoff schedule to accommodate the Penguins. The Capitals will play Game 1 at home, then go to Pittsburgh for Games 2 and 3. Hello? Anybody home?
The Wizards certainly appear to be a more prized ticket than Gaga. As of this writing, tickets in section 419 for Gaga are running from $62 to $82 on TicketMaster, while Wizards tickets in the same section for Game 3 run from $180 to $253. Gaga tickets in section 121 start at $228; Wizards Game 3 tickets in 121 start at $409. Secondary market tickets on StubHub start at $53 for Gaga, and at $93 for Game 3.
(If you’re curious, Gaga has a show Tuesday in New York and Saturday in Detroit sandwiched around her scheduled Thursday appearance at Verizon Center. She appears willing to do back-to-back shows, based on her tour schedule.)
Regardless, Lady Gaga fans — known, apparently, as “Little Monsters” — have preemptively warned Verizon Center that Gaga’s date shall not be messed with. While this is low-hanging fruit, it’s still juicy and full of flavor and also healthful antioxidants.
@verizoncenterpr I swear y’all better not postpone or cancel the lady gaga concert for a basketball game or you will have riots like bye— (@lxdygodga) May 4, 2014
@verizoncenterpr I don’t care who you are do not reschedule the Lady Gaga concert it will ruin your reputation trust me .Monsters vs.players— Henry Jr (@GagasLilHenry) May 4, 2014
YALL GON HAVE TO MOVE YALL LIL GAME SORRY BOUT IT http://t.co/6MMqJE95Lt— princess birkin (@maikeeb_kills) May 5, 2014
@ladygaga could you please address the schedule conflict for the DC show? All us DMV monsters are worried our show is gonna be cancelled.— sam (@acoolique) May 5, 2014
Game 6 is scheduled for May 15th … Aka the @ladygaga concert … if the concert is rescheduled because of the NBA I’m going to lose it 😡— Khaleesi (@AvaAtaee) May 5, 2014