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THE   GRAND   OPENING

Wizards Open Arena With Sonic Boom
MCI Center
Joel Richardson/The Post
The day after its opening, MCI Center officials met to see what needed adjusting. At the top of the list was traffic inside the $200 million building as choke points developed at a few corners and concession stands. For the most part, though, the arena's debut was perfect. The Wizards did their part, beating the Sonics.

  • Judge Orders Arena Inspected for Accessibility
  • SPORTS WAVES: Opening Night Telecast Missed the Mark

    THE LUXURY BOXES
    Luxury Sometimes Opens Up Pandora's Box
    Corporate boxes are badges of company prestige, but they also offer a host of problems for their owners, who say that awarding them fairly and efficiently demands a rare mix of organizational and diplomatic skills.


    THE CAPITALS
    D.C. Joins in the Downtown Tradition
    MCI Center
    File Photo
    Despite the fact that many of its players come from such Canadian outposts as Flin Flon and South Porcupine, ice hockey is very much a downtown game. With the opening of the MCI Center, the NHL finally arrived in downtown Washington after 24 years in the suburbs of Maryland.

    PERSPECTIVES
    At Last, Uptown Crowd For a Downtown Game
    Michael Wilbon At long last, Washington stepped up and acted like a real NBA town, writes The Post's Michael Wilbon.

    On Opening Night, Who Could Ask for More?
    Thomas Boswell The seven planets were aligned correctly for MCI Center's opening, says The Post's Thomas Boswell.

    Generating Excitement With the Flick of a Switch
    The Wizards officially moved into the "get-geeked, amp-it-up freak show that is the NBA," writes The Post's Frank Ahrens. In terms of generating excitement, he writes, MCI Center by and large succeeds.

    THE SCENE
    D.C. Unveils Its Newest Monument
    MCI Center
    Rich Lipski/The Post
    Before more than 20,000 fans filed into the MCI Center for the historic game between the Wizards and SuperSonics, the arena was bustling with last-minute activity, including some emotional moments for Wizards owner Abe Pollin (pictured, center). The social scene was also hopping, as Pollin hosted President Clinton in his luxury suite and hosted parties before and after the game. And, for others, the entire night was merely an opportunity to show off.

    THE REACTION
    From Fans and Foes Alike, MCI Gets a Thumbs-Up
    Wizards fans who attended MCI Center's opening game gave the arena a thumbs-up for its look, feel and food offerings. Members of the Seattle SuperSonics, while they didn't enjoy their first night, also gave a nodding approval to the new arena.

  • DISCUSSION: What Were Your Impressions of MCI Center?
  • MCI Center Firsts


    GETTING THERE
    New Arena Is a Long Journey Into the Unknown
    MCI Center
    What to Do if You Are Driving

    What to Do if You Are on the Metro

    The Arena and Its Surrounding Area

    So, Where Are Your Wizards Seats?

    So, Where Are Your Capitals Seats?

    When Abe Pollin decided to move downtown, he clearly had mass transit in mind. No matter how you plan on getting to the MCI Center in the future, planners hope to avoid the nightmare that greeted the opening of Jack Kent Cooke Stadium in September. Police will be directing traffic, but Post columnist Bob Levey recommends public transportation.


    THE OLD HOME
    Buzzer Sounds for Wizards at Old US Airways
    Pollin and Monroe
    Bill O'Leary/The Post
    The "old" Washington Bullets, including Earl Monroe (left) came to pay homage to the building they knew as the Capital Centre on Saturday. They recalled a time when the old building was state-of-the-art. Unfortunately, the Wizards could not capitalize on the emotion of the evening and lost their final game at US Airways Arena.

    ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Webber Happy to Move On


    MAGAZINE SPECIAL
    New Arena Searches for Sense of Self
    MCI Center
    Gerald Martineau/The Post
    A new state-of-the-art arena filled with luxury suites awaits Wash-
    ington fans. Now, it's up the players and the people who come to watch to create a sense of belonging and history at the MCI Center. The Post Magazine features this and more information on the new arena.


    THE SAGA
    Arena Had a Long and Winding Road to Completion
    MCI Center
    Marvin Joseph for The Post
    For four years, District, Maryland and Virginia officials sought to woo Abe Pollin and his brand-new entertainment center to their environs. In the end, Washington won and the MCI Center (pictured) ended up in downtown Washington. Read four years of Washington Post coverage.

    BET Chief Had Another Plan for Downtown


    OTHER MCI-RELATED COLUMNS

  • RUDOLPH PYATT, Dec. 1: One Suggestion: Donate a Skybox to the City
  • KORNHEISER, Nov. 29: US Airways Was Too Dark, but Stars Lit It Up
  • MICHAEL WILBON, Nov. 14: Finally, a Center of Attention Downtown

    OTHER ISSUES

  • THE ARCHITECTURE: MCI Center's Winning Ways
  • THE BUSINESSES: Inside and Out, Merchants Await Crowds
  • THE DINING: A Guide to Food at the Arena
  • THE ECONOMY: D.C. Hopes Arena Is Just a Warm-Up
  • THE OWNER: With Arena, Pollin Puts It All on the Line
  • THE SKYBOXES: Skybox Tensions Move Into Front Row
  • THE TICKETS: Pollin Says Escalating Salaries Drive Up Prices

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