The Capitals and Verizon Center management announced Tuesday morning that there will be “enhanced” security measures in place at the arena following the bombings Monday at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured more than 170. For those who are heading to the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight, it might be a good idea to arrive early.
Here’s the release from the team and building officials:
As a result of yesterday’s events in Boston and after consulting with local law enforcement officials, Verizon Center security will be enhanced for upcoming events. We regularly consult with the Metropolitan Police Department, FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Department of Homeland Security, and our standard policy of bag searches and security wanding will continue at the entrances. We also will institute measures that will be readily visible to the public as well as some that are not, but all will add to the safety and security of our patrons. The safety of our fans and guests always has been and will continue to be our top priority.
Like everyone across the country, the Capitals were saddened to learn of the bombings Monday. Washington’s roster features two Massachusetts natives, defensemen Tom Poti and John Carlson. Poti, who resides on Cape Cod in the offseason, didn’t want to comment.
Carlson was born in Natick, Mass., roughly 15 miles outside of Boston, and has plenty of family and friends in the area even though he moved to New Jersey at a young age. While he was relieved to hear that no one he knew was harmed in the blasts, Carlson said it doesn’t take a personal connection to feel for the people of Boston.
“It’s terrible. I think people try to put a damper on positive things, and in Boston, that’s a holiday for them, first off. People come from all over the world to run in the race. People died and people got injured,” Carlson said. “My cousins have been down there, my cousin ran in it, my aunt and uncle went to go see him and stood right there, I think it was last year. …
“I’m glad that everyone that I know is safe; a bunch of my friends live in Boston and you can’t reach out to them because there’s no cell service. It hits home. It should hit home for everyone, really. It doesn’t take being from there to mean anything. Maybe it means a little bit more, but it’s a tragedy.”
Capitals Coach Adam Oates played parts of six seasons for the Bruins and developed strong ties to the region.
“Great people there, I loved it there, I have my home there; great to see everybody come to the aid of everybody there. Pretty sad day,” Oates said. “Obviously a very, very tragic thing and our hearts go out to everybody in that situation and we hope that would be reciprocated the other way. When it happens, very rarely happens in our country. Makes you take a step back and realize how scary it is.”
Alex Ovechkin doesn’t have any personal connection to the city but was just as shaken by the news of the bombings.
“I was in shock, but it’s kind of situation like where you can do nothing about it,” Ovechkin said. “I don’t know what to say about it. … People are dying and people are hurt. It’s bad.”