Final Curtain Comes Down at Capital Centre

Boulevard at The Capital Centre, a 460,000 square foot retail and entertainment development scheduled to open in Fall 2003.

It took 355 pounds of dynamite to take down the old arena.
Photo courtesy of Washington Sports & Entertainment
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The Capital Centre opened its doors on December 2, 1973 to a sellout crowd of 17,500 when the Capital Bullets (now the Washington Wizards) downed the Seattle SuperSonics 98-96. During the Capital Bullets tenure at The Capital Centre they qualified for postseason play for 17 out of 19 seasons, won the 1978 NBA Championship and then returned to the NBA finals the following season.

Considered a state-of-the-art entertainment facility in the early days, The Capital Centre played host to several other events throughout its history including the nationally-televised Presidential Inaugural Gala for Ronald Reagan in 1981, the Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Tournament (1976, 1981,1987), the 1984 McDonald’s Gymnastics Medalist Tour with Mary Lou Retton, Bart Conner and Mitch Gaylord, and the high-profile boxing matches of Muhammad Ali vs. Jimmy Young and Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler. With the unprecedented success of live boxing matches at The Capital Centre, the arena was often referred to as the ‘Las Vegas of the East.

Other legendary performances held at The Capital Centre came from musicians Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Prince and ZZ Top. The Capital Centre truly is an entertainment venue of historic proportions.