Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Capital Centre (US Air Arena), 1 Harry S. Truman Dr., Landover, Maryland



Capacity 18,756

The Capital Centre (also briefly known as US Airways Arena and USAir Arena) was an indoor arena located in Largo, Landover, Maryland; a suburb of Washington, D.C. completed in 1973.
The Capital Center, which cost $18 million to build, was ahead of its time when the Wizards' majority owner, Abe Pollin, opened it for his N.B.A. and National Hockey League teams on Dec. 2, 1973. The architect was Shaver Partnership.

It was the first arena with luxury sky boxes and featured a four-sided replay screen suspended above the court,  known as the "Telscreen" (or "Telescreen") and predated the DiamondVision video screen at Dodger Stadium by seven years. It is now a standard feature in arenas. It was also the first arena to be built with a computerized turnstile system.

A boxing World Heavyweight Championship bout took place at the venue on April 30, 1976, with Jimmy Young challenging the champion Muhammad Ali. The fight went the full fifteen rounds and was awarded unanimously to Ali.

The Capital Centre was the first indoor arena to have a video replay screen on its center-hung scoreboard. The four-sided video screen was known as the "Telscreen" (or "Telescreen") and predated the DiamondVision video screen at Dodger Stadium by seven years. It was also the first arena to be built with luxury boxes and a computerized turnstile system.

The last time that Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin sang in concert together was at the arena.
Bob Dylan and The Band (Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Levon Helm) played two nights on Dylan's return tour on January 15 and 16, 1974.
Eric Clapton, REM, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie have also all performed major concerts at the venue.

The Rolling Stones played three sold-out shows at the arena on December 7-9, 1981.
Pop superstar Michael Jackson performed four concerts at Capital Centre on October 13, 17, 18 and 19, 1988 during his Bad Tour.

The Centre also had one of the NBA's most notorious fans, Robin Ficker, who for twelve seasons sat behind the visiting team's bench and heckled opposing players.
t was renamed for corporate sponsor US Airways in 1993, but reverted back to its original name of Capital Centre after the airline dropped its naming rights. The venue's name is also sometimes written as Capital Center, Capitol Center, Capitol Center Arena or Capital Center Arena. The venue closed in 1997.

Acting in his role as part-owner of the Washington Wizards' parent company, Michael Jordan and local officials unveiled plans to tear down the 27-year-old Capital Center and replace it with a retail and entertainment complex.
''I've had some great games in the Capital Center,'' said Jordan, who joined the Wizards front office this season after winning six N.B.A. titles with the Chicago Bulls. ''But obviously it's going to a better use, now that the MCI Center is established.''

It was renamed for corporate sponsor US Airways in 1993, but reverted back to its original name of Capital Centre after the airline dropped its naming rights. The venue's name is also sometimes written as Capital Center, Capitol Center, Capitol Center Arena or Capital Center Arena. The venue closed in 1997 and was demolished. The building was imploded on December 15, 2002 to make way for The Boulevard at the Capital Centre, a town center-style shopping mall.






Jerry performed here on
7/29/74 Grateful Dead
9/25/76 Grateful Dead
11/23/78 Grateful Dead
11/8/79 Grateful Dead
8/31/80 Grateful Dead
9/27/81 Grateful Dead
9/15/82 Grateul Dead
9/11/87 Grateful Dead
9/12/87 Grateful Dead
9/13/87 Grateful Dead
9/2/88 Grateful Dead
9/3/88 Grateful Dead
9/5/88 Grateful Dead
9/6/88 Grateful Dead
3/14/90 Grateful Dead
3/15/90 Grateful Dead (Phil Lesh's 50th birthday)
"I had 1st row on the 16th. I had actually lost my tickets in the parking lot before the show but amazingly found them on the ground 20 min. later surrounded buy a large group of people needing a miracle!The tickets had been run over, stepped on,ground in the dirt,but nobody bothered to look in the envelope."(1)
3/16/90 Grateful Dead
3/17/91 Grateful Dead
3/18/91 Grateful Dead
3/20/91 Grateful Dead
3/21/91 Grateful Dead
11/6/91 Jerry Garcia Band
11/7/91 Jerry Garcia Band
3/8/92 Grateful Dead
3/9/92 Grateful Dead
3/16/93 Grateful Dead
3/17/93 Grateful Dead
3/18/93 Grateful Dead
11/7/93 Jerry Garcia Band (USAir Center)
10/9/94 Grateful Dead (USAir Arena)
10/10/94 Grateful Dead (USAir Arena)
10/11/94 Grateful Dead (USAir Arena)





1.)^DeadCannoneer1861, comments, 2010-09-07, http://archive.org/details/gd1990-03-15.28293.sbeok.shnf

6 comments:

  1. I worked in the Sky Suites for seven years while trying to launch my musical career. Saw all the major acts, the minor acts, the hockey and NBA playoffs, the Regan Inaugural during that time. Often had backstage passes through connections with the camera staff for the Telescreen and TV broadcasts. Billy Joel signed my pass while it was still plastered to my slacks, right at the hip bone. Lots of fab memories from this time. I'm surprised to admit that I am sad to see the photo of the implosion.

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    Replies
    1. Were you working there on this night: March 14, 1990?

      Curious about a taper/audience member sitting in or near a sky suite (luxury box?).

      Delete
  2. Hi Meredith,
    Do you recall any of the Garcia related shows? Any stories to tell? Please email me at slipnut01 at gmail dot com

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  3. Any way to get a record of luxury sky box holders during certain times?

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  4. Charles,
    I have no idea where you'd find that. Why do you need it?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for your reply. There was a guy at a concert sitting in a box, and he had gotten the tickets from his company. I'm trying to find this guy's identity.

    ReplyDelete