March 24, 2018

VIP Last Hurrah?

If you read my post earlier this month about the changes made to the lower level all-inclusive ticket packages for Wizards season ticket holders next year and you've ever had the privilege of taking part in this experience, I'm sure you are about as bummed as I am. For the last I-don't-know-how-many-years, this has been an event to look forward to once or twice or maybe more (if I'm really lucky) per season.

Whether it's been through comps from my account representative; Monumental Rewards; the Fluid Tickets program; or the mystery season ticket renewal envelopes, I've had an amazing time just about every time I've done this. Next season, all this might change. I might never get this opportunity again. So if the remainder of this season represented my last best chance to do this ever again, I picked up a couple of all-inclusive tickets behind the baskets on the east end of Capital One Arena for last night's game against the Denver Nuggets. Here's my night in pictures. I'll let those do all the talking here.
6 pm arrival. Marcin Gortat warming up. Gortat is always warming up at this time. Dude's a machine about fitness and health. Mike Scott's also out there. John Wall would be too if he was playing.
Wristband line. First stop before entry. These people wield an uncanny amount of power.
The Etihad Airways Lounge. It will be like this later on when the game's going on. When we enter, it's empty. But first...
...gotta pick up a beer. May not be the last one, either. Always tip your server, folks! Especially when it's free. Yes, I'm drinking Budweiser. I like Budweiser at games.

And a little food with that beer. It's Jamaican night, meaning beef pasties, oxtail stew. Also some Hoffmann sausages with sauerkraut and mustard. Not Jamaican but must haves.
A pre-game edge of the court walk has to be made at sometime. I'm not sure what's going on in this pic. Some sort of Indian dance set to an Indian-ized Ed Sheeran's The Shape of You.
The DCFAMILY logo in the pic above has the names of all the season ticket holders on it. One last stop by my name this year is in order.
On the other end of Capital One is the MGM National Harbor lounge. More bare bones than Etihad. We assume this is gone next year.
Some dessert, maybe? Yes, please! The cheesecake bites were a miss but, by God, these white chocolate, macadamia nut cookies are amazing. I'm glad a took a full cholesterol pill that morning.
No Bud on the MGM side so back to Etihad, by which time Otto Porter, Jodie Meeks and the rest of the Wizards are warming up. Every time I make this walk I'm shocked by the size of these guys. There's always one dude who surprises me. This game, it's the Nuggets' Mason Plumlee.
Bud in hand, back to the seat for the game. They always have these notices at the VIP seats. Odd.
Almost ready for the game. I'm not showing pics of the game because that's not what this experience is about. Suffice it to say, the Wiz come out flat en route to another disappointing home performance.
The halftime show is the retirement of Phil Chenier's jersey at this game (more on that in another post I think) but they bring the ice cream out at halftime and I'm not missing a chance to wrap my fat fingers around an ice cream sandwich. Usually I'm a strawberry shortcake guy but finding none, I go with this thing.
The second half is disappointing and the Wiz end up with yet another bad home loss (see Dallas, Phoenix, Portland, Minnesota, Miami, etc.). We split with 26.3 seconds to go.
So that's pretty much it. For those of you out there who feel like I do about this change in policy, you now have just five home regular season games to do this for yourself. Get yourself to TicketMaster, or more preferably StubHub, and get yourself some tickets for one last VIP hurrah of your own. If I'm right, I'll miss this for as long as I'm denied it. 

One of the great perks of doing this and sitting in the east end of the building is being able to get close to the team after a big win. Since this team seems determined to play for sixth and last night lost to a Denver team they beat in Colorado earlier this year (another bad home loss), I skipped that part. But for the sake of completeness of what the VIP could be, I'm including a photograph of that part from earlier this year.

John Wall walking off the court after a win earlier this season. Need this guy back soon or we might be playing the Cavs in the first round.

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