WASHINGTON - Authorities prepared for a sea of red to swarm the Capital One Arena Thursday evening as the Washington Capitals could claim the coveted Stanley Cup with a victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas.
Fans were spotted lining up around the block at Capitol One Arena for Game 5's viewing party before 1:30 p.m. and some fans arrived at the stadium around 8 a.m.
DC officials noted several precautions were put in place to allow fans to have fun but to ensure the celebration doesn't get out of control in the District.
DC Police Chief Peter Newsham said he reached out to other cities who've had major celebrations for advice on how to handle the potential situation. Police have been positioned all over the District and a joint-command center has been activated. All the agencies in the District have been ordered to standby to help in case of an emergency or if things get out of hand.
Officials note that alcohol will not be allowed outside Capital One Arena and those found in possession of alcohol will be asked to dispose of it. If fans refuse to dispose of the alcohol, officials said arrests would be made.
Many plans remain fluid, including when officials will eventually ask people when to leave.
An extra hour of service has been purchased for Metro, but officials said fans planning to ride the Metro shouldn't celebrate too long into the night as Metro will shut down after the extra hour of service.
Officials urged those attending the watch party or who plan to partake in the festivities around the District to avoid driving as there are several street closures and parking restrictions in place, making it very difficult to find a parking spot.