Chants of “We want the cup” filled the air in Capitalsville Thursday (June 7) as hundreds of fans gathered on the Town Green to watch the final seconds of the Stanley Cup Finals tick down to championship glory.
Capitalsville? Well, sort of. The Lovettsville Town Council voted May 24 to change the town’s name as a sign of support for the Washington Capitals’ trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.
“Since then we’ve been using the title in everything we say and do.” said Mayor Bobby Zoldos, who proposed the capital idea.
The move brought together the town’s residents and fans from all around the region together. Capitalsville hosted a viewing party on the Town Green Thursday night to watch the Caps down Las Vegas 4-3 to secure the franchise’s first chance to hoist the Stanley Cup. Hundreds, if not thousands, of championship-craving fans flocked to join the festivities.
Local businesses, including Velocity Wings, set up booths selling food and beverages. The Lions Club served free snow cones and popcorn. As the crowd gathered, Zoldos began the fun with a Capitals trivia contest.
“As a community, we like to get together,” Town Council member Mike Senate said. “We like to be together. We’re all here to have a good time.”
Council member Mike Dunlap said the Capitals’ historic run reinforced the town’s strong sense of community.
“We‘re all here because we want to support our great Capitals team,” Dunlap said. “We’re excited to be out here tonight and have a great .time as a town and community and celebrate our hockey team.”
Whiles thousands of Caps fans packed the street in front of Capitol One Arena in downtown DC, Capitalsville also took to the great outdoors to embrace the history and drama of the championship quest.
“It’s something that we hadn’t tried before,” said Dunlap. “It’s clearly been a success.”
The crowd erupted with cheers, chants and sighs of disappointment at every turn in the action. Even when the video feed froze for a few seconds the crowd would yell and chant “CAPS” until the picture was fixed.
Fans in the DC metro area were hungry for a championship title and believed that this was the year. The name-change quickly gained support from the community and many were moved to join in the Capitalsville craze.
“The town loves it. The town loves the exposure that we got,” Senate said. “Everyone wants to be in Capitalsville for the win. So, we’re really excited about it.”
Slapshot, the team’s mascot, and the Capitals’ cheerleaders visited Lovettsville Elementary School earlier this week, the local library branch changed its name to Capitalsville Library and the town added a Snapchat “geofilter” for the Capitalsville sign in the town square.
Out-of-towners who may never have otherwise visited the small town joined the locals gathered Thursday night to watch the game.
“We have people from Ellicott City, Lorton, VA, DC, all over the place. We’re bringing people here,” Senate said.
Local businesses reaped the benefits of the attention.
“[The name-change] has greatly affected [business] in a positive way. People are excited,” Velocity Wings Manager John Stryker said. “It’s been a lot of fun. Business has been good, but it’s been good to get the community out here which has been the best thing.”