Washington Capitals’ championship parade will be ‘bigger than everyone is expecting,’ owner Ted Leonsis says


LAS VEGAS — Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said the tens of thousands of fans who partied in the streets of Washington, D.C., late into Thursday night, celebrating the franchise’s first Stanley Cup, were an indication that the championship parade is going to be considerably larger than anticipated.

“I think it’s going to be much bigger than everyone is expecting,” Leonsis said on the ice after the Capitals beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in Game 5 to win the Stanley Cup. “We want to be able to say thank you to people in Virginia and Maryland and Washington, D.C. My goal is to create something that elevates and unites all of the people in our community, so people think happy thoughts about Washington, D.C.”

The Capitals will hold their Stanley Cup parade on Tuesday, riding down Constitution Avenue to the National Mall.

The team announced details of the parade and rally Friday, shortly before players, coaches and staff returned from their clinching Game 5 victory. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. ET at Constitution Avenue NW and 17th Street and move east, passing the Washington Monument while on the way to the National Mall at Seventh Street, where a stage will be set up.

The Capitals had been careful to avoid talk of planning a parade, even as they entered an elimination game against Vegas. But with the Cup secured, the party planning began.

On Thursday night, Capitals fans celebrated en masse as their team captured the Cup in Vegas.

As police officers blocked F Street and announcements were made about the last subway train, many fans ignored those pleas and kept partying on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery and in bars surrounding Capital One Arena. A couple of fans climbed light poles and one even scaled the nearby dragon tower.

President Donald Trump congratulated the Capitals’ success on Twitter, singling out Alex Ovechkin.

The championship is the first by a Washington professional sports team in the NFL, NBA, NHL or Major League Baseball since the Redskins won the Super Bowl on Jan. 26, 1992.

“I’ve always said that we have the best hockey fans in the world,” Leonsis said. “All I ever wanted to do was build a team that was as good as the fan base. We can finally say: Best fans in the world, best hockey team in the world.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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