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5 Reasons to Check Out DC's Sports Teams This Fall

Atmosphere at Washington Capitals Hockey Game at Capital One Arena - Hockey in Washington, DC

This fall could hold lots of excitement for the District's sports fans

Washington, DC is a sports town — and fall is the best time to be a sports fan. The NFL season revs to life, regular seasons for the NHL and NBA start soon after and NCAA Basketball tips off as well. Fortunately, the DC area’s bounty of teams means there are plenty of reasons to watch or attend games as the leaves fall.

1 The Washington Capitals begin another pursuit of their first Stanley Cup

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After posting the best regular season record in the NHL in 2015-16 and 2016-17, the Capitals ended their season in a familiar (and disappointing) place in both instances: losing in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to their rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins (who went on to win the Cup both years). The Caps now enter 2017-18 more inspired and motivated than ever. Captain Alex Ovechkin, Vezina Trophy candidate Braden Holtby and young superstar Evgeny Kuznetsov will look to take Barry Trotz’s squad to the promised land. We can’t wait for the 82-game ride, with 41 coming at a raucous Capital One Arena and plenty of reasons to attend a game.

2 NBA action at Capital One Arena, courtesy of the Washington Wizards

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One of the NBA’s best backcourt tandems, John Wall and Bradley Beal, lead the Wizards into the 2017-18 season, as the team looks to make a run at the NBA Finals after a hard fought, seven-game loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season. Wall and Beal are joined by youngsters Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre, as well as the loveable and highly skilled Marcin Gortat. The home opener comes Oct. 18 against the Philadelphia 76ers.

3 The Washington Redskins look to return to the NFL playoffs

@curtkennedy - Washington Redskins Football Home Opener - FedExField

The Redskins came within a victory of reaching the playoffs for a second consecutive season in 2016-17, so Jay Gruden will look to return the team to glory this year. Led by quarterback Kirk Cousins, newly acquired wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, backfield threat Chris Thompson and tight end Jordan Reed, the offense can put up lots of points. The defense, looking to improve on a so-so 2016, features cornerback Josh Norman and first round draft pick Jonathan Allen. Marquee home games include matchups against the Dallas Cowboys (Oct. 29, 4:25 p.m.) and the New York Giants on Thanksgiving night (Nov. 23, 8:30 p.m.). Head to the team’s website for single game ticket options.

4 Catch school spirit at Georgetown, George Washington and American basketball games

The Georgetown University Hoyas have their eyes set on a Big East title in 2017-18, with the home conference schedule starting with a matchup against Butler on Dec. 27. Prior to that, the Hoyas take on archrival Syracuse at Capital One Arena on Dec. 16. Meanwhile, George Washington University’s Colonials look to contend in the Atlantic 10, opening their season at home on Nov. 4 against Fairmont State. Last but not least, the American University Eagles will chase a Patriot League title and a NCAA Tournament berth.

5 Watch D.C. United’s final games at RFK Stadium

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D.C. United’s historic run at RFK Stadium comes to a close this fall. During its time there, United has won four MLS Cups and built a raucous fan base that is sure to follow them to their new stadium, Audi Field, set in DC’s Buzzard Point. The squad will conclude their RFK tenure with a match against the New York Red Bulls on Oct. 22.

Get in the game this fall and explore more sports and outdoor recreation activities in Washington, DC.