The Washington Capitals commissioned a banner to hang on Russell Street

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Photo courtesy of Washington Capitals

Some locals have plenty to say about whether it’s kosher for Baltimoreans to pull for D.C. teams. But it was obvious last year, when the Washington Capitals took home their first-ever Stanley Cup, how strong the fandom is here (or maybe just the bandwagon effect).

In fact, according to ratings from NBC, which broadcast the finals, Baltimore was the number three market for viewers, behind only the competing teams’ cities.

In a nod to that, the Caps this week made their mark on Russell Street facing M&T Bank Stadium with a new “ALLCAPS” mural banner, just as the team is starting its playoff campaign to repeat as champions.

It’s is one of several works team has commissioned as part of some peppy guerrilla marketing. It’s also the only they put up outside of Washington D.C. proper for this campaign.

In an email, Capitals spokeswoman Megan Eichenberg attributed the move to Baltimore’s built-in Caps fanbase. “Baltimore has shown tremendous support for the Capitals, both through game viewership and game attendance.”

And the team picked that location, along the wall of the property where a group plans to build a resurrected Hammerjack’s, for the view, she said. It’s highly visible from Route 295 for drivers approaching Horseshoe Casino and, further down, the ramp to I-95.

It was designed by illustrator Zach Shuta, who specializes in sports graphics and works as a contributing designer at Patrick Horvat Design Studio in Federal Hill.

The Caps worked with other designers to put up murals in D.C. on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive near Historic Anacostia, and outside the H Street Country Club in the H Street Corridor. They’re also planning one on at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School, about six blocks down on H Street, this Sunday.

For the Baltimore-based Caps fans Eichenberg mentioned, so far so good. The Caps held off the Carolina Hurricanes for a game one win last night. They’re set to play again in Chinatown tomorrow afternoon.

An earlier version of this story referred to the banner as a mural, which is defined as a work “executed directly onto a wall.” We regret the error.

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in CityLab, Slate, Baltimore City Paper, DCist and elsewhere.
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