Venue Policies

Entertainment & Sports Arena: Guidelines

To help ensure a safe experience for all of our guests, Entertainment & Sports Arena has policies and procedures we ask our event organizers to abide by.

Pursuant to the Authority’s License Agreement, Licensee shall be responsible for securing insurance for the duration of the Event Period, which shall include move-in and move-out, liability insurance for claims arising from injury or death to persons or damage to property and contractual liability.

Licensee’s insurance policies must name the Authority, its Board of Directors, officers and employees and the Government of the District of Columbia as additional insureds. At least five (5) business days before the Event move-in date, Licensee must submit a Certificate of Insurance to the Authority on a standard Acord form evidencing the required insurance coverage. The following insurance coverages shall be required for all Events:

General Liability Insurance in an amount not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence, $2,000,000 general aggregate and $2,000,000 umbrella/excess liability.

Workers’ Compensation/Employer’s Liability Insurance in the following coverage amounts:

  • Bodily Injury by Accident: $500,000 / Each Accident
  • Bodily Injury by Disease: $500,000 / Policy Limit
  • Bodily Injury by Disease: $500,000 / Per Employee

Automobile Insurance (to include coverage for all owned, hired, and non-owned automobiles) in the amount of $1,000,000 combined singled limit for each accident for bodily injury and property damage.

Entertainment & Sports Arena has an 11:15 PM curfew. If an event ends more than four (4) hours after its advertised start time or if an event does not end by 11:15 PM, then an overtime license fee will be charged. The overtime license fee will be Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) per every half hour starting at 11:15PM or as otherwise noted in the license agreement.

WMATA (Metro) closes at 11:00 PM on Sunday evenings, 11:30 PM on Monday - Thursday evenings and 1:00 AM on Friday and Saturday evenings. WMATA’s curfew is 11:00 PM to try and better accommodate patrons who use Metro as their primary means of transportation.


All visitors to Entertainment & Sports Arena are subject to I.D or credential verification on non-events days. All entering personnel are subject to bag searches and The Arena conducts a bomb sweep prior to the start of the event. After the sweep has concluded, the facility is considered sanitized and all guest or employees must enter via walk-through metal detectors; all deliveries must be swept by a K9 and police officer before entering the loading dock area.

Entertainment & Sports Arena utilizes walk-through metal detectors and/or hand-held metal detectors for screening patrons at most events. Patrons may not enter Entertainment & Sports Arena with bags, backpacks, purses, or luggage. Wallet-size clutches no larger than 5” x 7”, medical bags or parenting/diaper bags no larger than 14″ x 14″ x 6″ are permitted. Events DC reserves the right to refuse items which may cause a danger or disruption to the event or other guests of the Arena. Any guest who declines to be searched or is in possession of prohibited items may be denied entry or ejected from the facility.

Events DC reserves the right to amend the prohibited items list at their discretion.


  • Adhesive stickers
  • Balloons
  • Cans or coolers
  • Confetti and streamers
  • Fireworks
  • Frisbees or inflated balls
  • Illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia
  • Large flags and banners (except as noted)
  • Laser pointers
  • Metal or glass containers of any kind (Guests are allowed one empty plastic or metallic bottle for use at Arena water fountains/bottle refilling stations)
  • Missile or projectile-like objects
  • Monopods, tripods or selfie stick
  • Noisemakers of any kind (such as can operated air horns, sirens, kazoos, whistles, etc.)
  • Outside food and beverages
  • Pets (with the exception of service animals)
  • Poles and staffs (metal, plastic or wooden)
  • Professional cameras with detachable zoom lenses and/or tripods
  • Umbrellas (smaller than 15” when closed)
  • Video camera and audio recording devices (including camcorders, GoPros, Contour cameras)
  • Weapons of any kind (includes but not limited to guns, knives, mace, chains, spikes, projectiles, tasers, etc.)
  • Wrapped gifts


Guests interfering with other guest’s ability to enjoy the event may be subject to ejection. This includes (but is not limited to) guests using foul or abusive language, guests making inappropriate or unacceptable gestures and guestsappearing impaired.

Events DC can arrange for a dedicated EMT and Ambulance services for production personnel. These services are billed hourly as an additional show expense. Associated costs can be represented at show settlement or paid directly in advance. All Ambulance/EMT calls are a minimum of 4 hours.

Dedicated Production/Backstage service is available in 2 different levels:

  • 2 EMT’s and an Ambulance
  • EMT/ First Aid14


The Entertainment & Sports Arena (ESA) and the District of Columbia Fire Department (DCFD) Fire Prevention Bureau require show organizers to submit for a Public Assembly Permit for over 100 persons. The DCFD Fire Prevention Bureau approves all floor plans prior to load-in. 

Floor plans are to be submitted to the DCFD Fire Prevention Bureau via this link ( along with the required fee for review of $150.00 per drawing.  Please note that floor plans are to be submitted no later than 30 days from the first day of load-in.  Additional fees will be assessed for all late submissions.  Floor plans are not approved without signed and stamped approval from the Arena and the District of Columbia Fire Department (DCFD) Fire Prevention Bureau.  This approval is conditional; final approval is given only after an on-site inspection by the District of Columbia Fire Marshal.

Procedures for floor plan submission:

Plans must be submitted to your event manager at least 45 days prior to load-in for all events over 100 persons in attendance incorporating but not limited to the following:

  • Rigging
  • Heavy Production
  • Build outs
  • Concerts
  • General Session
  • Exhibitions

The above show components typically take place on the event floor of the arena bowl.


Floor plans must be drawn to scale (1/16”, 1’20” or 1/32”) and should clearly indicate the following:

  • Name and date of the event
  • Location of all exits on plan
  • Dimensions of all exits, corridors, and aisles as applicable.
  • Occupancy/expected attendance
  • square footage of area.
  • All proposed perimeter draping with height dimensions

Once ESA approval has been granted, plans should be submitted to the fire marshal via the online portal:

Production labor at Entertainment & Sports Arena is provided by Local 22 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) through GLP Inc, our exclusive Rigging and Labor Provider. The scope of this agreement covers those working in the event production areas of truck loading and unloading, forklift operation, electrical, carpentry, property, rigging, audio, video and lighting.


The Rigging Guidelines and Regulations are to define the rigging and hanging standard for all events. Events DC reserves the right to change, modify or revise these guidelines.


These guidelines govern the attachment of any hardware to, and from Entertainment & Sports Arena structures including: beams, bar joists, truss panels, and ceilings. Examples of such hardware includes: rigging motors, trussing, lighting, audio, video walls, projectors, laser systems, satellite up/down link cable, control snakes, signs and banners over two hundred (200) pounds, and any other equipment needed to be suspended from the structure of the facility. Overall maximum load for the rigging grid is 75,000 lbs.

  1. Events DC has an exclusive provider of Rigging Services through rigging contractor GLP.
  2. Events DC and GLP reserve the right to refuse services to outside equipment that does not meet the safety standards and requirements established by these guidelines and standard regulations.
  3. GLP riggers will make all attachments to the building structure. No attached equipment shall be moved without GLP riggers present.
  4. There will be no rigging from conduit, sprinkler pipes, gas pipes, drywall, fascia, lighting fixtures, raceways, buss ducts, all thread, air ducts, speaker systems, air wall tracks, ceiling tiles, and any other non-load bearing structures.
  5. Proposed rigging requirements and plot diagrams should be submitted for approval a minimum of twenty-one (21) days in advance of event. Failure to do so may result in possible delay in work and/or cancellation of rigging projects. Events DC/GLP may prohibit the installation of any items not in compliance with the required plan review.
  6. Items which are ‘dead hung’ are limited to two hundred (200) pounds in total weight. In the case of items over 200 pounds, Events DC rigging contractor and rigging provider must be involved regarding any attachments to the building structure.
  7. For larger rigging projects with an overall rigging load over 75,000 lbs. or points over 1,000 lbs., a rigging survey may be required. Any required surveys are billed back as an additional show expense and represented at show settlement.
  8. Only employees of official show contractor, Events DC, and GLP rigging contractor will be allowed to operate boom lifts within the Entertainment and Sports Arena. At all times personnel must wear harness and attached lanyard to lift. Only electric lifts are allowed in the Arena when the public is present.No personnel will be allowed on truss or any flown structure without a fall arrester deviceCONTACTS Gary Pair, General Manager 202 249-3607 (Office) 202 391-4400 (Cell) gary@glpproductions.com15

Proposed plans and/or diagrams must include the following information:

  • Maximum weight load in pounds per point including motor & chain
  • All items to be flown and the quantities on each truss system, i.e. speakers, lighting units, AV, scenic, signs, special effects, automated units, etc.
  • All trim heights above the floor of all flown items
  • Company, project name or exhibit, designer or draftsman and contact information of the submitter.


Three man minimum at all times.

  • All Load-In, Shows Call and Load-Out are separate minimums
  • There is a four hour work minimum per call.
  • All work performed between 12:00PM midnight and 8:00AM will be paid at time and one-half.
  • All work performed on a Sunday and Holidays will be paid at time and one-half
  • All hours worked in excess of 8 consecutive hours will be paid at time and one-half.
  • All hours worked in excess of 40 hours in one work week will be paid at time and one-half.
  • An “Invasion time” consists of time from the end of one call to the next day’s call where 8 hours of rest is not provided. Hours invaded in the rest period will be paid at double the prevailing rate.
  • All employees must have a one-hour meal period after five hours of work. If working during a sixth consecutive hour without a meal break, they must be compensated at double the prevailing rate for that hour. Employees are not allowed to work more than six hours with meal provisions. If a meal is provided to the employees and the meal period is less than one hour, there will not be an increase in pay rate for that hour.
  • All work actually performed on DC & federal holidays will be paid at time and one-half
  • There shall be no pyramiding of premium or overtime pay, at no time will over time hours be included in the calculating of 40hours.


A typical labor call will require a Crew Chief and three Department Heads.

  • Work for an event shall consist of loading-in, show execution and loading out.
  • Work may also include show only execution positions and other theatrical work not directly related to a specific show.