The Gladiators entered the Coliseum, got their hockey pants kicked, and left...
Meet Adam Kelsey, Caps In-Game Host
Kelsey hosts a game with a fan in the second period Wednesday. (Caps Outsider)
“I’m a lifelong hockey fan and played the sport through high school, so the opportunity to work for an NHL team and attend every game is truly a dream come true,” said Caps in-game host, Adam Kelsey. “I don’t think I’ll ever get over the excitement I feel when I arrive at Verizon Center or when I walk down into the arena and see the ice for the first time each game. It still feels like it did when I went to my first hockey game twenty years ago.”
Kelsey was hired last summer to replace Erin Magee as in-game host for the Caps. The 25-year-old hails from Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from George Washington University, spent two years teaching high school social studies with Teach America in Atlanta, and received a master’s degree from Columbia University prior to working for the Capitals’ organization. When he’s not hosting, he works as a reporting fellow for ABC News.
Kelsey has been interested in media and broadcasting since high school. He called basketball games for radio in college and, when he was teaching and had summers off, he hosted for a minor league baseball team, the Somerset Patriots, in New Jersey. So, no wonder the opportunity to apply for the Caps’ in-game host position caught his eye.
“The process started rather traditionally, with a resume and a cover letter, but I also sent along a reel of some of my broadcast work from graduate school. I think I might’ve stood out because I actually had some prior hosting experience,” he explained. “From there I had a few interviews with the Game Entertainment staff and ‘auditioned’ at one of the World Cup of Hockey games in September and a couple of preseason games. Fortunately, everything went smoothly, except when the World Cup Mite-of-the-Night told me he was a Penguins fan and was roundly booed. But he was a good sport about it!”
Communicating and interacting with fans is the job of the in-game host. Kelsey is impressed by how dedicated and knowledgeable Caps’ fans are about hockey.
“I think that any fan base can be loud and cheer for goals and big saves, those things are obvious, but when you hear an ‘Ooh’ after a crisp pass or a big round of applause for a successful backcheck, you know you’re dealing with a group that has a high hockey IQ. And I can’t say enough about how warm and inviting everyone has been. I love meeting fans and learning about them and just talking hockey. Their passion for the team and for the game really shines through in every conversation,” he said.
Kelsey has been the Caps’ in-game host for only half a season. He had big shoes to fill, but already feels quite at home in the position. He attributes the smooth transition to the Game Entertainment staff at Monumental Sports and Entertainment.
“The entire Game Entertainment staff is an incredibly talented and hardworking group. There are a lot of moving pieces during each game but we have a lot of fun and a great sense of camaraderie, and hopefully that comes through,” he said. “My favorite part has been the people I get to work with and the Capitals community as a whole. Everyone has been so nice and I really felt welcomed with open arms when I started. It’s an organization that truly reflects the product you see out on the ice — a great group of people who are all consistently at the top of their game. I think that surrounding yourself with good people is always the way to ensure that you’re doing your best work and I couldn’t be luckier, in that respect, to have found a home here. It’s impossible to have a bad day or to dread going to work when “work” is a Capitals game.”
See Adam Kelsey, the Red Rockers and Slapshot at all Caps home games!