We go here a couple of times a month for Caps games during hockey season. Personally, I've never seen the area dirty and there has always been plenty of security outside the center during games. It's in a city, so take the usual precautions, but don't get paranoid.
The venue itself is in China Town and there are plenty of restaurants and bars in the area. Yes, inside and out, refreshments are going to be pricey. I haven't seen a sports or entertainment venue that isn't.
Others have mentioned the two convenient metro stops right there, so it's very easy to get to. We always take Metro, so I can't speak for the parking garage.
Inside is always clean. Bathrooms are well taken care of at all times. I've never seen a dirty one. We often get nosebleed seats and the view is great.
One caveat. The seats, while comfortable are tiered to a point that if the people in front of you lean forward, your view of the ice can be blocked by up to half. This is always announced in the beginning, but people often don't hear it or choose to ignore it. Do Not Lean Forward Through the Entire Game.
Security is high here and like other places you will get scanned. It's non-invasive and quick.They haven't yet gone the way of the NFL and you can take a bag in, just be prepared to have it checked.
I haven't been to a concert here, but I'm sure even in the higher level seats, you'll have a good view.
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