Tickets going fast in D.C.
The Washington Capitals' run to the playoffs has created an unprecedented level of interest in new season tickets for the upcoming season.Another feel-good story for a market that's taken its share of knocks.
The team is expected to boost its season-ticket base by as many as 5,000 seats this year, thanks in part to a sales campaign that has included monthly events at Verizon Center and an aggressive phone and direct mailing effort.
Washington's one of the few NHL teams to go from revenue-sharing recipient to big spender in the three postlockout years, and have amassed enough talent that they are actually looking to pare payroll to get back under a $56.7-million cap. Owner Ted Leonsis will certainly need the new sales to compensate for contracts like Mike Green's four-year, $21-million deal.
I believe capacity at the Verizon Center is just under 18,800, so 12,000 season-ticket holders is nothing to sniff at. It's quite likely the Capitals will have the highest year-to-year attendance growth in 2008-09, especially if the team gets off to a hot start.