Monday, February 02, 2009

Bring On Detroit Fans, I Don't Care

While a lot of Capitals' fans are getting annoyed at all the Detroit Red Wings fans in attendance at the game Saturday afternoon. Peppered through out the stands were the faithful of the red and white cheering on their team. It seemed to upset some fans prompting a response by Caps' owner Ted Leonsis. Per Ted's Take:
We didn’t sell any group tickets to any fan clubs from Detroit. We didn’t sell any tickets to any travel agencies from Detroit either.
We didn’t have to since we were sold out with fans from our own community. My goal is to start next season with 14,000 season tickets sold!

What I do see happening though now is this: Many season ticket holders are now selling off some key games against big rivals on ticket exchange services. They get a huge markup on their tickets that helps defray the cost of tickets for the rest of the season.

There were about 5 rows in front of me where there are usually a large group of season ticket holders that had sold their tickets to local Detroit fans. I may have to find a way to get first right of refusal on resell of our seats. :-)

Many fans that were rooting for Detroit are actually our season ticket holders. They are happy Caps fans and loyal customers and they root for the Caps always except when we play Detroit. When we sell out the bottom and top bowl, the club seats go on sale via Washington Sports and some of those tickets get sold as groups or online to Detroit fans.

It is obvious that we have made progress. Perhaps ten percent of the arena was rooting for Detroit at yesterday’s game. I won’t rest until we have 100 percent Caps fans in our building but I admire what Detroit has built in terms of fan loyalty. Thank you Caps fans for being loud and proud. We are building a Hockeytown right here in DC.

While it's been annoying to have those fans sitting next to you at the Verizon Center when the Caps were struggling, it is a tad more entertaining when the Caps winning. Much like it was on Saturday. When the Red Wings scored, we saw the normal yelling and hooting from the Detroit faithful. But when the Caps scored, especially Alex Ovechkin's first goal in the third, the look on their faces was picture perfect.

When Ovechkin scored on the power play to put the Caps up by two, it was even more fun to tease those red and white jerseys right out of the building. "Beat the traffic, beat, beat the traffic!" If the Capitals keep winning at the phone booth, I will take those opposing fans any day of the week.

To see those Detroit Fans not only leave disappointed that their team lost, they had to put up with Caps fans teasing and in a happy mood. That is worth the price of admission. It should be a warning for any opposing team's fans who decide to take a game in at Verizon Center, there is a good chance your team is going to lose and that $200 bucks you spent on a $90 ticket really wasn't worth it, was it?

So bring on the Detroit fans, the Penguins fans, Ranger fans, Carolina fans, Flyer fans. We can handle them, and they are just going to go home hurt and broke. Uncle Ted, your warning and actions are not really needed, we can handle them. Just like the Caps can handle any opposing team that takes to the phone booth's ice.

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