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The low point, according to Mr. Frankovic, came during the team’s appearance in the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals, when according to him, the team sold large blocks of tickets to a Detroit travel agency before putting them on public sale, resulting in a large number of Red Wings fans on hand for Washington home games.

When fans wanting to buy Stanley Cup Finals tickets at the arena for an announced public sale, they were told they could only purchase tickets by getting a ticket plan for the next season — even though the team had already sold a number of tickets to out-of-towners without the same requirement.

That experience left Mr. Frankovic angry with the spectacle of the victorious Detroit Red Wings parading the Stanley Cup on the Capitals’ home ice with plenty of their fans in the stands.

“The 1998 Stanley Cup Finals, where there were so many people rooting for the Red Wings, was a disgrace to hockey in D.C.,” he said. Mr. Mentel, who understands the business side of selling tickets to visiting fans but didn’t like to see so many Phillies fans in the stands, compared the Nats’ current plight to what the Capitals went through.

Kim Luckbaugh of Fairfax, said she was not happy with what happened Monday, saying she doesn’t plan on attending games against the Phillies or Mets.

“It’s completely unnecessary for the home team fans to have to endure this type of boorish behavior when there are measures that can be put in place to curb it,” she wrote in an e-mail to The Washington Times. “I don’t understand why this behavior was tolerated and these insolent fans were not kicked out of the Park.”

For the Capitals, a turning point came when Ted Leonsis took over the club in 1999, and with the new ownership came a pretty aggressive policy to limit out-of-town sales as best as they could.

“As a practice, the Capitals have worked diligently to ensure Caps fans are buying tickets to games at Verizon Center — we like it that way and our fans like it that way, too,” Jim Van Stone, the team’s senior vice president for tickets sales and service, wrote in an e-mail to The Washington Times.

“Many sports teams, especially NHL clubs, rely heavily on ticket sales as a revenue stream,” he said. “Of course you want the home team’s fans filling your arena or stadium, but that’s not always the case. Players and management alike, no one wants to hear the visiting fans cheer in the home team’s building.”

The most notable effort was attempting to prevent fans with Pittsburgh area codes looking to purchase Capitals playoff tickets on TicketMaster, a practice several other teams — including the Penguins themselves — have eventually implemented for big events.

While the practice isn’t totally effective with the secondary market for tickets, the atmosphere for big-name teams visiting Verizon Center has changed markedly, and and fans are appreciative of the team’s efforts to limit the visiting ticket sales.

“Ted Leonsis changed several team policies to make it much easier to sell to hometown fans and much harder for out-of-town fans to get tickets,” season-ticket holder Richard Rossier wrote. “Now of course, the last two seasons, the difference is amazing, when we play the Pens or the Flyers or anyone — even Detroit — and its almost 95 percent Caps fans in there and we are loud rocking the red. So the change has been huge, almost beyond belief.”

With a relatively new team in Washington, and having narrowly missed a sellout in the 2009 home opener against Philadelphia, the Nationals aggressively attempted to make sure Opening Day was sold out — even if it meant selling a large number of tickets to Phillies fans.

Officially, Major League Baseball was pleased with the announced sellout of 41,290 tickets, with Bud Selig approving the large mix of fans.

“I think it’s great, great for the sport, I really do,” Mr. Selig said. “It’s only a testament to this game’s popularity.”

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