- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Washington Capitals have increased the price of season tickets by nearly 60 percent on some distant seats at Verizon Center but are reducing prices in other sections to keep the average price roughly the same as last season.

Team officials said seats in the top sideline sections will increase from $17 to $27 per game and that seats in the eight “loge” sections at each end of the lower bowl will increase from $50 to $58. But the team is also reducing the price of about 600 seats in the corners of the upper level from between $17 and $27 to $14. Prices on all other seats will remain the same.

“We looked at our entire pricing strategy, and what we wanted to accomplish is consistency and uniformity in our seating sections,” said Mike Humes, the Capitals’ senior vice president of sales. “The net effect is that the average ticket price remains the same. Our overall ticket price is well below the league average. We’re still a low-priced team.”

It is unclear how the Capitals’ new ticket prices will compare to other teams for the 2007-08 season. But the team’s ticket prices this season ranked 21st out of 30 teams in the NHL, according to Chicago-based Team Marketing Report. The Capitals were one of 10 teams to keep prices flat for the 2006-07 season.

The team mailed out renewal forms for season ticket holders Friday, and most fans should receive them this week. Humes said members of the team’s sales staff have already begun calling season ticket holders individually as part of an effort he referred to as “mass personalization.”

Season ticket holders can switch seats if they desire and have until July to make their selections.

Humes said the team is shooting for renewal rate of 85 percent to 90 percent and said sales of new season tickets, which went on sale in February, are tracking nearly 100 percent ahead of last year.

The Capitals reported official attendance of 13,929 a game this season, virtually flat from the previous year. Revenue from ticket sales, however, increased about 10 percent in part because the team handed out fewer free and discounted tickets.

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