- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Washington Capitals are one of the toughest tickets in town right now, but a modest number of tickets are still available for most games this season.

Despite some predictions that the team would sell out all games at Verizon Center, it was left holding about 300 tickets for Monday’s game against the New Jersey Devils and has tickets in all sections available for Thursday’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Caps boosted their sales of season tickets to nearly 17,000 this season, including club seats and suites, but cut off sales to ensure that as many as 1,500 tickets could be sold on a single-game basis. Team owner Ted Leonsis said in an interview with WTOP on Tuesday that the team may consider making more season tickets available if the full allotment of single-game tickets isn’t sold. There is a waiting list for season tickets.

“Part of it is that people think we’re sold-out,” Leonsis said. “So I get e-mails from people saying, ‘I can’t go to the games.’ So we carved out seats. … It’s still great attendance. I have no complaints. But we have left some tickets aside. And to be sincere, if we don’t sell them day of game, I’ll reconsider selling maybe another 500 season tickets.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, roughly 500 tickets remained for the game against San Jose, a total that includes a handful of unclaimed tickets that had been set aside for Sharks players and personnel. Hundreds of tickets are also available through the Washington Capitals Ticket Exchange, which allows season-ticket holders to sell tickets they can’t use. About 1,300 tickets for Thursday’s game were up for re-sale on the site, with many priced at face value. StubHub.com, another popular reseller, showed about 100 tickets available for as little as $12.

Caps spokesman Kurt Kehl said that, on average, about 800 tickets are available for each home game this season.

Bill Sutton, a sports marketing and revenue consultant and associate director of the DeVos Sport Business Management graduate program at the University of Central Florida, said it’s not surprising the team has some tickets available despite its popularity.

“I’m real supportive of placing a cap on season tickets because you don’t want to cut the marketplace off from access,” Sutton said. “But as soon as you say, ‘We have no more season tickets to sell,’ half the populous probably thinks there’s no more tickets.”

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