Life just got a little more complicated for Washington Capitals fans who either need to unload tickets or want to make back some of their investment on the resale market.
After the fans of the Philadelphia Flyers made their presence known during the Capitals’ 3-2 overtime victory at Washington D.C.’s Verizon Center Sunday November 7, Capitals fans asked their brethren to take steps to ensure tickets to Capitals home games don’t end up in the hands of opposing fans.
Mike Holden, a Capitals fan and a Washington-based public relations and marketing executive, suggested on his blog Monday, November 8 that his fellow Capitals fans use Twitter and Facebook to sell tickets they cannot use. His reasoning is that it’s easier to find Capitals fans by entering Capitals-specific hashtags on Twitter (such as #Capitals or #Caps) and by surfing somebody’s Facebook page. Holden also wrote that fans should consider offering tickets to people they know personally who might not be passionate Capitals fans but would be far more likely to root for the local team than for the visitors.
Holden found an unlikely ally in Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, who also owns the Baltimore/Washington division of Ticketmaster. Leonsis wrote on his blog Tuesday, November 9 that while he wants all Capitals tickets to end up in the hands of Capitals fans, he doesn’t mind if season ticket holders put their ducats up for the highest bidder.
“It is capitalism at its best,” Leonsis wrote. “Supply and demand.”
Not all teams are as philosophical as the Capitals. In January 2007, the National Football League’s San Diego Chargers released 1,000 tickets to their upcoming playoff game against the New England Patriots but restricted sales to local residents only.
“When the [Indians] Pacers and [New York] Knicks used to play [in the National Basketball Association playoffs], Pacers ownership begged Pacers fans not to sell their tickets to brokers who might end up allocating the tickets to New York Knicks fans,” Alliance Tickets owner Roger Jones told TicketNews. “And the Indianapolis Colts, just a few years ago, [said] don’t sell your tickets to a broker because we don’t want non-Colts fans to get them. It happens every once in a while.”
Of course, when a team’s struggles result in an ample supply of tickets and meager local demand, its ownership is forced to welcome anyone, even if it means completely negating the home field or home court advantage. Boston Red Sox fans unable to get tickets to games at perpetually sold out Fenway Park have taken to traveling a few hours to the south to Camden Yards, where interest in the Baltimore Orioles has fallen dramatically during 13 straight losing seasons.
And even the Chargers had to open their doors to Patriots fans last month, when the Chargers were in danger of not selling out the game against the Patriots Sunday, October 24 and having it blacked out on local television. The Chargers tweeted Wednesday, October 20 that they were 1,000 fans shy of a sellout — and the Patriots retweeted it on their own Twitter account. The game did sellout and the Patriots reported on their Twitter during the game that “Patriots fans are well represented at Qualcomm Stadium today.”