In an email to season ticket holders, the Washington Capitals have announced that PDFs printed at home will no longer be an option for entry to games next season. Instead, only the Caps’ mobile ticket solution, STH cards, and traditional paper tickets will be honored.
The decision, which also applies to the Wizards, will have a significant impact on the secondary market.
Print-at-home PDF tickets make last-minute sales possible on systems like StubHub, SeatGeek, and Craigslist. Under the new policy, those kinds of transactions will still be possible, but only using the Capitals’ partnered re-sale platform, Ticketmaster TicketExchange.
The Capitals hope the move will streamline the ticketing process, provide better intelligence about fan attendance, and minimize fraud.
The move away from PDFs is becoming increasingly common in professional sports.
While the Caps will be the first NHL team to get rid of PDFs, the Wizards follow the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves to do so. Those teams don’t allow paper tickets of any kind and set price floors for the secondary market, whereas the Capitals will not set a price floor, according to a Caps representative. The New York Yankees, somewhat notoriously, eliminated print-at-home tickets earlier this year, and the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys have a setup very similar to the Caps.
Here’s the email the team sent to season ticket holders:
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