The Washington Capitals notched their 364th consecutive sellout Saturday at Capital One Arena, as 18,506 tickets were sold for the team’s 2017-18 home opener against the Montreal Canadiens. But after three consecutive second-round exits and an offseason that saw the team shed much of its depth, fan interest — at least in seeing games live — may be wavering early in the season.
Here’s an example. Wednesday night, the Capitals are playing their most hated rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in a nationally televised game at Capital One Arena. Usually a sellout in the summer (at least in my experience), as of this morning there were more than 1,900 tickets still available on Ticketmaster between original sale and re-sale seats.
Here’s the seat map as of 9 PM Tuesday night.
Pink tickets are seats being resold, likely by season-ticket holders, and blue tickets are unsold tickets.
A quick analysis of the chart shows that there are tickets available in almost every section. And just over 10 percent of the Capital One Arena’s seats are available. Tickets can be bought for as low as $27.
I spoke to several Capitals season-ticket holders who told me that the number of tickets being resold is not necessarily shocking, especially this early into the season as fans try to recoup money on season tickets. There is also a lot of movement of tickets the day of a game.
But what is abnormal is how much the team has devoted to selling tickets to a matchup usually considered a prime game. Tuesday morning, the Capitals sent out a promotion for the team’s next three home games where they are offering two tickets and two t-shirts for $88.
Over the last few years, the Capitals have played impossibly good hockey, and at some point, combined with high NHL ticket prices (Caps ticket prices are middle of the road in comparison to all NHL teams), fan interest was going to plateau a bit. Despite a hot start, 7 goals in 3 games from their captain, and the NHL debut of Australian Nathan Walker, Capitals fans don’t seem that excited yet about the regular season.
If you’re interested in going to tonight’s game, you can buy tickets here.
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