After winning four consecutive games to take round one from the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Washington Capitals are now focusing on their round two matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The team wants Capital One Arena to be full of loud and proud Caps fans and they’re doing what they can to keep Pens fans out.
Tuesday morning, RMNB was forwarded multiple copies of an email campaign the Capitals sent out to season-ticket plan holders. The Capitals are holding a pre-sale from 11 AM to 6 PM today for tickets to the team’s four potential games in round two. But there’s one important caveat. To ensure “an amazing atmosphere” at Capital One Arena, the Capitals are forbidding the pre-sale tickets to be resold.
From the Capitals:
The Washington Capitals are excited to be advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Dates and times of all Round 2 playoff games will be announced by the NHL at the conclusion of Round 1.
We are offering Club Red 365 members the first opportunity to purchase additional limited inventory at preferred pricing through this exclusive pre-sale. Tickets purchased through this special offer will not be eligible for resale posting as we plan to create an amazing atmosphere in the building where we want all fans Rocking the Red in ALL CAPS.
Due to the geographical location of the two teams, a good amount of Penguins fans routinely make it into Capital One Arena for games. In fact, after Pittsburgh victories, hundreds of Penguins fans usually celebrate on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery.
Over the last two decades as majority owner, Leonsis has done his best to keep Penguins fans out. In 2001, via the Washington Post’s Thomas Heath, Leonsis blocked Penguins fans from buying tickets on the team’s website ahead of their first-round series.
The AOL Time Warner mogul wrote a computer program that prevented Pittsburgh fans from buying tickets on the Capitals’ Web site.
“Pretty cool, isn’t it?” Leonsis said. “I got a lot of e-mails from Pittsburgh saying I was mean-spirited and unfair. I don’t care. I’m going to keep doing it.”
Eight years later, the team reportedly blocked Penguins fans from buying tickets over the phone and utilized “geo-mapping” and private pre-sales online.
Leonsis, in 2009, explained his rationale.
“Yeah, we have a database now and we can see someone’s ticket-buying [history], and the way around it is to buy season tickets or become a Caps fan,” Ted Leonsis said during an XM interview as transcribed by the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg. “And so I don’t feel any shame in this. I think I’m doing exactly the right thing, and I don’t feel I need to apologize. There’s other franchises and other teams that want to sell tickets, and really don’t care who they sell it to. But frankly, I do, and I think I’m doing the right thing the right way. And it shows: the building was all red. If there were 500 Penguins fans in the building, I think that would be a lot.”
Leonsis said he had “no shame at all” in the strategy.
“It’s in our best interest to fill the building with people who are wearing red and are loyal to our team. And so I’m unabashed in that,” he concluded.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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