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More Caps-United Synergy

In case you're tired of reading about D.C. United players, here's something new: D.C. United fans!!!!

Yeah, I've been meaning to write more about the Barra Brava invasion, planned for next Friday night's Ducks game. But some Caps fans gave me the perfect excuse on a recent msgboard thread. Here's what Zeebo wrote:

I think it would be interesting if the Caps implemented some sort of fan club seating similar to DC United. Take a bunch of crazies and give them an entire section, or several if necessary. Let 'em bring drums, I don't care. Better yet, give them sections on the club level since few people are ever there. (I can hear the complaints from the luxury suite owners now!) Even better, put them at the end, behind the goal the Caps shoot at twice. They'll sing songs, wave flags, curse the oppopsition, taunt the opposing goalie, and generally make the arena a heckuva lot louder than it is now. When you go to a DC United game, it seems like at least a quarter of the place is fan club seating, and they're loud as can be. They get the rest of the crowd into it.

Plus, it would be a decent gimmick. It might get some attention. People might come to the games to hear the crazies, and fall in love with the atmosphere. You never know.

Well, Zeebo, you're in luck. At least for one night. DCU SuperFan Duffman, who turns into LangwayMan at Caps games, has been sending me all the details. The Barra are bringing 45 people in the following seats; they wanted me to warn nearby fans what to expect (see below):

Section 406
Row H seats 1-15
Row J seats 1-15
Row K seats 1-10
Row L seats 1-10

I know this probably doesn't have much chance of success, but Duffman also wanted me to send a special invitation to Goat and The Horn Guy to join them, even if just for one period or one intermission or something. Btw, Horn Guy, it's unbelievable how easy it is to hear you on radio/TV broadcasts. Really impressive. Anyhow, Duffman promises the "Let's Go Caps" cheer will be "loud as [bleep] right away." Oh, and they're meeting at RFD before the game, so I assume all Caps fans are invited.

Also, if you're really curious about Caps attendance, Mike Vogel wrote an amazingly detailed piece on the correlation between success and ticket sales in the NHL. Can't imagine how long that one took to put together. Here are the relevant parts about the Caps:

This is the team's eighth full season in downtown Washington. The Caps have exceeded the 17,000 threshold (in average attendance) in two of those seasons. The first was 1998-99, the season immediately after the only Stanley Cup finals appearance in franchise history. But the injury-riddled Caps missed the playoffs that season, and attendance dropped to 14,486 as a result. When the club returned to the postseason, a boost to 15,534 was noted in 2000-01. In July of 2001, the Capitals made a blockbuster trade to acquire Jaromir Jagr from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Attendance jumped to an all-time franchise record of 17,341 in 2001-02. But again, the Caps could not sustain that gate success. They missed the playoffs and attendance subsequently tumbled.

Last season's average attendance of 13,905 was the lowest full season average since 1983-84. Currently, the Caps are 27th in the league with an average gate of 12,886. History shows that like most NHL teams, Washington's attendance can be expected to rise when it wins. Or when it makes a big splash in personnel acquisition market.

Or when it invites crazed soccer fans to have their own section. Here's what to expect:

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 1, 2006; 10:44 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , D.C. United  
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