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Capitals raise ticket prices again

As you might have heard, the Capitals recently sent out ticket invoices to season ticket holders, and the headline is that prices are going up for the second third straight year. This is a kind of complicated matter, and lots of numbers are involved, so I'm going to try to break down a few of the issues, Q&A style. You can also read much more about all this at the Caps site, or at On Frozen Blog, Japers Rink or the Caps message board.

How much are prices increasing?

Even on this question, there's no simple answer. There is one set of season-ticket prices for existing ticket holders who renew by March 12, and another set for people who sign up after that deadline. This is the first time the franchise is offering a discount for existing ticket holders.

For people who renew by the deadline, prices are increasing anywhere from 13 percent (lower bowl) to 33 percent (corner 400 level). For people who sign up after March 12, prices are increasing anywhere from 16 percent (lower bowl) to 50 percent (corner 400 level). There's a full list of the dollar and percentage increases at the bottom of this post.

How much did prices increase last year?

Anywhere from 5 percent (lower bowl) to 20 percent (Goal Zone) for season-ticket holders.

What about gate prices?

The team hasn't announced what gate prices will cost next season, but they're also expected to increase, and will remain significantly higher than season-ticket prices. Gate prices increased much more dramatically than season-ticket prices last season, especially for premiere games, which were introduced for the first time. (There's now a three-tier system, red white and blue, that ranks the most appealing games.)

To give just one example, the difference in price between a mezzanine corner seat last season, and a premiere mezzanine corner seat this season was 160 percent. For a non-premiere game, that difference was 40 percent.

(I should also note that walk-up sales have essentially vanished since season tickets became such a prized commodity.)

How will the new ticket prices compare to other teams in the NHL?

As with everything, this isn't easy to answer. According to research by Team Marketing Report (via the NYT), the Caps ranked 21st in average ticket price this season. That's based on non-premium season-ticket prices. That data, though, is based on gate prices, not season-ticket prices.

According to the Caps, their season-ticket prices ranked 27th in the NHL this season, and they expect their prices to remain in the bottom third next year, where they've been since the lockout. Of course, they don't know what other teams will do yet. If you want to give the team the benefit of the doubt, you'd have to note that the Caps exist in one of the country's most expensive markets, and boast one of the NHL's most exciting teams.

"For a team that spends to the cap and produces a Stanley Cup contender on the ice, I think that actually offers a lot of value," Caps spokesman Nate Ewell told me.

(I'm unable to determine when the Caps' internal data on this differs from Team Marketing Report, which says it gets its information directly from the Caps.)

Why are the 400-level seats increasing by a larger percentage than 100-levels?

Ewell told me that the franchise was looking more at dollar amounts than percentages, trying to ensure that one account holder's actual payment would not increase dramatically more than another's. And so, if you look at the discount prices, for example, the per-game increases go like this as you work your way up: $11, $8, $11, $7, $7, $6. The average price increase is $7.43.

So the people with cheaper seats will see a smaller (but similar) increase in their actual payment. Since their existing bills were dramatically smaller, though, the percentage difference is much bigger.

Hold on, what happened to the Goal Zone?

These are the people who are really gonna feel it. There were about 350 discounted seats at the top of some 400 level sections in the end where the Caps shoot twice per game. These affected about 60 or 70 account holders.

In 2008-09, they cost $10 per game for season-ticket holders. In 2009-10, they cost $12 per game. Next year, they'll be folded into the regular mezzanine end cost structure, which means they'll go for $29 with the discount, which is an increase of 142 percent. That's no joke.

Ewell told me that the team used to maintain different tiers of pricing throughout the 400-level sections, but that the industry standard is to maintain one level through a section, and so those tiers were eliminated. These upper end seats, though, remained different, first as part of the Eagle's Nest game-day cheap seats, and then with this Goal Zone package. Now, that remnant of multiple tiers will be eliminated.

Any other questions? Put them below, and I'll try to figure it out. The larger (and obvious) point is that times are changing in D.C., and that the laws of supply and demand are at work here. The Redskins announced earlier this year that they won't increase season-ticket prices for the fifth straight season. Doesn't take an econ major to figure this one out.

The Prices, for March 12 Renewals

VIP-A: Increase from $220 to $246 (12 percent)
VIP-B: $135 to $156 (16 percent)
Center Preferred $85 to $96 (13 percent)
Lower Preferred: $63 to $71 (13 percent)
Loge Preferred: $45 to $56 (24 percent)
Mezzanine Center: $33 to $40 (21 percent)
Mezzanine End: $22 to $29 (32 percent)
Mezzanine Corner: $18 to $24 (33 percent)

The Prices, for post-March 12 buyers

VIP-A: Increase from $220 to $251 (14 percent)
VIP-B: $135 to $161 (19 percent)
Center Preferred $85 to $99 (16 percent)
Lower Preferred: $63 to $74 (17 percent)
Loge Preferred: $45 to $59 (31 percent)
Mezzanine Center: $33 to $43 (30 percent)
Mezzanine End: $22 to $32 (45 percent)
Mezzanine Corner: $18 to $27 (50 percent)

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 18, 2010; 10:59 AM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Comments

That stinks...I used to go to a bunch of games a year for 10-20 a pop, and now im almost priced out...im glad the caps are good, but I was happier when they were bad...i used to love going to the Verizon (MCI center) in college and having my choice of upper deck seat for 10 bucks...at least we have the glory days of the Nats right now...I hate how trendy DC is...http://lostintheboxes.com is a fan of the Sports Bog

Posted by: superyoda41 | February 18, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The owner chirps for the fans, but in the end - gets the fan in the wallet!

Posted by: caphcky | February 18, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Well now, this is definitely something to consider. Im debating whether or not I should switch from Wiz season tix to Caps tickets. The prices still arent sky high, and I may actually get to see some wins, so it might be worth it...

Posted by: KyminDC | February 18, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

One correction Dan, the Goal Zone seats were at the end the Caps defended, not shot, twice.

And while it goes without saying, I'll say it anyway...

If the Redskins had jacked up their prices by this much, there would be a lot of yelling and screaming going on right now about how evil Dan Snyder is. But it looks as if Ted is getting a pass, but let's see how this season plays out first.

It should also be noted that Ted has pulled a Snyderesque stunt and included the D.C. Admissions/Amusement tax on a serparate line for the first time. Those $22 tickets per game that went to $29 per game are actually now $31.90 per game. That's almost a $10 per game hike.

Snyder did the exact same thing (making the P.G. County Amusement tax a seperate line) at his last price hike five years ago and people complained up and down the street about it.

Posted by: CapsNut | February 18, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Win a Cup and none of this will matter. Fail again at the trade deadline and let the Pens, who did make the right trades, walk away with another cup and this will be bad I think.

Going to be a lot of pressure on the team this playoff year.

In reality though Ted has done a great job at keeping prices down. We should all appreciate that. Even with this increase

Posted by: Mike4169 | February 18, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

...used to sit in the last row at the Cap Centre for $2.50 ($3.50 ticket with a student discount). Did that too many times to remember. Remember guaranteed win nights... and sat in section 110 with my wife lots at $14.50 a pop, and all the Bernie Wolfe fights you could stand! You really can't complain about the increase because they offer so much these days!

Posted by: 1of9000 | February 18, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Told ya. Leonsis is becoming more Snyderesque every day. Could be justified if this team actually won a Cup. But they really haven't done squat and they seem a bit too full of themselves.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 18, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it a bit early to announce next season's ticket prices? I thought that sort of thing is dealt with in the off-season.

Posted by: tundey | February 18, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

if they are raising them this much they should drop the stupid ticketmaster ticket forward fees. wizards don't have them...

Posted by: MNMNT | February 18, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The point has been made that the Caps still rank in the bottom of the League as far as ticket prices, but the bang for your buck is near the top of the league. As a STH, there is no doubt I will be holding onto my seats. The only issue I have with raising prices is it just means it's that much longer before I can move to the lower bowl (wishful thinking).

Hell, Redskins fans have nothing to cheer for, an owner who hates them, and they still hold onto their seats. This is not a matter of hurting the fans in the wallet - it's business. It's supply and demand. Guarantee next year sells out every game as well.

Posted by: Rainier1 | February 18, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I suppose it's nice to know how much the amusement tax is, but I'm less happy that it's not folded into the ticket price. I fully realize that it's still a good deal, but my full season seat is now over 1,000 bucks. That's about a 12% jump over the current season, which was about 920 in total.

Posted by: EricS2 | February 18, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

As a season tix holder I am feeling this raise in prices but I can't really get mad at Ted, its not like he has made any money off the caps in the history of his investment.

Posted by: caps512 | February 18, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Going to a Caps game is dirt cheap relative to a) other options in DC and b) other NHL options. Dirt. Cheap.

The plan all along was to do this and Leonsis was honest about it. He's pulling the wool over no one's eyes. He's pulling the cost of attending a game closer to the benefit you get from attending, and even so it remains an excellent bargain.

The supply is there now. If you don't like the prices, you don't have to go. It's smart business and it's reasonable. Comparing this modest price increase to something Dan Snyder would do doesn't hold water.

Posted by: ThisGuy | February 18, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The other difference between Leonsis and Snyder is that the Caps tickets are priced near the bottom of the league and the Skins tickets are priced near the top of the league. So, the Skins are horrible and you pay premium money to watch them, and the Caps are great and you pay discount money to watch them. Seems like Leonsis could have raised prices even more than he did.

Posted by: rdavi26 | February 18, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

No, the problem is that the Caps haven't won anything, yet they are acting like they have. And spare me the stuff about Leonsis not making any money. Sports teams appreciate in value even if they don't have a positive cash flow. Plus Leonsis and his group own 44% of the Wiz and the arena and they have all along. So I never bought that nonsense about them losing money hand over fist.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 18, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

as a STH, all i can say is OUCH!!

Posted by: doughless | February 18, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The caps were still in the red at the end of last seanon right? are they gonna get into the black this year? Next year, with the new prices? I don't follow the $ that close so anyone with that info it would be great.

Posted by: alex35332 | February 18, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

You guys know this is pro sports, right? You paying a ton more cash to watch hockey has nothing to do with whether the Caps "have won anything yet". It's all about supply and demand. I'm going to elbow drop the first person who cries about ticket prices after the Caps lose in the Eastern Conference finals. You're not purchasing a "right" to watch a championship. You're just watching games that may or may not end well.

Posted by: Irish4 | February 18, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Irish, that doesn't fly. That is the same loser mentality that infects all to many Caps fans. Winning the Cup is all that matters. Nothing else.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 18, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Here's the thing - the Caps sold many of their seats - particularly in the upper bowl - at steep discounts as the squad was on the rebuild and upswing.

That wasn't going to last forever.

With tickets going for several times face value on the secondary market and even at the window (single game v. package), you have to expect and accept that demand now outpaces supply and prices will rise.

Or, Ted could continue subsidizing your fandom and start looking to dismantle the team again.

You keep prices low as you build to keep a fan base interested and fill the arena - once the team is good enough to sell itself, then you raise prices to generate enough revenue to keep sustain that success.

Posted by: SMinDC | February 18, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Speaking as a season ticket holder with mezzanine corner seats, I don't really have a problem with this at all. Yes, my seats are going up 33 percent in price per game, but I've only been paying $18 a seat all year for the hottest sports ticket in town. Sure, I sit in one of the last rows of the arena, but I'm in the building, and that's an incredibly cheap price for an incredibly entertaining product. Do I want to see the prices increase? Of course not. But I can't say that charging $24 for those seats next year is somehow out of line. (And my playoff ticket prices for those seats are 27, 32, 37 and 42, ascending by round. So 42 bucks a ticket if the Caps make the Stanley Cup Finals? That's pretty awesome.)

Posted by: TheFingerman | February 18, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Looks like I'll be going to even less Caps games then. Can barely get tix anymore with all the bandwagoners gobbling them up. What's left on the resale site is usually ridiculously overpriced. At least I can still see my Nats play and get an awesome seat for less than $20. Looking forward to the start of the season and nicer weather. Oh, and Caps better win the friggin Cup and not choke out early this year.

Posted by: futbolclif | February 18, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

He could have raised the ticket prices more, but maybe he remembers the last time - when Jagr was here and many of us were priced out of the arena. Hockey fans are regular people, not corporate bigwigs. Hockey fans may also play or have kids who play hockey and that's very expensive. Hockey fans will keep their tickets win or lose, but the corporate folks won't (check out the Wizards for that). I hope it doesn't go up again in 2011 because I doubt I will get a raise in the current economy.

Posted by: didnik | February 18, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Go RED WINGS!

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | February 18, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

had season tix last year and this current year in the goal zone. won't be able to afford the increase for next year unfortunately. bummer.

Posted by: bflo | February 18, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

It is why I do not own season tickets... I can se them on TV and sometimes get the Free tickets (Other times pay). This move will coincide with his purchase of the Les bulleis and the phone booth, which means a huge profit out the gate. This was a Snyderesque move but with his honesty and openess the last few years, he definitely got the pass in DC..

Posted by: rvanags | February 18, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Minor ouch, but when you consider ALL weekend games have a face value of 50 or greater (65 for premium games) its still around 50% off the face value. The problem is going to be that in the past some of the lesser games would only go for 20 dollars, which is pretty much face. If we can't resell tickets we will actually take a loss on the crappy games.

Posted by: Natstural | February 18, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

One small point of fact: We had season tickets for about 15 years in the 1980s and 1990s, and existing season ticket holders in that period got discounts when the prices went up on several occasions. As suburbanites, we surrendered when the team moved downtown, but at the time we left, our season tickets on the blue line 12 rows up from the ice averaged $37 per game. The good old days!

Posted by: JoeDalhart | February 18, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Once Ted becomes sole owner of both the Capitals and the Wizards, maybe he will consider have cross over packages where you can select games for both the Caps and the Wiz. Maybe even some free Wiz games as part of a Caps package, since the Wiz will suck so much for the next few years!

Posted by: JohnWWW | February 18, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I am a season ticket holder and I don't mind the increase at all. You want to win you have to pay the price to field a good team. Caps rank in the bottom of NHL for ticket prices, so the increase is needed. You wanna a winner you will pay the price to see them. I sit Mezzanine Center so its only an extra 500 or so for entire season, not bad since they offer the payment plan which most teams do not..People will always complain no matter what sports owners do. You drop ticket prices you pay less to the players and you don't get a good team. You raise tickets prices you have the cash flow too sign the players... I am happy to be a season ticket holder and why paying more stinks, I don't mind it at all.. GO caps!

Posted by: CapsBaby | February 18, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I am a season ticket holder and I don't mind the increase at all. You want to win you have to pay the price to field a good team. Caps rank in the bottom of NHL for ticket prices, so the increase is needed. You wanna a winner you will pay the price to see them. I sit Mezzanine Center so its only an extra 500 or so for entire season, not bad since they offer the payment plan which most teams do not..People will always complain no matter what sports owners do. You drop ticket prices you pay less to the players and you don't get a good team. You raise tickets prices you have the cash flow too sign the players... I am happy to be a season ticket holder and why paying more stinks, I don't mind it at all.. GO caps!

Posted by: CapsBaby | February 18, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

This is the price of success, people. You don't get to see a top-5 team for bottom-5 prices. It's not "Snyderesque" because the Caps are actually a product worth watching. It would be Snyderesque to raise prices while the team sucked.

What can I say? If you want the team to be good, it's going to get expensive. Deal with it, most people on here sound like whiny, entitled, brats.

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 18, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

So pogues, I guess teams should give away tickets for free until they win a championship? Otherwise, I have no idea what your point is.

Posted by: capsfan77 | February 18, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"It's not "Snyderesque" because the Caps are actually a product worth watching. It would be Snyderesque to raise prices while the team sucked."

That's pure, unadulterated B.S. my friend. If the Redskins were coming off a Super Bowl win, were considered heavy favorites to win it all again the next year, and Snyder jacked prices up $20 a pop on people; there would be all kinds of yelling and screaming about it.

Nobody would be offering excuses about "this is the price of success people," "they're a team actually worth watching," or "their prices are some of the lowest in the league."

It would be nothing but "Snyder raping the fans again." "Snyder finally puts a winner on the field and he uses it as an excuse to brazenly line his pockets."

But Ted, who actually has fewer playoff wins and as many league titles as Dan does, gets a pass. Why?

http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20100212/OPINION01/2120341

Imagine if Dan did that to a customer?

Posted by: CapsNut | February 18, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Well I just got my season ticket renewal package in the mail and I have already renewed. As far as I can tell the gate prices for my section will not be going up next year. The price I pay for them did go up by some $11 dollars though. Ah well I guess I will have to tighten up the old belt and eliminate some thing from the budget. Let's see do I really need to eat three times a day? I also remember the days when my lower bowl (100 level) seats were less the $40 bucks for the season. I am just so glad that I get to see the best players play, so I will just suck it up and live with it.

Posted by: estuart01 | February 18, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The only thing Snyderesque about this is that he did this BEFORE the playoffs. And i don't know if this is normal timing for price increase announcements or not.

But, the man knows he couldn't pull off such price increases for next year if there was a choke job in this year's playoffs.

In the end: Knew this was coming. Can't exactly argue unless you don't buy that Ted is only breaking even on the Caps.

Demand is at an all time high. There is room to raise prices. He's gonna do it.

Hey, the team is fun to watch, no?

Posted by: CF11555 | February 18, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Snyder's definitely a jerk, but Ted is very much like Snyder. Ted, however, gets away with it because he's a jolly fat man with a smile and "accessible" to the fans.

Posted by: c_e_daniel | February 18, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

My only beef with this is that they'll cost that much more on the secondary market, which is where I usually get my tickets (when I pay for them). It kills me to pay $70 for a $40 upper level ticket to see them take on some mediocre team.

Posted by: sammyliz01 | February 18, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

saw this coming, we have a great product to go see. just hope the beer prices don't go up. that's where they kill ya

Posted by: donkey1 | February 18, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

There is zero correlation between Avg. ticket price and performance on the ice. It's all about location, location, location (and therefore demand). Here are the teams with the 7 lowest avg. ticket prices for 2009-2010:

24) Washington $41.66
25) Colorado $40.62
26) Carolina $38.38
27) Dallas $37.80
28) Phoenix $37.45
29) Buffalo $36.43 (weird?)
30) St. Louis $29.94

Of those, only Dallas is lowering their avg. price.

Here are the Top 5:

1) Toronto $76.15 (increasing)
2) Montreal $64.26
3) Vancouver $62.05 (increasing)
4) Boston $61.40
5) Minnesota $61.28

When was the last time there was NOT a sellout in Toronto or Montreal?

Point is, we are spoiled silly here and it's because the Caps sucked for so long AND we live about as far south as you can get without singing Dixie.

If DC is truly going to hype itself as a burgeoning "Hockeytown" then the fans will pay the price at the gate. And the fact that tickets are going for so much on the secondary market for all (not just the "big" games) is a testament to what people - whether they have just joined the bandwagon or not- are willing to pay. Ted is a businessman, and he is acting according to the market.

Snyder is a businessman and he is acting according to the market as well. Unfortunately, Skins fans recognize the market demand too, and sell their tickets to opposing fans for outrageous prices. At least Ted is still packing the house with RED.

Posted by: Rainier1 | February 18, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Rainier: What do the three teams immediately BELOW the Caps average tickets price have in common? ALL HAVE WON CUPS...........The Caps have a record of futility unmatched by many teams in hockey. Thirty five years and never coming close to a Cup. Yet now they are going to stick it to the fans again (after also doing so last season?) Win a damn Cup.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 18, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I think anyone who raises ticket prices anywhere should get the death penalty.

Posted by: playahatah | February 18, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Anyone complaining about this is a pathetic loser (and I guarantee of a certain political persuasion) who thinks they are entitled to anything they want at zero cost. Yet these same people would complain if we didn't sign our best players to the best contracts so we could compete every year for a championship.

Prices are significantly lower than the Wizards, who haven't been good in decades and very reasonable compared with the Redskins, who only have 8 home games per year anyway.

Leonsis is one of the best owners in professional sports and those who love to complain about anything (again, those entitled "better than others" folk) will of course cry wolf about the very basis of our economy - supply/demand/capitalism.

Posted by: Section104 | February 18, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

If the demand for tickets is higher than the supply of seats, what should Leonsis do? If he didn't raise prices, the tickets would sell out quickly. You ability to get tickets would depend on whether your browsing session, among hundreds of competing browsing sessions, was able to reach the 'buy tickets' page instead of the "please try again" page. Scalpers would be incentivised to buy tickets and resell them on the resale market to take advantage of the ticket arbitrage between what they cost and what people are willing to pay for them. Why shouldn't Leonsis keep that money himself and reinvest in the team?

Posted by: niceshoes1 | February 18, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Ya want exciting and great players Ya schmuck's? Then Ya gotta pay for 'em. Nobody can guarantee Stanley Cups. Leonsis has steadily improved the team and brought us great Players and a great Coach. If that ain't good enough for any of you belly-akers go suck on lemons and give up your season tickets I'll buy them.

Posted by: duckyjimpond | February 18, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I do the Power Play option, which lets me pay for my tickets over 12 months, interest free. This comes out to about $14 more a month for me. I just cannot complain about that, considering the entertainment I get in return.

Posted by: amberlynne | February 18, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Who does Nate Ewell think he's fooling with his "industry standard" nonsense? It's simple supply and demand, you sell out every seat you raise prices. Not brain surgery.

Posted by: bukaki23 | February 18, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

What a pathetic bunch of losers. Some of you have your lips firmly planted on Leonsis' fat butt. This team hasn't won diddly. But the loser mentality of so many Caps "fans" continues to shine through............

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 18, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

All of you who stated that prices don't include the DC admissions tax are wrong. Like most of the comments here, I sit in the upper level, but I felt my prices were very realistic. I have three $29 season tickets, and when I renewed today, they were $1,232.50 each. 41 regular season games at $29 and 3 preseason games at half price just the same way it was last year. If you're going to spout hatred at least use facts.

Posted by: capsandcups2007 | February 18, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

PS - remember when the team sucked and prices got CHEAPER? It goes in waves, people.

Posted by: capsandcups2007 | February 18, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

"And spare me the stuff about Leonsis not making any money. Sports teams appreciate in value even if they don't have a positive cash flow."

That is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. I hope for your sake you don't own any sports franchises.

Posted by: jec4p | February 19, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

winning costs money, folks. leonsis can't keep ticket prices at their low levels for long if you want to keep seeing backstrom feed ovie the puck, followed by semin and knuble making magic.

Posted by: asdffdsa1 | February 19, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Unlike the NFL, there's no huge TV contract underwriting player salaries for the owners. Someone has to pay up to retain players of the caliber Washington has now. Cannot blame Leonsis one bit ... he put his neck on the line when the franchise was sucking wind. It's time to balance the books.

Posted by: VirginiaLonghorn | February 19, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Jec: you obviously know nothing about the sports business. The Capitals franchise is worth well more than what Leonsis and his group paid even with all the supposed losses. You need to learn something before you spout off. Leonsis has done some good things. But this hero worship has to stop. He's a guy that physically attacked a fan (something Snyder never did, by the way). He's misrepresented his financial situation for years by portraying how much he's supposedly lost with the Caps but neglecting to mention the offset from the ownership interest in the Wiz and particularly the arena. He's now sticking it to his fans every way he can, even though the team hasn't won anything. The guy ain't a saint.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 19, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20100212/OPINION01/2120341

Imagine if Dan did that to a customer?"

---

Hey I had tickets to the Thrashers game the night of the first snow. I couldn't make it and had to eat the tickets.

You know who I blame? NO ONE. It was an act of god. The game went on, and I couldn't make it. The difference between me and the writer of that terrible "article," is that I'm not a whiny, entitled brat.

If you can't afford the price of success, it sucks to be you. Get over yourself, you "deserve" nothing.

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 19, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"The Capitals franchise is worth well more than what Leonsis and his group paid even with all the supposed losses."

---

Do you have an actual source for this statement, besides your own ass?

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 19, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

poguesmahoe, the answer is simple. If the price is too high for you don't go. Leonsis is selling a product. If you feel that the price is too high you don't need to purchase it. Every other fan has the same decision. Demand has never been higher for Caps tickets than it is right now. Leonsis would be an absolute idiot not to take advantage of that. He is going to set prices at a rate that brings him the most money in the long run. That doesn't make him a bad person. That makes him a business man. He's put one of the 5 best NHL products on the ice this year and it looks like it will remain that way for a few more years to come. Personally, I will be renewing my tickets.

Posted by: ouvan59 | February 19, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm in the lower bowl and I really don't care about this because the product has gotten better every year. Please do NOT compare Ted to Snyder - anyone who does that here is just a miserable person looking for a new reason to complain. If you think we have it bad get this: when we went to Toronto to see the Caps, the exact same seats in the ACC that we have were $275 PER seat. I pay $71 per seat for a 1st place team. Chew on that before you decide to complain, and enjoy these good times at VC.

Posted by: Roose | February 19, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I have had seats in 109 for a couple of years now, and I have absolutely no problem with this increase. I have already renewed my tickets for next year. Like many people have already posted, you get what you pay for.

As far as some people asking the reason for doing it now versus the off season, like there is some conspiracy to get the fans locked into some deal just in case we don't win the Cup is funny. Every year it happens around the same time, not just this year.

Posted by: G0C4ps | February 19, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Anyone complaining about this is a pathetic loser (and I guarantee of a certain political persuasion) who thinks they are entitled to anything they want at zero cost...

Posted by: Section104
--------------------------

Section104: The only loser here is the one bringing politics into a sports/business discussion. Your transparent bashing of Democrats has no place in this discussion.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | February 19, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

To all of you complaining, seriously, shut up. There are many reasons as to why Ted raised the prices of season tickets, and they are all logical. First and foremost, he is LOSING revenue, due to the fact that all the season tickets are sold out, most seats are being sold at substantial, sometimes more than 50% discounts, so he had to recoup his costs somewhere (they are not raising gate prices). Also, even with the increase, they are still in the bottom half of the league in prices, when your producing probably the most enjoyable hockey the NHL has seen in the last 15 years.

How dare you people say Leonsis is turning into Snyder, that is ignorance. Snyder cannot raise costs, infact... he should lower his costs. Skins v. Cowboys games being 80% capacity, people not being able to give away seats, thats a problem.

And for the people complaining, if its such a big deal, don't go to the games. You will still make a SUBSTANTIAL profit by not attending the games and selling them for face value.

If its such a big deal to you, cancel your seats, and let someone else who would be dying to have season tickets at this point.

Posted by: mrherson | February 19, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

In addition, Leonsis still loses massive amounts of money due to the fact that he does not make any money on concessions since he does not own VC at this point, which hopefully will change soon.

Posted by: mrherson | February 19, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Despite sounding like the village idiot, I do understand and agree somewhat with what "poguesmahone" is saying. The ultimate goal every season is to win a Stanley Cup - something that has alluded the Caps franchise since their creation. It seems that this Caps team follows the same path of being knocked out of the playoffs, typically by the eventual Stanley Cup winners.

However, you can't really blame Leonsis or management for the teams that happened before their time, but, if this year follows that same routine, I would start to question what management has done with this team (aka trade deadline moves and player acquisitions).

What "poguesmahone" doesn't understand is that the DC area is looking for any [winning] team at all to support right now. It's smart business to jump on top of that wave regardless of whether you win a cup or not. The Wizards suck, the Redskins are in shambles, Nationals, well aren't going to be contenders..

Posted by: ryangee | February 19, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Way too many sychophantic Caps fans willing to accept failure. Sure Ted, stick it to us even though your team hasn't won squat. We'll take it. Thank you sir, may I have another........... Sometimes I think Caps fans deserve the epic FAIL that surrounds this team.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 19, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

There are some really ignorant people posting on this board. Consider yourself educated. The November 2009 issue of Forbes listed the Caps value at $183 million and pointed out that the team was purchased for $85 million. A tidy little profit wouldn't you say? And that doesn't even consider, from a cash flow perspective, their income from the interest in the Wiz and arena. So next time you hear Leonsis whine about losing money on the Caps, take it with the big fat grain of salt it deserves.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 19, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"The November 2009 issue of Forbes listed the Caps value at $183 million and pointed out that the team was purchased for $85 million."

---

You realize that you can raise the value of something, even though you're not making any money on it, right? As long as you're investing more than you're gaining in value, you're still losing money.

This is simple math, and basic logic - two things at this point I've gathered you completely lack.

Example:

Say I buy a house for $100K. I spend $10k putting in hardwood floors and $5k putting in a deck. I then get the house appraised and it's valued at $112k. The value of my house went up, but I still "lost money." Does that make sense?

I'm sorry, you were calling who ignorant again?

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 19, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"their income from the interest in the Wiz and arena."

---

Also, you realize that the Capitals don't have "an interest in the Wiz and the Arena," Ted Does, right? Therefore, even if he is making money on those venture (which I doubt), he can still "lose money on the Caps."

Another Example: Say I own stock in Coca-Cola, Best Buy, and Ford. If the value of Coke and BB stock go up, but Ford goes down, I still Lost money on Ford. Perhaps I didn't lose money on the sum total of my investment, but I did lose money.

This is all very simple, yet seems tough for you to grasp. I'm either guessing that you are an idiot, or a 12 y.o. Penguins Fan (or both).

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 19, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Considering getting season tickets for the first time next year despite price increase.

Can someone tell me which end is the home goal for 2 periods?

Can't tell from the seating chart on the website and can't remember from personal experience.

If you are in section 105 are you behind the Caps' goalie for periods 1 and 3?

Posted by: Chesapeake36 | February 19, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Considering getting season tickets for the first time next year despite price increase.

Can someone tell me which end is the home goal for 2 periods?

Can't tell from the seating chart on the website and can't remember from personal experience.

If you are in section 105 are you behind the Caps' goalie for periods 1 and 3?

-------------------------------------------


If you are in 105 you do sit behind the goal that the Caps shoot twice on. However, if you are not on the list to get the tickets, you may be to late. Good luck though.

Posted by: G0C4ps | February 19, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Duffman: you're the idiot. You first challenged the comments that the franchise had appreciated significantly in value. When proven to be a know nothing on that, you're now trying to dissemble your way out of it. Point is, the franchise has gone up 100 million dollars in value in ten years. How many investments do you have that have done that? And Leonsis and his group (it isn't just Leonsis as you claim) have been balancing any losses on the Caps with profits from their interest in the Wizards and the arena. So saying they are losing money hand over fist is highly misleading. You really need to educate yourself before you pop off.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 19, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't suppose anybody knows anything about what will happen to the Acela Club seats? I know those are through the Verizon Center but I'm really anxious to know how much my season tix will increase!

Posted by: LGuite | February 19, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"You first challenged the comments that the franchise had appreciated significantly in value. When proven to be a know nothing on that, you're now trying to dissemble your way out of it. Point is, the franchise has gone up 100 million dollars in value in ten years"

I was challenging your assertion in the thread that "(sic) Since the Value of the franchise has gone up, He can't be losing money on the Team."

There's no doubt to anyone that the value of the franchise has gone up. It has the best player in the entire league on it, not to mention a whole stable of stars. The team has been on fire for the last two and a half years, and has sold out for god know how many games in a row. Of Course the value of the franchise has gone up.

But, again *That doesn't mean he's not losing money on it* I even illustrated with a very simple real-life scenario, that I'm honestly not shocked that you couldn't grasp.

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 19, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"And Leonsis and his group (it isn't just Leonsis as you claim) have been balancing any losses on the Caps with profits from their interest in the Wizards and the arena. So saying they are losing money hand over fist is highly misleading. You really need to educate yourself before you pop off."

----

Balancing losses? Again, you're missing the whole point. It's not surprising since you've proven yourself to be a dullard - even in this post where you ADMIT THAT HE'S LOSING MONEY ON THE CAPS.

Seriously, Tard, you just admitted what everyone has been saying. No one is saying that Ted himself, or his ownership group, is losing money. Ted's never said that. All he's ever said is that he's losing money on the Caps.

All your Derp arguments have been "He can't be losing money on the Caps, their value has gone up" which has already been proven completely wrong.

Then you Said "He can't be losing money on the caps, because he's balancing the money that he loses on the caps with money he makes from elsewhere."

Seriously, do you even understand how big of an idiot you are?

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 19, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Duffman: you're a tool. The point is that pro sports teams make the bulk of their money by appreciation. That's a fact. So the cash flow isn't as important as it is with some industries. You claimed it wasn't true with the Caps. You were proven wrong. And you are disingenuously trying to twist the discussion. No one ever said that Leonsis and his group weren't losing money on the Caps. The lease they signed pretty much assure that. But that is highly misleading given the subsidies they get from the Wiz and the arena, which even a nitwit like you recognized. THAT was the point, which you can't dispute.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 19, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

So if the franchise goes up $100M, and he loses $15M a year over ten years, explain the "money-making" net...

After all, players are costing him $57M, and ticket sales are his biggest revenue generator, since he doesn't own VC and receive this sponsorship dollars, and the NHL's media contract is awful. Even in the good times, they can top out at what, $40M in ticket sales? In the bad times, I'm sure it was less than that.

Pogues, you're right that the team hasn't won a championship, but they've gotten progressively better over the last three seasons. Even you have to admit that. And people like us are banking on the fact that they're going to contend for a Cup over the next several years.

Meanwhile, people like you sit on the sidelines, bashing every decision the team makes, then you cheer like crazy when a team wins it all, finally proclaiming how much of a fan you've been the whole time.

Posted by: capsandcups2007 | February 19, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Capsandcups, no way Leonsis and his group have been losing 15 million. The arena is highly profitable and the Wiz are profitable as well. That's all nonsense. Second, it is people like you, who keep your lips so firmly planted on Leonsis' butt, that are part of the problem. Being a fan doesn't mean putting ones brain in a blind trust, like you have apprantly done.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 19, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

By the way, no one forced Leonsis and company to take the deal he took from Pollin. So spare me the crocodile tears.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 19, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Good point. Your feedback is definitely being taken into account, all over the league. Next time you have a power lunch with Bettman, Stern, and Gooddell, please let us simps in on the ground floor, oh wise one.

Posted by: capsandcups2007 | February 19, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

@poguesmahone

Then don't renew or attend a game...no one is forcing you...PERIOD. You have made your point, stop your whining.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 19, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Typical butt kissing response. Thank you,sir, may I have another? What a pathetic fan base. There ARE some Caps fans that really care about winning, but they seem to be in the small minority.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 20, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

poguesmahone, give it a rest. We care about winning, but only one team can win the cup each year. Several teams provide good entertaining hockey and have winning seasons year in and year out. I would prefer that model to one where we get rentals, win the cup, ship them out, and are not heard from again for years.

Posted by: didnik | February 22, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"There ARE some Caps fans that really care about winning, but they seem to be in the small minority."

No, we all care about winning. Those of us that aren't ignorant tools acknowledge that winning comes with a price.

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 22, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

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