The Caps' and Wizards' joint ticket operation
As Thomas Heath reported this week, Monumental Sports and Entertainment has consolidated some of the operations for the Caps, Wizards and Mystics in areas like ticket sales and sponsorships. (Ted Leonsis also briefly commented on the changes in his blog.)
The newly consolidated ticket sales organizations, Heath reported, will be led by the former Senior VP of Caps Ticket Sales Jim Van Stone, who will report to Caps President Dick Patrick, the vice chairman and COO of the new Monumental Sports and Entertainment. Since ticket sales is so often where fans interact with the business side of sports operations, I figured it would be worth asking Van Stone how this consolidation will affect season ticket holders.
"The long-term process is to build as much synergy as possible," he told me. "I don't know if people will notice within the first four weeks the changes, but it'll allow us to be a lot more efficient and create more value opportunities for people down the line."
What might this mean in practice? More communication and preferred access for Caps and Wizards ticket-holders to other events in the building, for example. More interplay between the guest-services staffers. One group-sales department for the entire building.
It also allows the Caps ticket-office access, for the first time, to the building's database of club- and suite-owners. The clubs and suites, of course, were sold by Washington Sports and Entertainment, which maintained the databases. So without the contact information, the Caps struggled to invite their own club- and suite-holders to events like the equipment sale or the annual convention pre-sale.
Within the ticket department, there will still be separate staffs for the Caps, and the Wizards/Mystics. The Caps will initially have seven dedicated sales reps and about a dozen guest services staffers (dedicated to servicing existing account-holders), while the basketball side has about 30 sales reps and a half-dozen guest services staffers. That sort of shows the differing state of the franchises; one needs to sell season tickets, and the other needs to interact with season-ticket holders.
On the Caps side, Van Stone said more than 2,000 people have put down (refundable) $500 deposits to join the Caps' season-ticket waitlist.
As for Wizards sales, Van Stone said things are off to a "really good start." He said in the past three or four weeks, they've sold more than 600 seats to new account holders for the 2010-'11 Wizards season.
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