Resale Report, a column focused on the secondary ticket market, runs every Wednesday here on BrooksLaichyear.com. Check out the first Resale Report from last week if you missed it.
Wednesday, February 13, 2012 Resale Report
Leonsis on ticket scalping at Verizon Center – “Selling tickets and sadly, buying tickets outside of Verizon Center is illegal. Scalping has become a major concern for many of our fans and they communicate these issues to us directly,” wrote Ted Leonsis, owner of the venue and three DC sports teams that play there.
In the age of online resellers such as StubHub and Ticket Exchange, it’s hard to believe that any buyers would make scalpers near a venue their source for tickets. Fraud protection and, in most cases, better prices are available through online outlets, which also don’t come with the risk of being stopped by the police or having to haggle with a scalper.
The chances of getting five people into Verizon Center for the price of one face-value ticket is a transaction that would be highly unlikely to ever occur outside the arena. But there are bargains to be had like that to games around the country on a regular basis when you use the more high-tech and legal ticket solutions. Unless you’ve waited until less than two hours before game time to purchase a ticket, when resellers have cut off resales, there’s hardly ever a reason to take your business to a scalper outside the venue. Even a tweet or a Facebook post in those last two hours before an event starts might yield tickets at a better price than purchasing them on the street.
So much for a victory tour? – The reigning Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings visited Detroit on Sunday afternoon for a nationally televised NHL on NBC game. On Friday, tickets for that Kings visit to the Wings were available starting at $15 on StubHub. On Monday, when L.A. played at St. Louis, tickets for that Blues home game were available for $7.95 on StubHub late that afternoon. The Kings at least appear to be a hot ticket back home in L.A. On Friday, they play the first of three home games in four days, as they face the Bluejackets, Avs and Ducks. Nothing is currently available on StubHub under $30 for any of those three games.
Yankees add new ticket resale option – The New York Yankees this week announced an agreement with Ticketmaster to create Yankees Ticket Exchange, providing fans with another option for buying and selling their game tickets. As reported by the New York Times Ken Belson, the team will provide fans with an incentive to use the new service over the popular StubHub: “Ticket holders will be charged only a 5 percent fee to sell their tickets, compared with 15 percent on StubHub. Buyers will be charged 10 percent of the resale value, the same as on StubHub.” Consumers (and brokers) can still unload or acquire Yankees tickets through StubHub and, with buyers being charged the same percentage on either service, it’s likely they’ll buy from the one that offers them the best ticket options or prices.
Cheap Valentine’s Day option in South Florida – The Florida Panthers have some of the lowest StubHub prices in hockey, with very few games starting at over $10. Valentine’s Day is no exception, as the Montreal Canadiens visit Sunrise. The lowest price ticket on StubHub for that game is currently listed for $8.00 and there are over 1,000 available. $35 will get you into the lower bowl presently. If last night’s sparse crowd in South Florida, when the Panthers hosted the Washington Capitals, is any indication, you and your date will have a pretty good chance at getting on the big screen. Own the Kiss Cam…or an entire section. On Saturday, it will be a much different resale story on Montreal, when the Canadiens return home to face Philadelphia. Seats on StubHub for the Flyers visit to Bell Centre currently start at $101 on StubHub.
Bargain alert for Caps fans – On Tuesday, February 26, the Carolina Hurricanes visit Verizon Center to face the Caps. As of this posting, there are 2,259 tickets available on StubHub, with the cheapest going for $24.99. On Ticket Exchange there are another 1,788 available and those currently start at $21. There are already below-face-value options available, but those prices could drop even further as the game date gets closer, especially if the inventory remains plentiful. The key to getting a great deal for a game like this is often to wait. The buyer risks the chance that prices could go up or never drop any further if the tickets start to move. But with patience from enough buyers and the right conditions, there could be some dirt cheap seats for this one come the afternoon of February 26. Here a few suggestions on how to score cheap seats like this via the resale market.
Use the #ResaleReport hashtag – Send me a screen shot of best deals you find on hockey tickets or other events. You can do that on Twitter at @mikeholden or through email at brookslaichyear AT gmail DOT com. You can also tag them on Twitter as #ResaleReport.
- Resale Report: A new column on the secondary ticket market (brookslaichyear.com)
- Over 20% of Yankee Stadium’s seats for Game 5 of ALDS are for sale on StubHub (mikeholden.com)
- StubHub before and after Jayson Werth’s Game 4 walk-off home run (mikeholden.com)
Our guide to tonight’s AHL Showcase between the Hershey Bears and the Norfolk Admirals at Verizon Center in Washington, DC is simple. It’s in the tweet below and we hope you’ll spread the word. There are downtown businesses and arena workers affected by the NHL lockout that could use the dollars. Enjoy the hockey! And please pour a little money into the local economy too if you can.
One more thing: As tweeter @Sdunn2984 pointed out today, there is a toy drive for the Salvation Army at tonight’s game. “The Capitals will be accepting donations at the F Street Entrance to Verizon Center starting when doors open at 6 p.m.,” according to the team’s website. “The first 1,500 fans to donate will receive a commemorative Adam Oates Hall of Fame poster. The Capitals, GEICO, Comcast SportsNet and The Salvation Army urge all Caps fans to donate at least one new, unwrapped toy for a deserving child this holiday season.”
- Leaving the NHL off the holiday list (brookslaichyear.com)
- As NHL lockout continues, AHL surges forward as attractive alternative for hockey-starved fans (calgaryherald.com)
- As NHL’s latest lockout lingers on, a basement hockey league goes overseas (brookslaichyear.com)
- Hockey fans find ways to get their ice fix (Gazette.net)
The Washington Capitals sent a tweet at 1pm today telling people to “Stop by the Verizon Center Team Store today. A large selection of merchandise is 85% off!” The responses they’ve received back so far on Twitter are right in line with what you might expect during an NHL lockout that has many fans frustrated, as they go without hockey while waiting for the owners and players to sign a new collective bargaining agreement.
Kenneth Peacock (@VBKen) October 14, 2012
I'd prefer actual hockey, thanks... RT @washcaps: Stop by the Verizon Center Team Store today. A large selection of merchandise is 85% off!—
Danny (@recordsANDradio) October 14, 2012
I'll stop by on way to game! Oh, wait. RT @washcaps: Stop by Verizon Center Team Store today. A large selection of merchandise is 85% off!—
Patrick Holden (@pfholden) October 14, 2012
@washcaps anyone that spends a dollar on NHL merch during this lockout needs to have their head examined.—
Steve Hickey (@blueliner34) October 14, 2012
Ed Morgans (@edmorgans) October 14, 2012
YMS (@yvonison) October 14, 2012
Mike Holden (@mikeholden) October 14, 2012
Andrew Creamer (@acreamer8) October 14, 2012
- Looking at the bigger picture and the dollars of the Caps continued season ticket price increases (brookslaichyear.com)
- Oops: Nationals fans received information about buying World Series tickets on Saturday morning (Yahoo! Sports: Big League Stew)
- StubHub before and after Jayson Werth’s Game 4 walk-off home run (mikeholden.wordpress.com)
How loud was Verizon Center in the closing minutes of Thursday’s Game 4?
The decibel meter hit 116 at one point, says Caps fan @VeggieTart. Former Caps VP of Communications Nate Ewell tweeted, “Can’t imagine it was Feds vs NYR loud at Verizon Center but that sounded pretty impressive, Caps fans.” Goat, the fan who leads Verizon Center in “Let’s Go Caps” chants, tweeted back, “It was pretty damn close. My ears haven’t warbled like they did tonight (before that last push) in a very long time.”
I was at the Game 7 against the Rangers mentioned above (the loudest sporting event I’ve ever been a part of), but wasn’t in the building last night. My father was in the 400 Level of Verizon Center for both games and he texted, “Almost but no,” when I asked him if the building was as loud last night as it was for that 2009 game.
Were you at these games? Tweet your thoughts to @brookslaichyear or add a comment below.
- Four years ago today: Alex Ovechkin’s first NHL playoff goal and Caps fans (brookslaichyear.com)
As sportswriter Ted Starkey pointed out on Twitter, it was four years ago today that Alex Ovechkin scored his first NHL playoff goal, “stealing the puck and scoring late in a 5-4 win over the Flyers in Game 1.”
I was at that game and took some video in the crowd as we reacted to that Ovechkin goal. It’s not the steadiest camera work, but the place was total bedlam with much high-fiving, jumping, etc. happening all around Verizon Center.
Here’s one I got after Mike Green scored prior to Ovechkin’s goal to make it 4-4:
- Is that a Flyers jersey on the dugout? (brookslaichyear.com)
- Caps arena announcer Wes Johnson pumps up the crowd at #RMNBParty4 (brookslaichyear.com)
On StubHub, there are almost twice as many tickets available for the first round Caps-Bruins playoff games in Boston as there are for the games in D.C. That’s leaving Game 7 out of the equation, so that just three games in each city can be compared.
As of 9pm last night, with the first game in Boston three days away, there are 2,122 tickets available for it. For Game 2, also in Boston and taking place this Saturday, there are 2,765 available.
By contrast, Game 3 takes place in Washington next Monday night and only has 1,256 seats available. Game 4 is on Thursday of next week in D.C. and has 1,222 tickets posted. Game 5 in Boston has 2,495 tickets and Game 6 back in D.C. has 1,233.
So, for the three games in Boston, there are 7,382 tickets available on StubHub, while only 3,711 are available for the three games in D.C. Which city wants this series more? D.C. by a margin of nearly 2-to-1. That’s it, plain and simple. Mark it down. The numbers don’t lie. D.C. loves its hockey team more than Boston loves theirs. No further research needed.
- Talking with the enemy: Bruins blog ‘Days of Y’Orr’ answers our questions about Caps-Bruins series (brookslaichyear.com)
- How to see a Washington Capitals hockey game without spending a ton (brookslaichyear.com)
- Rare Eagle’s Nest-like prices for tonight’s Caps-Jets game in D.C. (brookslaichyear.com)
Last night at the #RMNBParty4, I was lucky enough to have my picture taken with the Trinity of Verizon Center Caps hockey. That’s right, I got to pose with Wes Johnson, William (AKA Goat) and Sam (AKA The Horn Guy), the three men most responsible for making the Verizon Center a rowdy place to be for Caps home games. A photo with all three of these great personalities was the only time last night in which my shirt was not the star. It was nice to meet so many great people last night and thanks to these three guys for being nice enough to have their picture taken with my shirt.
- Caps arena announcer Wes Johnson pumps up the crowd at #RMNBParty4 (brookslaichyear.com)
The image below was captured on March 30, 2012 from the Verizon website. I believe the last time the Caps wore that jersey was almost five years ago. Perhaps it’s time for Verizon to update the old image library. Washington rocks the red now and has since 2007. Related: the Washington Capitals play at Verizon Center.
Looking for a sign to take to tonight’s Caps game, in the wake of Caps players asking for a “Scratch Hunter” sign to be removed Tuesday night? Here’s one…
Download the PDF for printing here at this link: Ignore this sign
Let’s Go Caps! Win. This. Game. One solid shift at a time.
- Free Knuble (knightsofknuble.wordpress.com)
I’ve been a huge Caps fan for a long time and I always will be. I’ve been a big believer in “The Plan” and a strong supporter of most of what the organization has done the last few years. But lately, a few things have been bothering me:
- Though I’ve long been a big fan of Alex Ovechkin and the take-no-prisoners approach he took the NHL by storm with, I haven’t been impressed with him lately and his inability to take responsibility for some of his actions, act like a team leader publicly, etc. The organization and some fans seem OK with him doing whatever he’d like. Mike Wise recently dubbed these people Great 8 enablers, during the skipped All-Star Game debate. As Caps fans, we all need to take a break from the red Kool-aid often enough to see things objectively.
- The Holden Family season tickets in the 400 level, which my father owns and generously lets his whole family use, have gone up 90.7% in five years. Professional sports is a business, I love what Ted Leonsis has done for the Caps, and this team has become extremely popular. However, now in their fifth straight year, these constant and sometimes rather steep increases have started to feel excessive—and like the type of thing that could come back to haunt the organization if they hit a prolonged rough patch.
- I’ve watched the Caps exit the playoffs in an uninspiring fashion for three straight seasons. As I wrote the other day, (see ’90.7%’ link in the bullet point above): “Not since the 2007-08 playoff loss in seven games to the Flyers has it appeared as if the team left it all out on the ice as they were eliminated. In series losses to Pittsburgh (’08-’09), Montreal (’09-’10) and Tampa Bay (’10-’11), the team looked flat and unable to push over the hump to take their post-season game to the next level.” Yet still today, even under a new coach and with a variety of veterans and role players brought in over the last few seasons, the team does not seem to have learned to seize opportunities, finish opponents when they have them down or play a full 60 minutes on a consistent basis. There are times when the Caps don’t even seem present.
Then this afternoon, I read something that further irks me and it relates especially to that third and final bullet point above.
I was following a story Tuesday night about two Caps bloggers, known as Knights of Knuble, who were asked to take down “Free Knuble” and “Scratch Hunter” signs they brought to the game. It was reported by Stephen Whyno of The Washington Times that this was due to some Caps players requesting the signs be removed during warm-ups.
Today, Leonsis confirmed this on his blog, writing: “A couple of players saw a sign at ice level during warm-ups that they felt was disrespectful toward our coach. One of the players asked one of the bench personnel to see if he could get them to take it down. One of our arena employees thought he was being helpful, and asked the fans to take it down.”
Leonsis goes on to explain that the signs should have been permitted inside the venue, which is great to hear because banning signs is Redskins-like behavior and very un-Caps.
But I couldn’t help but wonder aloud on Twitter today: “Why are Caps players even focused on signs in stands during warm-ups? Nice that they want coach respected, but why not just block it out?”
This is a Caps team that acts confused when they can’t get up for a big game. Multiple players have commented on not knowing why they come out flat some games and they’ve been uttering nearly identical quotes after some of these games for over three years now.
Recently, after a loss to the Panthers, defenseman Karl Alzner commented, “Some teams it’s just real easy to get up for and that’s because of the team that they are: the Rangers, the Canadiens. Those games are really easy and sometimes here in Florida it’s difficult to get up…”
I was dumbfounded when I read that Alzner quote back in early February. If you’re a professional athlete and you’re thinking that, don’t say it out loud. And while you’re thinking that but not saying it, ask yourself why you are a professional athlete yet unable to focus enough to get up for any game you need to get up for, particularly one against a division rival that was banging on your door at that point.
But now, when I see that there are guys on the Caps that are so unfocused on the game at hand that they’re actually going to take the time to ask that a “Scratch Hunter” or a “Free Knuble” sign be taken down during warm-ups, quotes like Alzner’s and this team’s inability to play consistent hockey for 60 minutes, or from one game to the next, makes a little more sense.
Ignore the damn signs, Caps! Or be so in the zone and focused on the precious two points up for grabs that you don’t even notice the signs to begin with. Play like you did a few years ago when you were all business, dead set on gaining two points at a time and nothing more and nothing less…until it was time to play the next game and grab those two points.
You were a machine, Caps, and thousands of people were inspired by it. But now, when I see your captain sulking, your disinterest on the ice at times and some of you actually taking the time as pro athletes to worry about what a cleanly-worded and done-seemingly-in-good-fun sign says, I can’t help but think that you sound like losers.
I’ve rooted for a lot of losing teams in my life; it’s really not hard to do. I’m not a fair weather fan, even when my teams are on a losing streak. But when a team doesn’t seem to care for stretches at a time or when they look deflated, uninspired and plain defeated, they’re not always a lot of fun to pull for. And now you want to complain about signs, Caps? Really? Seriously, guys? Is that where the focus should be as you sit outside the playoffs with under 20 games left in the regular season? (I also doubt one of the biggest bad-asses in the history of hockey, Dale Hunter, needs anyone to protect him from a paper sign. I’m also sure he saw and heard much worse than “Scratch Hunter” during his playing days).
See yourself, one solid shift at a time, winning the game being played on the ice, Caps, not what some fan is holding up to the glass surrounding it. Your season, and many fans’ patience, might be gone soon if you don’t.