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Three Reasons to Be Happy You Root for the Caps
After three straight years of playoff disappointments and 13 years removed from being swept in our lone Stanley Cup Finals appearance, it can be easy to get discouraged as a Caps fan. We sit and ask ourselves, “Why are the Caps so dominant in the regular season, yet pitiful in the post-season?” Well, Caps fans, you can turn those frowns upside down, because there are plenty of reasons to be glad you root for the Caps!
3. The Ownership
The Caps’ ownership was recently ranked sixth on ESPN: the Magazine‘s list of the best ownership among the four major North American sports leagues, where Ted Leonsis‘ Monumental Sports and Entertainment was adjudged to be among the very best in terms of “honesty and loyalty to core players and local community.” We are extremely lucky to have a well-managed team that is in no danger of relocation (unlike the Coyotes), and we are lucky to have an owner that actually cares if we win games (unlike the Maple Leafs). Plus, when you think about that other major owner in the D.C. area, Ted starts to resemble a saint by comparison. Uncle Ted is a terrific owner to the Capitals; he has a real commitment to this team and to us, the fans.
2. Ticket Prices and the Verizon Center
The average price of a non-premium ticket to a Caps game during the 2009-2010 regular season, in which the Caps won the President’s Cup and 30 home games, was $44.75. The Caps were the best team in the NHL, yet there were 20 teams that had higher average ticket prices than them, and nine of those teams missed the playoffs. The average price of a ticket in Toronto was $117.49; their fans had to pay the highest average prices in the NHL to watch the second-worst team in the league. Capitals tickets are downright cheap. The food at the Verizon Center may be expensive – but likely on par with most arenas – but the “Phone Booth” is a pretty nice place to watch hockey. It’s easily accessible by Metro, it’s well-maintained, it’s in a nice area of D.C., and most of the people who work there are really friendly and helpful.
1. The Players
The players on the roster are not just among the most talented in the NHL, they are also among the nicest and hardest-working. I am a frequent attendee of the Caps’ practices at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, and I consistently see at least 90% of the players out there, even when the practices are optional. Beyond just getting to watch them practice, which is free and a lot of fun, I have been able to get autographs from nearly every player who was here in the past year, including the ever-elusive Alexander Semin. There are plenty of professional athletes who are jerks and do not care about being nice to their fans, but there are no guys like that on the Caps. They are a great group, which is a credit to George McPhee, who has a knack for picking good players.
I think that the Caps will win a Cup sooner rather than later, but until that time, we have plenty to be happy about.