Something happened in D.C. sports this year that I’m fairly confident has never occurred before and that some people probably never thought possible—the Washington Capitals sold more tickets for their regular season games than the Washington Redskins did for theirs. Yup, D.C.’s NHL team outsold its NFL team.
If you don’t follow D.C. sports, the Redskins have been THE team in this town for as long as I can remember. Even in bad stretches, the Skins get more overall media attention than any other area team and still sell out every game, every year. At least in my lifetime, this has always been a Redskins town.
But ever since a late season run in 2007-08 that took them to the playoffs, the Caps have been the hottest team in town and, for what looks like the first time ever, the Caps sold more regular season tickets (741,992) than the Skins did (708,835) last season.
Some will say this means nothing and that championships are what speak. But what I find truly amazing is that 5 years ago, if you’d asked a local sports fan what it would take for the Caps to outdraw the Skins they likely would have said “A Stanley Cup” and even then they may have thought the Skins might still outsell them.
But here we are with a young Caps team that, though they could very well someday win the Cup, has not gotten any further than the second round of the playoffs together and they’ve already outsold the Skins (they will also outsell them this season—it’s even quite possible the Caps will sell every seat to every game in 2009-10). With things already at this level, it’s fun to think about what would happen around here if this Caps team does win a Cup—maybe Sports Talk 980 would even talk about them for more than a few minutes at a time.