Will the Washington Capitals’ home sellout streak end anytime soon?

Posted on December 4, 2010


"Rock The Red (Wide) at Verizon Center" by clydeorama -- image via flickr

"Rock The Red (Wide) at Verizon Center" by clydeorama -- image via flickr

The Washington Capitals‘ streak of selling out Verizon Center reached 74 games this past Sunday when they faced the Carolina Hurricanes. But fans shouldn’t take that to mean tickets are not available for upcoming games. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, tickets are available for Caps games on the resale market, but you can also get tickets directly from the team for most games.

“One of the misconceptions we’re battling is the idea that every game is sold out,” said Nate Ewell, Washington Capitals Vice President of Communications, in an email. “We actually have some tickets for all of our games coming up except December 23 vs. Pittsburgh. The numbers are fairly low for each game, but there are seats available.”

The Caps have a waiting list for season tickets but made the decision to leave some seats available for purchase every game, rather than sellout the entire arena on season ticket sales alone.

As Washington owner Ted Leonsis explained on his blog back in October, “I want to be fair and reasonable with everyone. I know that season tickets aren’t for everyone. The price is high; the commitment level is high; and if we sold out all of our tickets the only way a casual fan would have access to tickets would be through resellers at a very high price.”

With just a small number of seats available for many of the upcoming games, it appears unlikely the sellout streak will end anytime soon. “The numbers are low enough for each game that our typical walk-up crowd should keep the sellout streak intact through the season,” said Ewell.

That would take the streak to 101 games. And how does that stack up against the NHL record for consecutive sellouts? That depends on who you ask.

Ice hockey game between the Montreal Canadiens...

"Ice hockey game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs" -- March 6, 1938 -- Image via Wikipedia

Wikipedia says, “The Colorado Avalanche have the NHL record for the longest consecutive attendance sell outs with 487.” Over on Yahoo Answers someones said (three years ago), “The last game in Toronto that wasn’t sold out was in 1933 (2nd game ever at Maple Leaf Gardens didn’t sell out).” Answers.com gives it to the Maple Leafs: “The Toronto Maple Leafs have sold out every regular season game since 1946, including games from 1946 – 1999 at Maple Leaf Gardens, and every single game so far at their new home , the Air Canada Centre from 1999 to 2010.”

I have an email into the league office asking who can truly be crowned “NHL Consecutive Sellouts Champion” and will post an update if I hear anything back from them. But I imagine they’re pretty busy right now looking over my previous post and trying to figure out how to dynamite Civic Arena before a national TV audience on January 1.

And if the Caps ever do set any records for NHL attendance, I wouldn’t expect any banners to be raised celebrating it — “Leonsis removes Mystics attendance banners”.