Ticket-reseller websites like StubHub have cutoff windows for the delivery of resold tickets. To resell, the original owner must provide the ticket usually no less than five days before the game. With a 72-hour-window instituted by the Capitals and Wizards, reselling on StubHub was effectively made impossible. The NHL’s partner reseller, TicketExchange, was still a viable option.
Since this story broke, StubHub has changed its rules to accommodate Monumental’s new restrictions on ticket printing.
Scandalized by a late-breaking change in policy, Washington Capitals season ticket holders took to social media on Wednesday night.
The Capitals detailed their new policy at the bottom of an email to STHers:
PRINT-AT-HOME – 72 HOURS PRIOR TO EVENT
Effective starting with the 2014-15 season, tickets will only be available to print-at-home within 72 hours of the event. The time limit is an added security measure for our fans and customers as it helps to eliminate occurrences of counterfeited and duplicated PDFs. All other features of Account Manager, including Transfer and the ability to distribute tickets to friends/family/clients in advance, do remain available outside of 72 hours to the event.
The reason stated in the message is security– that the potential for counterfeit printed tickets endangers fans, players, and staff at the arena.
Another effect, as told to RMNB by season ticket holders, is the destruction of the secondary sales market.
[Ed. note: Eric Bovim shares his perspective as an aggrieved season-ticket holder. - Peter]
I have invested nearly $60,000 since 2008 as a season ticket holder into the Washington Capitals. But it’s time to put that to an end.
Even with the overdue changes to the Caps front office announced this weekend, I have decided to give up my tickets as a protest to ownership. I doubt the voice of a lone STH matters much to them; no doubt they will quickly sell my two seats in my section 102, row F to someone on their waiting list. Management never knew me. But I will not let them forget about why I have made the decision to forfeit my precious seats.
For the past 6 seasons, from those seats by the faceoff circle near the glass, I have seen it all. I remember the time I took my little boy to his first game – early 2009 – when he was merely two and a half. Alex was so young then I had to bring along his diaper and pacifier. His mother packed him his bottle. I bundled him up. We were playing the Canadiens. Jose Theodore was out goalie then. We won 3-0. I still remember his face that night at the game, him cheers along with the Horn Guy, him falling asleep later that season in the third period as the Caps rallied to beat Detroit. He stayed asleep even as Verizon Center celebrated a vintage Mike Green goal. I stood and held him as he slept. It was not easy, but it was fun.
We saw many other games over the years together. We became quite comfortable at Verizon together. We had our pre-game dinners all mapped out. He made his tour around the concourse, seeking free handouts from the Red Rockers. When I told him that I had given up the seats he was rightly upset. The games with dad were a childhood ritual that I have abruptly ended. He expected to be able to go. It would be hard to explain to him, however, that I expected much more from the Capitals this year, and that I felt like I was pouring my money down a hole.