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Old
01-03-2013, 07:07 AM
  #1
Leo W
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Question from Different Fan Base

Hey guys, I just have a quick question from someone who isn't particularly familiar with the Washington hockey fan base. My question: is the Capitals fan base filling the arena because of Ovechkin still or because of the team? I could also rephrase it this way: if Ovechkin was traded tomorrow would the Verizon Center still be selling out games for 3-4 years into the future? What has Ovie done for the hockey passion of DC since being drafted? Do you guys think it's a permanent thing or people who enjoy watching the show that is Alex the Gr8?

Anyways, I was just curious because although I'm a Kings fan I'm from Buffalo where hockey is the #1 at the moment (in my opinion) and I wasn't sure what a player like Ovie has done for the city of DC long term in terms of their passion for hockey. Thanks guys!

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01-03-2013, 07:32 AM
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brs03
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Ovechkin, followed by Boudreau, followed by inertia (aided by bad years from the Wizards and Skins) is what I'm going with. If Ovi is now a 30-40 goal guy and the Caps don't make up for that to become a top-of-the-conference team again, then you'll know how strong that inertia is one way or the other. Especially with RGIII here now.

But that's just my take on it. As far as I know the STH base hasn't taken a big hit during the lockout, so that would keep any decline in terms of ticket sales from coming on too quickly.

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01-03-2013, 09:19 AM
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The Verizon Center was selling out because the team was winning. Ovechkin has been a huge part of that. If the team started sucking again, the team would stop selling out.

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01-03-2013, 01:34 PM
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If Ovechkin was traded and the team won the Cup (or at least made it to the SCF), the Verizon Center would still be packed and season tickets would still be hard to come by. If Ovechkin was traded and the Caps stayed the same, there would be a lot more games that don't sell out. If Ovechkin was traded and the Caps regressed, the stadium would be empty.

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01-03-2013, 01:56 PM
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I'm not a seat-filler, living on the other side of the planet, but I love the Caps because of the team.

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01-03-2013, 02:37 PM
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He's the centerpiece of the franchise. Without him and no big name to fill the void, attendance would plummet. Now if he's traded away for a ransom and the team somehow gets better for it, attendance would be strong still.

Trading Ovechkin in anything other than a sweetheart deal for the Caps would be franchise suicide.

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01-03-2013, 02:41 PM
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I hate the excuse of basketball and football.

The DC suburbs to FedEx field on a game day takes over an hour. The Wizards never have a game at the same time, hockey and basketball fans are very different on top of that.

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01-03-2013, 02:50 PM
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This area is Skins-Caps-Nats-Wiz. If OV were traded and they got the right pieces I doubt fans care all that much, I certainly wouldnt. Imo as long as the Caps are winning divisions/making playoffs fans will show.

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01-03-2013, 03:11 PM
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As far as i know, there was no hockey here before OV.

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01-03-2013, 03:20 PM
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the caps attendance has progressed past just ovechkin. if ov broke and was out for the season, i doubt seriously empty seats start showing up except maybe on the road.

on the other hand washington has bryce and strasburg and rg3 and the caps go dale hunter and hit pause

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01-03-2013, 07:27 PM
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The Skins being bad certainly helped a ton, but the Caps being good was part of it

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01-03-2013, 08:47 PM
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I think Ovi brought people into the seats and tuning into games, but a lot of the new fans in DC have caught on to the sport and other guys on the team. Hell my gf who knew nothing about hockey until a year ago is way more fascinated with Laich and Semin than Ovi or anybody else on the team.

I think Harper is having a similar effect with Baseball that Ovi had back in 05. I dont like baseball but him and the rest of the nats is getting me excited to pay attention.

Basically if Ovi leaves I think attendence might go down a hair, or at least tickets would be cheaper on stubhub, but I dont think the place would be empty

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01-03-2013, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoJoSauce View Post
I think Ovi brought people into the seats and tuning into games, but a lot of the new fans in DC have caught on to the sport and other guys on the team. Hell my gf who knew nothing about hockey until a year ago is way more fascinated with Laich and Semin than Ovi or anybody else on the team.

I think Harper is having a similar effect with Baseball that Ovi had back in 05. I dont like baseball but him and the rest of the nats is getting me excited to pay attention.

Basically if Ovi leaves I think attendence might go down a hair, or at least tickets would be cheaper on stubhub, but I dont think the place would be empty
That's because she Laich's Semin.

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01-03-2013, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Leonard Washington View Post
Hey guys, I just have a quick question from someone who isn't particularly familiar with the Washington hockey fan base. My question: is the Capitals fan base filling the arena because of Ovechkin still or because of the team? I could also rephrase it this way: if Ovechkin was traded tomorrow would the Verizon Center still be selling out games for 3-4 years into the future? What has Ovie done for the hockey passion of DC since being drafted? Do you guys think it's a permanent thing or people who enjoy watching the show that is Alex the Gr8?
It's funny to read a question about this from a Kings' fan. Last spring, I envied the team play with which the Kings won their Cup. It made me nostalgic for the real "team" that the Caps were when I started following them in the mid-'90s.

Maybe it's because I'm from the American midwest and share the Canadian admiration of humility in athletes, but I've become increasingly annoyed by Ovechkin's constant attention-seeking behavior and seeming unwillingness to work to improve and/or change his play for the good of the team. I wouldn't mind at all if he were traded.

Of course, Ovechkin won't be going anywhere. The Caps and the NHL have invested a lot of money and effort in marketing him, and the Caps can continue to profit (for one, two, or . . . a few years?) even as the myth is no longer supported by reality. How many casual fans still believe, on the basis of carefully selected game highlights posted on NHL.com, that last year's Ovechkin played like a "superstar"? Quite a few, I'd imagine.

I have no idea how many Caps fans might abandon the team if Ovechkin disappeared. I guess that depends on how many "Ovechkin fans" have been converted into Caps fans.

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01-03-2013, 10:36 PM
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SimplySensational
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It's funny to read a question about this from a Kings' fan. Last spring, I envied the team play with which the Kings won their Cup. It made me nostalgic for the real "team" that the Caps were when I started following them in the mid-'90s.

Maybe it's because I'm from the American midwest and share the Canadian admiration of humility in athletes, but I've become increasingly annoyed by Ovechkin's constant attention-seeking behavior and seeming unwillingness to work to improve and/or change his play for the good of the team. I wouldn't mind at all if he were traded.

Of course, Ovechkin won't be going anywhere. The Caps and the NHL have invested a lot of money and effort in marketing him, and the Caps can continue to profit (for one, two, or . . . a few years?) even as the myth is no longer supported by reality. How many casual fans still believe, on the basis of carefully selected game highlights posted on NHL.com, that last year's Ovechkin played like a "superstar"? Quite a few, I'd imagine.

I have no idea how many Caps fans might abandon the team if Ovechkin disappeared. I guess that depends on how many "Ovechkin fans" have been converted into Caps fans.
It's funny how when I asked Russians about Oleg Znaroks, they said he is like Dale Hunter. Yet when it came down to when their captain, a 4th liner, had to be out of the line up for a while, who did he choose to be temporary captain? Ovechkin.

Though I expect to hear something about them losing 2 games since Backstrom has been out, do it please.

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01-04-2013, 03:28 AM
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I started following the Caps closely in 2007-8 season because of the Russians on the team, but later on grew being a team fan overall. I've always found this teamk to be one of the most likeable in the NHL, and there were times it was the most exciting. If AO and Orlov are traded, I'll surely be disappointed, but I won't stop cheering for the Caps. I guess this is a regular story for many teamless hockey fans.

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01-04-2013, 04:52 AM
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Some of you are ranking the caps a tad higher than they should be in the DC sports pecking order. Especially with the Nats greatly improved.

1. Skins
2. Wiz
3. Nats
4. Caps

Considering my disdain for the NBA it's hard to put the Wiz #2, but DC is a basketball town. If the Wiz ever got good they would rival the Skins for the top spot. No BS.

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01-04-2013, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by WetHog View Post
Some of you are ranking the caps a tad higher than they should be in the DC sports pecking order. Especially with the Nats greatly improved.

1. Skins
2. Wiz
3. Nats
4. Caps

Considering my disdain for the NBA it's hard to put the Wiz #2, but DC is a basketball town. If the Wiz ever got good they would rival the Skins for the top spot. No BS.
I actually agree with your assessment here. But the Caps have grow from "no identity" in Washington to "Global" in presence as a result of Ovi and his persona.

I think there arena would stay sold out without him for awhile but still needs to get the cup or compete for a cup before you can cement them into a sold out all the time club.

The Penguins sold out while Mario was there, then dipped when he left the ice , and rose again with Sidney's arrival. Say what you may about fan loyalty but do not underestimate the significance of star power in a team's lineup.

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01-04-2013, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by WetHog View Post
Some of you are ranking the caps a tad higher than they should be in the DC sports pecking order. Especially with the Nats greatly improved.

1. Skins
2. Wiz
3. Nats
4. Caps

Considering my disdain for the NBA it's hard to put the Wiz #2, but DC is a basketball town. If the Wiz ever got good they would rival the Skins for the top spot. No BS.
I've lived in DC/NOVA my entire life and I would not say its a "basketball" town...besides for a couple of short playoff runs from the wiz/bullets people have never flocked to see them in the regular season as people have the Caps the past 5 or so seasons. I'd say:

1. Skins
2. Caps/Nats (only due to the Nats busting out last year)
3. Wiz

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01-04-2013, 12:21 PM
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Winning is honestly more important for a non-skins team in this town. AO being gone there would be a PR hit a bit depending on the circumstances.

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01-04-2013, 01:27 PM
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I dont get the DC is a basketball town thing.

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01-04-2013, 01:29 PM
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brs03
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If you include college maybe?

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01-04-2013, 01:52 PM
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usiel
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Imho:

Skins
Capitals
Nationals
Bullets

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01-04-2013, 01:55 PM
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Nats and Caps are different seasons. You get some overlap with one teams' playoffs over the beginning of the other regular season, but the meat and potatoes are separate times of year. It's really the Redskins and Wizards that the Caps compete with. The Caps will never pass the Redskins, but I think they're firmly ahead of the Wiz. I don't buy that DC is a basketball town.

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01-04-2013, 02:00 PM
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More than anything, DC is a winner's town. WIN and they will come out to watch. Lose and it doesn't matter who is in the seat unless you have a star like Ovechkin tearing up the scoring column to fill the seats. Caps are 3rd at best in area sports right now.

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