SBD/Issue 142/Franchises

Leonsis Prevents Penguins Fans From Buying Tix For DC Games

Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis "wrote a computer program that prevented" Penguins fans from buying tickets on the Capitals' Web site for the Penguins-Capitals playoff games at the MCI Center, according to Thomas Heath of the WASHINGTON POST. Leonsis: "Pretty cool, isn't it? I got a lot of e-mails from Pittsburgh saying I was mean-spirited and unfair. I don't care. I'm going to keep doing it." While most of the 18,672 tickets sold for last Thursday's Game One and last Saturday's Game Two were sold to Capitals' season-ticket holders and local fans, 1,000 club seats were sold online. Leonsis made them available for purchase through the team's Web site. Selling the seats online gave the Capitals "control [over] who bought the tickets." Leonsis, on Thursday's crowd: "I bet there weren't 500 Pittsburgh fans at the game" (WASHINGTON POST, 4/14). In Pittsburgh, Dejan Kovacevic asked, "Given the unprecedented support his team is receiving from its region, why would [Leonsis] send a public message to those fans that he doesn't trust them to fill the building for [the Penguins]? Why insult the same people he and his employees are working so diligently to entice? And, most of all, why brag about such an act?" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 4/15).

HOT TICKET: Also in Pittsburgh, Joe Starkey reports the Penguins sold out last night's Game Three at Mellon Arena. The team has sold 12,000 playoff ticket packages, compared to 8,000 at this point in '00. Also, Penguins VP/Ticket Sales Mark Anderson expects to have at least 11,000 equivalent full season-ticket packages next season, up from 10,000 this season (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 4/17).

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