SBD/January 24, 2013/Franchises

Capitals Experience Growing Pains With Season-Ticket Holders' Swipe Cards

Capitals fans entering Verizon Center for Tuesday's game against the Jets "encountered lines that they weren’t expecting," and some fans "assumed that the team’s new ticketing system was to blame," according to Sarah Kogod of the WASHINGTON POST. Each Caps season-ticket holder is "issued a plastic card, similar to a credit card, that arena employees swipe at the gate and print out small 'seat locator' slips that list the section, row and seat numbers corresponding to the fans’ purchases." The Verizon Center has been using the cards for Wizards games "since the start of the season, and so it wasn’t a new process for arena personnel, who work both teams’ games." But Caps games "draw more fans," and Tuesday night’s crowd was "sold out." Capitals Senior VP/Ticket Sales & Service Jim Van Stone said, "We have not seen any difference (in time) on our end with people bringing in paper tickets with bar codes, and a group coming in and swiping the card and having the ticket locator printing out locator slips.” He added that fans who have the swipe cards "have the option of printing their tickets at home for free if they prefer." Van Stone said, “We had 6,000 cards issued for the game, and 2,700 were used at the door." He added there "were 7,000 PDFs” used for Tuesday's game. A Verizon Center spokesperson said that 17 of the 2,700 cards used at the door "were faulty, and those fans will have new cards" before tonight’s game against the Canadiens. Kogod wrote, "Perhaps an even bigger reason for the entry delays was the use of metal-detecting wands on each fan by security personnel" (, 1/23).
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