The Caps -- as an organization that caters to fans -- looks broken.
An indication...this morning, my account was updated for next year's season tickets (even though the invoice date says April 10th). I can't say I was "notified" -- either by post or electronic mail. I received news of this from a diligent poster on The Official who checks his account regularly. I checked mine, and sure enough, it was updated. But here is the kicker...I have until Wednesday -- this Wednesday, the 18th -- to renew.
What sort of nonsense is this?
An apologist for the club might argue that the date is only slightly later than last year's due date for renewals (that would be a fact), but I'm guessing most fans do not return home from their daily work or chores with the first thing on their mind being, "hmm, did the Caps update my account manager, yet?"
Not only that, but the new pricing schedule apparently results in some substantial increases for some seats at the top of the arena.
I have no idea what is going on behind the closed doors of the front office; all I can see is what's oozing from underneath. And from what I'm seeing, there seems to be almost an intentional effort to cheese off "core" fans. All the carny barker blather that "We also want our fans to feel as though they are appreciated year-round, because they are. We love the fans we have, and we cherish our relationship with them..." aside, is this how you treat returning fans?
Let me be clear...I've been a fan of this franchise since I moved here from Michigan in 1984. Just about the first thing I did when I moved in was to enroll in a partial season ticket plan. When my own bottom line improved, I was able to upgrade that to a full season plan that I hold now. As a product of my utter disgust over the lockout and the run up to it, I changed my seating from the lower level loge to the second row of the balcony for the 2005-2006 season. But, I've kept my full season plan.
I will renew this year, because I see a glimmer of hope for what is on the ice. But just as this is a crossroads summer for the club, next year is one for this fan. I very nearly cancelled my STH plan after the lockout. If this is the way the club is going to treat its existing fan base (and I hardly think I'm alone), then that might be a decision to revisit upon the conclusion of next year.