Last night was the annual Washington Capitals season ticket holder party.
When I signed on to buy season tickets at the end of last season I didn’t know this was a perk that came along with it.
For the second consecutive year, the Capitals and their fans took over the Six Flags America in Bowie/Mitchellville. I didn’t have any expectations going into it. Although having gone to the first (hopefully) annual Capitals Convention a couple of weeks ago, I figured it would be a good time.
As an organization the Caps put some of the other franchises in the area to shame in terms of their fan friendliness.
From what I’ve been told by Ravens season ticket holders, they don’t offer anything like this. The Orioles version of this is to let the season ticket holders into Fanfest for free and earlier than non-season ticket holders.
I arrived to the park around 4:45 and had to wait about 45 minutes to get in. Once the gates opened we were given a free New Era Capitals hat. That almost would have been enough. However, that was just the beginning.
Only season ticket holders and their guests were allowed in. Hot dogs, chicken patties, potato salad, soda and ice cream, were provided at no cost. Beer could be purchased. Free food is always a plus to me, and it was pretty good.
The rides were all open (except the water park). I’m not really into rides so I didn’t take advantage of that. But there were people enjoying them, with virtually no lines.
The reason I went was for the players. Twenty-four of them were there signing autographs, including the four big guys, Ovie, Semin, Green and Backstrom.
Alex Ovechkin required a wristband to get an autograph. I passed on that as I got his in March when he signed in White Marsh. I got Semin’s autograph at the Convention so I passed on his as well.
The lines moved quickly as everyone was allowed only one item signed by each player. I took my son’s jersey and had it signed by Semyon Varlamov, Dave Steckel, Tomas Fleischmann, Milan Jurcina, Mike Green, Quintin Laing and Shaone Morrisonn.
Mike Green’s line was by far the longest line I got in, but it too moved quickly. I missed a couple of the guys because I was in line for Green.
I saw Milan Jurcina and Tomas Fleischmann wandering around the park earlier in the day and Michael Nylander was shooting hoops at one of the game stands.
It’s great to be able to get to say hello to these guys and spend a few seconds with them.
The entire coaching staff was there as well. I saw Coach Boudreau walking around and said hello to him.
A few minutes later we were in line for Semyon Varlamov’s autograph. Coach was ahead of us in line. I cracked a joke to my buddy about how he shouldn’t have to wait in line to get an autograph. But he was actually chatting with a family in front of us.
The mom grew up outside of Boston and was a converted Bruins fan. The son was a Caps fan. Coach asked if he made fun of his mom when we won the season opener in Boston. The boy said he would have but his parents went out that night and he was with a babysitter.
Coach then asked him why the Caps kept losing the last few games, unfortunately I missed the boy’s answer. Afterwards Coach took a couple of pictures with the boy and then walked off.
I hope he stays around for a long time. He seems like a genuine person and has done wonders for the team in the short time he’s been their coach.
I left the park around 8:30 after the autograph lines finished, but the park remained open until 10 o’clock and the rides were still available until the park closed.
I am six games into my first season as a season ticket holder, and after the great time I had at this event, I am already set to renew my tickets for next season. If for no other reason, than I would be able to attend this event again, whether it’s at Six Flags or another location.