Question of the day: Wizards vs. Capitals in Baltimore

November 12, 2009 | Nestor Aparicio

Obviously, we have created a nice partnership with the Washington Capitals here at WNST.

They’re nice people. They really want to market Baltimore and bring their players and do events here. There’s even serious talk about a pre-season NHL game at the First Mariner Arena. And we have their coaches and players on and attempt to let people know that they have a good thing going on in D.C. with their hockey team and Baltimore is “invited.”

Recently, Dave Hughes, who has a nice local media site called DCRTV, asked me two questions.

1. What is the popularity of the Caps and Wizards in Baltimore?

2. Will Balto ever get a hockey/basketball team?

This is what I wrote to him:

Baltimore will never get an NHL or NBA team. There are territorial rights issues that would be more complex than the Orioles/Nationals/Expos/MASN/MLB.

Plus, it doesn’t have the industry or fan base to support those prices for 40 dates.

Plus the Arena won’t be built of that fashion (18-22K seats)…

The Caps are quickly gaining popularity in Baltimore. We do soldout bus trips to Caps games. We’ve done full bars for playoff games at Silver Spring Mining Company in Hunt Valley and White Marsh. It also helps that several people in my company love hockey.

I covered hockey for The News American and The Evening Sun. It was my primary beat, covering the Skipjacks and the Capitals. So I have a long history with the sport and the organization dating back to Bryan and Terry Murray and David Poile. I’m still friends with Barry Trotz and Gene Ubriaco, who was my first coach on a beat. (I’m writing an homage to him for Thanksgiving and having dinner with him! He’s coming back to Baltimore for holiday!)

The Caps are a winner, have a great product, the best player in the sport and a marketing team that is reaching out to Baltimore after 37 years. That’s pretty cool.

The Wizards are a bad team.

I don’t hear much about them. The do zero to market in Baltimore. They took the Bullets name away. The took the handful of games they had in Baltimore away 12 years ago.

Not “killing” them, but really…what the last thing they ever did for anyone in Baltimore to say: “Please be a Wizards fan. We want you!”

Nothing I’ve ever heard of…

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