The Washington Post

Sky-high ticket costs for Caps’ Vegas trip

- BY RICK MAESE rick.maese@washpost.com

In the days and hours leading up to Wednesday night’s Game 7, Jake Genachowsk­i and his buddies didn’t bother talking much about the possibilit­y of attending the Stanley Cup finals.

“Being lifelong D.C. sports fans, I think our confidence in actually winning was pretty low,” the 26year-old said, “so we didn’t know how realistic it was.”

But then the Capitals scored in the opening moments of their Eastern Conference finals matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning and then two more times in the second period. Genachowsk­i and his friends were watching with a Capitals-crazed crowd at Macintyre’s in Woodley Park, and when Washington pulled ahead 3-0, they started looking up flights to Las Vegas. With three minutes left in the game, the group pulled the trigger and booked the trip.

Now the hard part: getting seats to the Capitals’ first Stanley Cup finals game since 1998.

“We have not locked in on tickets yet,” Genachowsk­i said Thursday morning. “They’re pretty expensive — way more than the entire trip. So there’s a chance we just go out there to be around the experience and not get in the game.”

Washington-area sports fans went to bed in a delirious, blissful state that many hadn’t experience­d in a generation. Anyone waking up Thursday hoping for an up-close view of the Capitals’ series opener against the Vegas Golden Knights was met with a stern, pricey reality.

The cheapest seats available Thursday morning on Ticketmast­er — the NHL’s official partner — cost $914 apiece. On StubHub, they were $983. Vivid Seats had one for $828, but the rest were at least $920. SeatGeek listed tickets for as low as $908, a price that jumped to more than $1,100 with fees.

One ticket monitoring site has deemed it the most expensive Stanley Cup finals ever. And the high prices led some to get creative — even if only in jest.

As of Thursday morning, Kelvin Spriggs — who had offered up his kidney to raise funds for tickets — said no one had taken him up on it, but he wasn’t yet pulling the offer from the table. “I honestly have no idea what the going rate for a kidney would be,” he joked.

Capitals fan Ajay Hara ended up shelling out $1,200 for a Game 1 ticket. He’s a 23-year-old college student, graduating this week from University of British Columbia, which turned out to be pretty good timing: His parents helped pay for the ticket as a graduation present. “I wish I could’ve gotten tickets for more [games],” he said, “but I’m living the broke university student life now.”

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