It’s the offseason, so clearly there’s less to talk about then there would be otherwise, but here’s a topic that’s been rumbling through my brain on and off: the Capitals Convention coming up at the end of September.
As only a half supporter of the Hockey and Heels concept, I’m glad to see an event of the Hockey and Heels ilk targeted to an entire fanbase instead of just to women. At the Caps Convention, they’ve expanded the “breakout forums” that the women got to go through with various personalities to have more of them across more topics. However, instead of promising that all attendees got to go through each panel by offering them more than once, it’s a first-come first-seated basis. Obviously, some are going to be more popular than others just like at any convention, which means there may be some disappointed people.
More than that, there may be some disappointed people out 40 dollars.
Really, I’ve tried to find a fan-positive side to this other than “at least they’ve expanded Hockey and Heels to everyone,” but the whole thing just sort of chews at me the wrong way. They’re expecting at least 5,000 people in a non-Metro accessible convention center, you’re not allowed to choose the players you want autographs from, and they’re essentially making you pay $40 to go to the equipment sale.
I understand the building costs money to rent and the involved people want to be reimbursed for their time, but it just doesn’t add up to me. It seems like it has pretty high potential to be stressful and unorganized, and it just rankles me that I was willing to shell out for used gear and possibly a spare jersey, but they want to take $40 from me to get in there and even see what they’ve got. Unless they’re going to count my ticket price towards my purchase of stuff, I’m not in.
And obviously, if they’ve sold tickets to 3,000 people as of today, they’ll have people there, but how stupid was it to not make it a Metro-accessible location? Everything else the Caps do is completely reachable on public transportation with a minimum amount of hassle- Verizon, Kettler, you name it, it’s not that tough to get there. Gaylord National Resort is not only cross-town from either of THOSE locations, it’s not directly served by a metro line. They have a bus that’ll get you there, but if I were a betting type, I’d guess that not too many people are going to try for that, or if they DO, the buses are going to get quickly overloaded and people are going to come IN grumpy.
Maybe I’m just a curmudgeon, but having to pay $40 for something that was essentially smaller but FREE last year after development camp, being wedged in somewhere with 5,000 of my closest friends to have the *chance* to listen to panels I’m interested IF I get in line early enough and being told which two players I get autographs from just doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.
This is one of those great ideas that was great on paper, but somehow, as this town bandwagons, events like this lose some of their charm. Part of what was fun last year was having it be the prospects giving autographs, not the big names. They seemed to get a kick out of it, the people loved it, and everyone went home happy except maybe a kid who got clobbered in the bouncy house up in the Kettler parking lot. Now it just seems like some slicked up and overworked media event, and I’m less than sold. Give me Jay Beagle at a table in the parking lot being amazed that someone cared enough to pick up his grubby jersey over Nicklas Backstrom being told he has to sign a picture for Fan #49328 any day.