Attendance is somewhat a concern for the competitiveness of the team.
I don't like going to games in a half empty stadium, because I go for the energy of the crowd. Otherwise I just assume stay home and watch on TV.
It is a concern, I dont know if it warrants being stated, because it is a fairly obvious problem.
BFD, the caps didnt sell out the opener to the champs. Please it is the Carolina Hurricanes. Being in the SE division I think is hurting the Caps at the gate. They are the only non expansion/non relocated team in the conference. They have no histories with these teams. The teams might be quality, but I can;t get over the fact that they seem like minor league teams.
I think I bought tickets to 14 games this year. Maybe 4 of them are SE division teams. I just dont want to see them. I dont get up for the games and neither did the caps last year. They were terrible against bad teams like the panthers, but played well against the rangers, flyers, leafs, etc. Maybe I need to get over this prejudice, but I can't. I dont know if anybody else feels the same way. Maybe for the casual fan if someone were to ask them if they wanted to go to a game, they might ask "who are they playing" when the answer is "the lightning" the answer might be "wtf". However if the opposing team were a legitimate city (NY, Boston, Pitt, Phi) with a team somebody has heard of they might say "yes"
I think the Caps attendance needs to be judged on a competitive season in Washington as it is now. The place has grown so much since they were in the playoffs last. I think. I only moved here 2.5 years ago.
They'll probably never sell out on a consistent basis, but the 16k the other night was enough for me, just so long as it doesnt become 10k-11k (which it might for some games).
There might be more people willing to go, just not for the prices charged