Four area companies, including The Washington Post, gave the Washington Capitals' ticket drive a lift yesterday by guaranteeing sellouts of four home games.
Owner Abe Pollin of the Capitals announced that Hecht's, the Washington Area Toyota Dealers, Ogden Corp. and The Post will sponsor the hockey games. The games involved are the team's first, second, third and fifth games.
Potential investors have stipulated that, if the Capitals are to operate next season, four conditions must be met by Aug. 20. One of the conditions is that the first 10 home games must sell out.
Other conditions are that 7,500 season tickets must be sold, Prince George's County must cut the team's taxes and that Capital Centre must be allowed to reduce the Capitals' rent. Pollin has said that the Equitable Life Assurance Society, which holds the bond on the building, has approved the rent reduction.
"All of the sponsors are paying full price for tickets," Pollin said at a press conference at Capital Centre. "No discounts. Those days are over.
"With four sellouts, we're 50 percent home."
Including the projected sellouts, the team has sold approximately 42,000 individual tickets and 4,623 season tickets.
Pollin said tickets to the sponsored games will remain on sale until a few days before the games, when sponsors will distribute their tickets.
Ogden, which holds the Capital Centre concessions, and the Toyota dealers will sponsor the Oct. 16 and Oct. 20 games. Toyota has bought 1,500 tickets and with Ogden will guarantee the sellout.
Hecht's is sponsoring the team opener Oct. 9 against Philadelphia, and The Post will sponsor the St. Louis game Nov. 5.
Speaking for The Post, Vincent Reed said: "We feel strongly it (the team) is a vital part of the community. We know from experience when you lose a pro team, it's very difficult to regain one."
Pollin, who said he is confident of "a groundswell" of support from area businesses, said: "We don't anticipate having a drive like this every year. This is a pivotal year for the Caps. No time, effort or money will be spared to make this a team for the town to be proud of."
The Capitals also announced that center Wes Jarvis and goalie Rollie Boutin were traded to the Minnesota North Stars for goalie Robbie Moore and future considerations.
Moore spent last season in Nashville of the Central Hockey League, with an 18-17-1 record and a 4.33 goals against average.