The Washington Capitals are maintaining current ticket prices until July 1, by which time they hope to have the largest season-ticket base in the club's history. After that date, there will be an across-the-board increase of $1 per ticket on season-ticket plans and $1.50 per ticket for partial plans or individual tickets.

At present, the hockey team has 6,700 season ticket-holders. The all-time high of 6,800 was attained in 1974, before the Capitals ever played a game. The damage done by that first awful 8-67-5 team and management decisions that followed kept sales well below that figure in the intervening years.

Season ticket-holders who supply a $150 deposit in cash or unused playoff tickets by July 1 will pay the same price as last year, which amounts to $14.50, $12.50 or $7.50.

Renewals or new season ticket sales after July 1 will pay $15.50, $13.50 or $8.50 per seat.

Those who renew or order partial plans (10 or 20 games) and pay in full by July 1 will be charged $15.50, $13.50 or $8 per ticket. Renewals or new sales of partial plans after July 1 will be assessed next year's gate prices -- $17, $15 or $9.50.

"Even after the increase, we remain 20th in overall price structure, with only Detroit lower," Strudler said.

He added, "We know everyone is disappointed by the first-round loss in the playoffs. Enabling everyone who was with us last year to renew without an increase is our way of saying, 'Thank you' to everybody."