NHL's Capitals in deal with ticket options company

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The National Hockey League's Washington Capitals reached a deal with technology company OptionIt Inc that will allow fans to buy and sell options to purchase tickets to the team's regular season and playoff games during the 2009-2010 season, the Capitals said on Monday.

OptionIt, whose founders include members of the Chicago Board of Trade, part of derivatives exchange operator CME Group Inc has struck similar arrangements with the NHL's San Jose Sharks, the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics and the National Football League's Baltimore Ravens.

The service, launched this summer, lets fans pay in advance for the right to buy a ticket for about half of its face value, leaving it to them to decide later whether to exercise the option and buy the ticket at face value, or sell the option.

The Capitals, led by left-winger Alex Ovechkin, are currently in first place in the Southeast division of the NHL's Eastern Conference and have sold out all 15 of their home games this season.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba; editing by Andre Grenon)