We’re pretty confident Tom Dundon, as new potential majority owner of the Hurricanes, has a solid idea of what to do to get fans back involved. However, that is not going to prevent us from putting in our two cents.
Make PNC Arena A Place To Be
When the PNC Arena was built (RIP EAS name) the location seemed somewhat logical. It was easy access for everyone in the Triangle and the scene in Downtown Raleigh wouldn’t arrive for another 10-15 years. Combine this with NC State needing a new basketball arena and BOOM we landed a professional franchise. The area off Edwards Mill was somewhat remote but the thought was “if you build it they will come”
Development did occur around the arena but maybe not what people desire for a modern day arena. Especially with all the images of people in Nashville seamlessly rolling from restaurant/bar right into the arena for a game. How does Dundon and partners fix this? Well it’d be unfair for him to invest a ton in infrastructure in an area that is used 80-100 times a year. But it’s not a bad idea to try something that would be low risk and low overhead that could get people to the game earlier.
Build a bar/restaurant just off the PNC Arena for people to arrive early to the games and socialize with friends. I know they have this is the arena already, but most people may not want to pay arena pricing as soon as they get on the grounds. This has been done at various MLB stadiums: Cleveland, Washington etc. If you serve beer in bottles and have a small kitchen then you can keep overhead costs low which could make it easier to make some dollars since it’ll only be operating a quarter of the year. It’d would allow for a different twist on the gameday experience. Maybe partner with Snoopy’s or CharGrill to give it the Raleigh flair.
Continue Community Involvement
The Hurricanes have done a great job in this area and I’m sure they will continue in the future.
Win The Triangle
There been a lot of talk about need to increase the marketing budget and after consulting with RCS expert Ryan we tend to agree. However, it doesn’t need to be broad. Focus all the efforts in the Triangle. No need for anyplace more than 90 minutes away, as who would be willing to travel three hours round-trip on a week night? Win the local scene over. The billboards are a good start, but so will being present at a lot of the events that happen in the Triangle area. For example, it may be the middle of summer but a Carolina Hurricanes sponsored stage at the 4th of July festival in DTR would keep the Canes in the minds of the average fan year round.
WIN on Ice
I mean this is the biggest thing. Once you get the positive vibes going then people will come back. We’re still a small market so I don’t believe the purse strings are wide open but maybe we can be more aggressive in Free Agency. Building a respectable practice facility could help entice some FA’s too.