Amidst concerns over their attendance numbers, the Carolina Hurricanes discussed their strategy going forward to bring more fans to their games.
For their contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets at PNC Arena on Tuesday, the Hurricanes drew a reported total of 7,892 fans. While their home opener on October 7 resulted in a sellout, the small crowd on Tuesday prompted more discussion about the team’s low attendance figures over the last few seasons.
In terms of announced per-game average attendance, the Hurricanes finished last in the NHL in each of the previous two seasons, with figure for 2016-17 coming in at 11,776 fans. During a recent interview, Hurricanes president Don Waddell addressed the team’s attendance figures, and discussed the how the team evaluates its numbers and the ongoing strategy to improve them. More from The Charlotte Observer:
“We’re not last in the league in attendance,” Waddell said. “You guys can publish (attendance) reports, but I go by dollars. So we’re not last.
“Nobody is happy where we are, no doubt. We also have to continue to keep moving all the elements forward. If we can do that, I think attendance is going to pick up with that.”
Waddell said that when he was named president in July 2014, the Canes had a season-ticket base – in terms of full-season ticket holders and season-ticket equivalencies – of about 5,400. He said that base has been built to about 7,000.
“We’re making some progress under the circumstances, and we’re just going to keep going,” he said. “I talk to our sales staff all the time (that) winning or losing doesn’t stop us from doing our job. If we win, it’s going to make our job a little easier to sell more tickets. But we don’t use that as an excuse.”
As noted, the Hurricanes drew a sellout crowd for their home opener. That figure was reported at 18,680.