Local News

Stanley Cup Finals Put Eye On Triangle Tourism

Posted May 30, 2002

— The biggest event in professional hockey is coming to Raleigh and tourism officials said they are ready.

"You can't buy this type of name recognition and exposure," said Martin Armes of the Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Out-of-town fans, corporate guests of the NHL, players, their families and the media will head to the Triangle for as many as three games in the Stanley Cup finals at Raleigh's Entertainment and Sports Arena.

The out-of-town media contingent could number 500.

"There's French radio, English radio and Russian radio," said Jerry Higgins, of Hurricanes media relations. "Pretty much every available space in the arena is going to be used for something."

That includes space at the ends of the arena that is usually reserved for fans.

No one knows how much money the Stanley Cup finals will bring to the Triangle; however, hotels are expected to benefit from increased business during a normally soft period.

"It's going to be worth millions to the region -- not just Raleigh, but Durham, Chapel Hill, the whole entire Triangle region," Higgins said.

Tourism boosters said the cash will come, but this event is more about prestige.

"This certainly adds to our resume and status as a major league sports city," Armes said.

The NHL makes all the transportation arrangements for the media, players and coaches.

Hurricanes officials said the league has given the Triangle high marks for its accommodations, facilities, and southern hospitality.

Photographer:

Ken Corn

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