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Die-Hard Canes Fans May Benefit From NHL Lockout

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes had few calming words for its fan base on Thursday, however, the news is not all bad. There is some financial comfort for the die-hard Carolina Hurricanes fans.

Fans are the life-blood of any pro-sports team. With NHL players locked out by owners, one would think the Carolina Hurricanes would go out of their way to reassure the frustrated fan.

"There's absolutely nothing we can say to calm the frustrated fans. The die-hard fans that just want to see hockey," said Jim Rutherford, general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes announced a cash-cushioning plan for season ticket holders. They can ask for their money back. However, if fans keep their investment with the team through the lock-out, depending on a number of variables, the team could add up to 5 percent interest.

No hockey fans in the seats, no players banging into the boards, no ice on the floor -- it may sound like doom and gloom for the RBC Center, but if you check the schedule, it will still be a very busy place with events like N.C. State basketball.

The RBC Center books about 155 events a year, but take out hockey and will still be about 110 events. While the non-hockey events will keep the building in business, officials do not expect to fill many empty hockey dates.

"It's not like there are 30 to 40 events sitting in a warehouse just waiting for the NHL to announce that the season is going to be delayed somewhat or potentially cancelled at some point, so they can roll out their events. It just doesn't work that way," arena general manager Dave Olsen said.

Instead of opening night on Oct. 14, the Canes will hold a town meeting for season ticket holders. The event will be at the RBC Center, but the time has not been determined yet. Owner Peter Karmanos will be there to answer questions.


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