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Hurricanes Hope to Fill Arena by Offering Lower Prices, Special Offer

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RALEIGH — TheCarolina Hurricanesare on a mission to fill the seats in their new arena.

The organization announced it will lower ticket prices by an average of $3 each next season. The biggest change will come in the less expensive seats at the Raleigh Sports and Entertainment Arena, where 6,200 seats will be priced at $22 or less compared to about 3,800 at that price this season.

The average ticket price of $38 for the 2000-2001 season would put the Hurricanes near or at the bottom of the NHL. The league's average price for a ticket this season is $43.

The new prices will be made available to those buying tickets for this year's Stanley Cup playoffs, if the Hurricanes make the postseason.

In all, 45 percent of the tickets in the new arena will be priced under $30 for a season ticket and 2,190 seats in the upper deck will go for $12 at the box office. The Hurricanes have also lowered ticket prices at the goal the Hurricanes defend twice, an innovation started by several other NHL teams.

The Hurricanes are currently offering a way to save with anew ticket packagecalled the Stretch Drive Mini Pac.

The six-game package costs anywhere from $85 to $495 depending on seats, and includes key games against Boston, St. Louis and Philadelphia.

A $25 gift certificate to a sporting goods store is also part of the package.

Mini Pac ticket holders will also have priority when it comes to ordering playoff tickets and season tickets for next year.

"Getting people in here is the key," says Jim Cain, chief operating officer of the Hurricanes. "We get them in here once and they're hooked. They have prices that are for their budgets. We think it will be a successful second half of the season and set up a good track record for next season."

Season ticket holders say they do not mind the discount tickets. They say what matters is higher attendance, which means more revenue and ultimately a better team on the ice.

To order tickets, call1-888-NHL-TIX-1. From staff and wire reports


Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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