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Hockey Fans Gear Up For Carolina Hurricanes' Opener With Tailgate Party

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RALEIGH — TheCarolina Hurricanesdropped the puck Saturday on a new season. The team is hoping to put more fans in the seats of theRaleigh Entertainment and Sports Arenathis year.

Last year, the Hurricanes averaged 12,000 people a game. Officials say they have a commitment to improve on their performance. One policy change includes allowing fans to tailgate before games.

Bob Maude, a season ticket holder, says tailgating gets the game off to a good start.

"There are a lot of people and you are not rushed to get into the arena," he says. "You're assured to be at the arena on time, and you get to meet people."

The Carolina Hurricanes held their own tailgate party for the fans Saturday afternoon before the hockey game. The party included bands, clowns and a slapshot booth for children.

Last year's season opener created bumper-to-bumper traffic near the area. This year, the Carolina Hurricanes introduced the ESA Traffic Network, a radio report detailing traffic at the arena, to keep cars moving at a steady pace.

Inside the arena, fans were treated to a 3-3 overtime tie against the Washington Capitals.


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