The Carolina Hurricanes and new owner Tom Dundon came up with a creative way to fill the lower bowl inside PNC Arena during Tuesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators. Every fan, regardless of which seat they had a ticket for, was allowed to upgrade their seat to sit in the lower bowl.
In the event of the lower bowl filling up, the ‘Canes planned to open up their empty suites and even allow fans to sit in the owner’s suite had the demand called for it.
Dundon wants to see the Hurricanes have an advantage at home and he’s willing to move fans from the upper bowl to the lower bowl to make it happen. Given the team’s overall attendance woes this season (they’re 30th in the NHL at 12,936 per game with a 69.3 capacity), why not open things up and treat the fans who are showing up to a better experience?
Lots of fans took advantage of the offer and swapped their seats before the game.
One of Canes' 300 level relocation tables at PNC Arena stays busy before Ottawa game as tickets are being swapped. pic.twitter.com/04neBS7AS7
— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) January 30, 2018
No one was required to move to the lower level, but by the looks of the upper bowl, it seems that most fans took the Hurricanes up on their ticket upgrade.
Pretty much what third level looks like tonight at PNC Arena. But not everyone is downstairs. pic.twitter.com/rTvLPSPeSP
— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) January 31, 2018
What did fans think? They loved it, of course.
Dundon commented on the idea, via The News & Observer:
“I want the lower bowl to be energetic and packed. It’s obvious it’s sort of a playoff push now. We’re going to let the people who want to come down and get a better experience. I think we’re going to run out of tickets so we’re going to have to open up suites … to make sure we take care of as many people as we can.”
The Hurricanes don’t have much to lose with their promotion. Fans who are in attendance are treated to a better experience and the idea generates lots of buzz and goodwill towards the new owner. More fans sitting closer to the action should also create a better atmosphere for the players on the ice. With some luck, and more competitive play from the ‘Canes, that positive coverage translates into more tickets being sold in the future.
Is this a one-time only promotion by the Hurricanes? Probably not, as Dundon sounds like he’s already thinking about the next one.
“I would expect we would do it again because I like the idea. We’ll see how it goes and how loud it gets. If it’s loud and I think it’s an advantage I think we’re going to try and do it more. We’ll find out.”