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Hurricanes, Friends of Canes Exceed Season Ticket Goal; Win Right to Host NHL All-Star Game

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Harris Teeter Puts Team Over the Top

The Carolina Hurricanes announced at a news conference at 5 p.m. today that it had exceeded its season ticket goal by securing 12,309 season ticket commitments from individuals and corporate partners during the eight-week NHL All-Star Crusade.

The Crusade was launched March 28 after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman challenged the Triangle to support its professional sports team -- and, in the process, win the right to host the NHL All-Star Game within five years. The week-long All-Star celebration is expected to generate over $20 million in revenue for the region.

"Everything came together for us," said Hurricanes President Jim Cain. "The team did its part by playing such exciting and emotional hockey during the Stanley Cup playoffs. The fans responded by supporting the team with their words and actions. And the corporate community came together to secure the All-Star Game. The Hurricanes are proud to be a part of this All-Star region."

Grocer Harris Teeter put the Hurricanes over the top with its commitment to purchase 1,000 season tickets. Fans will be able to purchase two-packs of tickets at Harris Teeter locations as part of a retail resale program, the details of which are still being developed. During the past two seasons, Harris Teeter has sponsored "family nights" where fans have received discounted ticket packages with sodas and hotdogs for families of four.

Other major corporate supporters included GlaxoSmithKline, Touchstone Energy, Carolina Power & Light, Capitol Broadcasting, IBM and SAS Institute.

The effort to reach the 12,000 goal was led by Doug Piper, the executive vice president of business operations for the organization. Jim Goodmon, president of Capitol Broadcasting, led the Friends of the Canes, a group of business and community leaders that spearheaded the drive."I knew that the community wouldn't let us down. This is a great gesture on the part of many people who came together for a common cause … a cause that will ultimately benefit the entire Triangle region," Goodmon said.

Although the ticket drive is over, the Hurricanes still have their work cut out for them over the next few months. Cain said the next step is to renew last year's season ticket holders who haven't yet finalized their commitments, and then ensure that the fans are treated with the quality service they have come to expect at the arena.

"Our biggest challenges are yet to come because we've nearly doubled our season ticket base and we're implementing new programs, such as our Hurricanes Heroes," said Cain. Heroes tickets were purchased by corporate supporters to use for charitable giving and school incentives.

The Canes started the drive with a season ticket base of 6,302, and grew the base to 11,067 the day before the Crusade ended. The 12,000 season tickets represent full season ticket purchases, as well as the purchase of 7-, 14- and 21-game mini-season ticket plans.

Attending today's news conference were: Coach Paul Maurice, Assistant Coaches Randy Ladouceur and Kevin McCarthy, Team Captain Ron Francis, Players Glen Wesley, Arturs Irbe, Steve Halko, and Bates Battaglia, Broadcasters John Forslund and Tripp Tracy, and Jim Goodmon.

"On behalf of my teammates, we want to thank all our fans in the Triangle who have supported us and the season ticket drive. All teams play better in front of a crowd of boisterous fans. We can't wait for the opportunity come October," said Ron Francis.

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