Having your home sports arena available when you want to play games in it is important. Just ask the Carolina Hurricanes and NC State Basketball.
These two teams share the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC; and they have for over a decade. NC State’s football stadium, Carter-Finley , is also right next-door and they utilize PNC’s parking lot on football game days. So, there is a lot to consider when scheduling events.
The two teams are at odds over scheduling dates for basketball and hockey, and it seems they have been since last fall. The News and Observer states that NC State’s Chancellor, Randy Woodson, and the Hurricanes president and general manager, Jim Rutherford, are planning to meet sometime over the next two weeks to hopefully resolve this issue.
When NC State and the Hurricanes moved in together they signed a contract. The contract gives NC State scheduling priority, meaning NC State gets to pick dates first. It gets tricky because the Hurricanes must submit dates to the NHL by June 1st to avoid fines, but NC State does not receive their basketball schedule until August. Due to this two-month waiting period, NC State has blocked out numerous extra dates in anticipation of their schedule, such as, potential Wednesday and Saturday games for TV airtime. According to WRALsportsfan.com, who provides great detail about this issue , NC State has blocked 59 of 88 available calendar dates from January to the end of their season (first week of March) for the potential of 7-8 home basketball games. This makes scheduling home hockey games very difficult, when there are 20+ hockey games to schedule from January through the first week in April.
Overall NC State only has 23 home events, between football and basketball. The Hurricanes have 41 games, with the potential for the post-season and up to 16 more home games. If the Hurricanes make it through the entire post-season their season could last until mid-June. That is 8 months.
I understand NC State’s point-of-view; they have scheduling priority, why not use it? They can take advantage to gain a competitive edge in ACC sports by having the best scheduling options available.
However, Gale Force Holdings, who owns the Hurricanes and operates the arena, is responsible for any annual deficits. NC State is at verge of pushing the Hurricanes out due to the fines the Hurricanes could face if they have to change any dates they have already submitted to the NHL ($100,000/game changed).
There has to be some middle ground between the two sides. There used to be. They’ve been figuring out the schedules for over 10 years. Why is there an issue now?
The bottom line is this dispute is bad business. The Hurricanes are the true moneymaker of PNC Arena with ticket sales, special events, concessions, and souvenirs and fan gear sales. If the Hurricanes walk away from PNC, Gale Force is looking at an annual deficit of upwards of $10 million. NC State is acting like a small child who does not want to share their toys. If the Hurricanes leave, it will be very difficult to get another team/sport/event in that arena to support the revenue that the Hurricanes bring in.
Who would want to work with NC State/Gale Force after…
- A Professional Sports Team left PNC Arena?
- A partnership turned sour/bitter?
- Something as simple as schedule issues couldn’t be resolved?
Is that an inviting environment for any concert/show/sport?
No one will come to PNC Arena. It would hurt the city of Raleigh, Wake County, and the state of North Carolina.
Stop being so selfish NC State.