Hurricanes Fans Are Gonna Love What PNC Arena Has in Store for Them

The home of the Carolina Hurricanes since 1999, PNC Arena will receive some much-needed renovations over the next few years. The design firms of RATIO and HOK met with the Centennial Authority, which oversees the arena for the City of Raleigh, this past Wednesday to provide an update on the renovation plans for PNC Arena.

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The renovations have been in the works for several years, but like much of everything around the world, plans were put on hold in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, RATIO/HOK said that the renovation projects would cost around $225 million. The price will be significantly higher whenever construction begins, as both parties are working on getting the project started as soon as possible.

Carolina Hurricanes PNC Arena
Carolina Hurricanes PNC Arena (Carolina Hurricanes media)

Chip Alexander of The Raleigh News and Observer detailed the updates provided by RATIO/HOK on Wednesday. Michael Day, HOK senior project manager, mentioned that getting construction started as early as next summer could be difficult due to design decisions and the limited time between seasons (from ‘PNC Arena to take on more modern look, feel with planned renovations’, Raleigh News & Observer, June 30, 2022).

Upcoming Changes

While the plans and exact cost are not yet finalized for the entire project, we do know a few of the details surrounding the plans for the renovations. We learned earlier this month that the PNC Arena will be getting a new roof, which will cost around $7.6 million. The roof is the most expensive project that was approved in early June by the Centennial Authority for the $25.6 million budget for the next fiscal year.

The RATIO/HOK groups also revealed on Wednesday that several arenas such as the Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center were studied by the design teams while planning the proposals for the PNC Arena renovations.

It is safe to assume that fans will find a more modern-looking environment inside and outside PNC Arena when renovations are finished in a few years. Fans should also expect to see plenty of new amenities throughout the arena. Throughout the past decade, we’ve seen professional and college sports teams get very creative with the amenities and experiences provided on gameday to make sure fans keep coming back.

Entertainment District on the Horizon

Not only will the renovations provide updates to the interior and exterior design of the arena, but they will also see the dreams of Hurricanes owner Tom Durdon come true. His vision for the property surrounding the arena to become an entertainment district should become a reality at the completion of the project.

Don Waddell Hurricanes
Don Waddell, Carolina Hurricanes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Hurricanes president and general manager Don Waddell announced Wednesday that the development of the area surrounding the arena could include office buildings, retail options, and even two hotels.

“We can make it a destination place,” Waddell stated. “Make it a place people want to go to. We don’t have anything like that right now.”

Hurricanes Home For Years to Come

Carolina signed an extension on their lease at PNC Arena last July, which squashed rumors that had been circling for years about a possible relocation outside of Raleigh. The deal extended the lease through the 2028-29 season.

The Hurricanes have a good thing going in Raleigh, heading into the 2022-23 campaign with a streak of four straight playoff appearances. Carolina also set a new franchise record for attendance during the first-round series against the Boston Bruins, with 19,513 fans on hand for their 3-2 victory on May 14, 2022. They finished the 2021-22 regular season 13th in the NHL with an average of 17,210 fans per game.

PNC Arena (formerly RBC Center) has been dubbed by many as the “Loudest House in the NHL”, a name that originated during the Hurricanes’ historic run to the Stanley Cup in 2006. It once again lived up to that reputation in the playoffs this past season, with the Hurricanes holding an impressive 7-1 record in Raleigh thanks in part to an unbelievable home atmosphere.

The renovations at the 23-year-old arena are overdue for a franchise that is trying to become a consistent contender for the Stanley Cup. Continuing to create a hostile environment that makes it tough on opposing teams is a primary key to continued success, and improving the quality of the arena while also introducing a new and improved exterior will help ensure that fans will continue flocking to the PNC Arena for years to come.

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