Traditionally, the Carolina Hurricanes show their gratitude to their fans in the last week of every regular season. Since there wasn’t a fan appreciation week for the 2019-20 season, the Hurricanes have chosen to call Dec. 14-20 their virtual fan appreciation week. The appreciation week is well deserved — these fans are a faithful breed that value their team like family and the support is more than praiseworthy.
Carolina Fans Show Their Support on Social Media
According to a social media poll done by NHL on NBC in October 2019, the best fans belong to the Carolina Hurricanes, which was confirmed by legendary NHL on NBC announcer Doc Emrick. This tournament-style poll was based on fan engagement and votes for their squad. Caniacs demonstrated their devoted fandom by being the best voters in each round.
The results of the tourney were that Canes fans beat the Nashville Predators fans in the final. Obviously, fans from every team in the tournament had something to say about their team not winning, but Caniacs showed up digitally and made their presence known with the most engagement and voting on social media.
Hurricanes Fans Show Up
The average attendance at home games has steadily increased over the past few seasons. The increasing turnout is positive and evidence that the community rallies behind their hockey club. Three seasons ago, the average attendance was around 71% of capacity. During the 2018-19 season, the average attendance rose to approximately 77% of capacity, and in 2019-20, the average attendance got to approximately 90% of capacity. In the playoffs, PNC Arena was overcapacity in each home game.
This fan turnout is important for a team in a smaller market. The appreciation for the Hurricanes franchise goes a long way in such a close-knit community. It shows special appreciation for the team and adoration by the population the team represents.
Caniacs Are Proud to Be Loud
Not officially in the power rankings for best home rink environment, the Hurricanes and PNC Arena are definitely climbing the ranks. Caniacs made themselves known in the 2019 Playoffs. According to a Raleigh News Observer report in May 2019, “fans sitting rinkside and players on center ice could be exposed to noise levels of nearly 130 decibels.”
To put 130 decibels in perspective, that’s louder than thunder and as loud as a military fighter jet taking off. Fan support in the 2018-19 series versus the Washington Capitals is why the Canes were able to beat them and win the series. The level of play from the team was heavily influenced by the support and electricity of the fans. The fans demonstrated their faith and belief in their team and it fueled the Hurricanes to make a deep run in the 2019 Playoffs.
Hurricanes Fans Have a Reason to Be Happy
The team has celebrations like the Surge at the end of victorious home games to share in the positivity and fun. The Surge is also meant to show fans they’re appreciated to boost fan entertainment value. The Hurricanes even have free beer for a year as part of their Fan Appreciation Week! Free beer for a year would make anyone smile.
The Hurricanes went to work rebuilding the organization by acquiring and developing players to make a solid lineup and by making changes in leadership roles. Ultimately what the Hurricanes have done is given their fans reasons to cheer in the 2020-21 season. This is a reward to the fans for being such a great supporting cast for so many years.
Hurricanes fans show their dedication over social media, in person, and they shout it out from the bleachers for all to hear. The franchise has worked to build a great team people can get behind. Both sides bring something to the table to create the bond we see forming between the Hurricanes and the fans.
I love hockey. It has always been a passion of mine. My natural position is goaltender, but I’ve cultivated the ability to play all positions. I’ve been playing hockey for the past 23 years and still continue to play to this day. I’ve been watching hockey as a fan of the San Jose Sharks since 1994. Although I’m a fan of a Northern California team I pridefully cover the Carolina Hurricanes. They’re an exciting team, a great franchise, with great fans!