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‘Canes facing huge potential fines over arena scheduling conflict

May 31, 2013, 8:36 PM EDT

Jim Rutherford Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes could be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars by the NHL because of a scheduling conflict at PNC Arena, president and GM Jim Rutherford told the Charlotte Observer.

The issues stems from a dispute between Gale Force Holdings — which owns the ‘Canes and operates the arena — and North Carolina State University, which will likely not meet a June 1 deadline to free up dates for hockey games.

“We do not have the dates,” Rutheford told the Observer on Friday. “We have to have the dates (to the NHL) by June 1 or we will be fined for each date that we later change.”

The Observer reports the NHL could fine the ‘Canes as much as $100,000 for each date that must be changed. The NHL is set to release its 2013-14 schedule in early July.

Here’s more:

Under its agreement with Gale Force and the Centennial Authority, which oversees the arena, N.C. State has priority on scheduling dates in the arena. The Wolfpack plays its men’s basketball games in the arena, and football games at Carter-Finley Stadium necessitate the use of the shared parking lots.

Rutherford, in a May 14 letter to authority chairman Thomas McCormick, said the university was holding out 129 dates in a 214-day span for 23 basketball and football games. He said the “new restrictions that N.C. State is attempting to impose” severely limits Gale Force’s ability to book events.

Tensions between the two parties have increased over the last few months. Rutherford wrote N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow a letter saying the University’s actions could affect “the viability of hockey in this market.”

N.C. State contends that it has made “significant concessions” to Gale Force already, and making more would put its athletic program at a competitive disadvantage.

Rutherford has recently met with N.C. State chancellor Randy Woodson to try and resolve the issue, and said it was a “very good meeting.”

“We’re hoping to reach a reasonable understanding,” he added.

  1. jimw81 - May 31, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    they got a reason to move back to hartford.

  2. sjsharks66 - May 31, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    100,000$ a game! That sucks! Haha

  3. atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 1, 2013 at 4:23 AM

    This team should be in Charlotte and the Bobcats/new Hornets should be in Raleigh. Charlotte does a great job of supporting the Checkers and has a decent size population of northerners and Canadians, while Raleigh is in the middle of basketball country.

    • caniac4ever - Jun 1, 2013 at 5:22 AM

      The Triangle supports their Hurricanes. Charlotte is not the place for an NHL team.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        It’s not like it would actually happen, just an observation of mine from the Charlotte point of view, I’ve been to both Checkers games (when the were an ECHL team) and Bobcats game (the second regular season game in existence when they drew less than 10,000) and I thought the passion and excitement for the hockey was way higher than for the basketball. The AHL Checkers average 6,800 which is well above league average, and they’ve had several games of more than 12,000 in attendance which is pretty good for minor league hockey. Would they support NHL hockey? That’s absolutely debatable, but the city is a decent size, they’ve got a decent sized population of northerners and Canadians and there’s a big opening in the calendar inbetween when the Panthers season ends and NASCAR comes to town, a large market of sports fans looking to do something in that time, lord knows they’re not going to Bobcats games!

        Now with all that being said I do acknowledge that Raleigh has done a good job of supporting the Canes ever since the 2004-05 lockout, and that franchise does need to go anywhere.

    • deeboy - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      Hurricanes per game attendance this year: 17,558 (94% capacity)


      I bet they outdraw NC State basketball for average attendance. There is plenty of support. The relatively new NC State AD is a ball-buster and I wonder if Gale Force holdings is trying to do some leg-humping of their own. Regardless, NCSU should not be holding 129 dates for 23 games. That’s almost 6 days held per game… Complete BS.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 1, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        Especially since the ACC plays most of their games Tuesday/Wednesday and Saturday/Sunday and it’s rare for teams to play two home games in a row (it does happen but maybe once or twice a year) I’m sure the ACC could give them a heads up on when they’ll be playing at home, Tuesday this week, Saturday the next etc.

  4. nhstateline - Jun 1, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    or anywhere else in New England. With all the AHL teams in the region (and they all draw ok), this area could easily support another NHL team. Why I bet, given how much money can be made from media rights/ad sales that Jeremy Jacobs could be bought off too.

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