The Carolina Hurricanes announced their 2014-15 ticket pricing and seating last Thursday via their website, local media appearances, and a new (and rather slick) customized microsite for current season ticket holders.
There are a number of changes designed to drive value for season ticket holders while dealing with competing circumstances that continue to push prices upward. A new sales tax and increasing NHL salary cap will increase operations expenses, while frustrations over a likely fifth straight season of missed playoffs will decrease revenues as well as drive down future demand for season ticket commitments.
A new North Carolina sales tax went into effect on January 1, 2014, adding 6.75% to the cost of admissions to all sporting events (and other entertainment) across the state. The Hurricanes fought the tax vigorously for two years, and were able to defer the tax on any regular season tickets for 2013-14, but the tax will go into effect for the upcoming season and will be reflected in the ticket prices.
Other than the added tax, there are no ticket price increases for full season ticket holders across seating locations in the arena for next season.
There are a number of new value-priced sections that have been designated for further discounts for full season ticket holders, including the top 8 rows of Lower Level Center Ice, Lower Level South, Lower Level North, and new designated Club Select and Upper Level Terrace sections, which offer as much as a 15% discount over other seats in the same sections.
26-game and 12-game mini-plans increased by about 10%, inclusive of the sales tax.
The Hurricanes are moving in the direction of other markets by offering tiered gate pricing for games that are designated as "premium" or high demand (think Saturday night or holiday game against an opponent like the Pittsburgh Penguins), to be determined after the 2014-15 NHL schedule is released.
The Canes are also continuing to offer a few "early bird" incentives. Season ticket holders that renew by March 14th will receive tickets to an exclusive Caniac Cookout with Hurricanes players, and those who renew by March 31st will receive a food and beverage discount card for 5%-10% of their season ticket spend based on plan.
Other season ticket holder benefits (vouchers, ticket exchange plans, exclusive ticket holder events, etc.) remain consistent with past seasons, and season ticket holders who retained their plans during the lockout will have discounts applied to this year's invoice as per terms and conditions of the lockout incentives.
EDITED TO ADD: I previously neglected to mention parking. Game day parking for Hurricanes hockey games next season will remain at $15 (note, general parking for most other events at PNC Arena is $20). Prepaid general parking for season ticket holders is $10.
For further reference:
- Link to Hurricanes 2014-15 Ticket Pricing and Seating
- Season Ticket Holder Benefits
- WRAL interview with Doug Warf, Hurricanes Vice President of Marketing
Please weigh in on our poll with your intentions regarding Hurricanes season ticket plans for next year. Understanding that circumstances may change with time, indicate your current plans (we'll run the poll again in the off-season which is why the poll questions are more specific to season tickets and not individual tickets). If you're not a season ticket holder, please vote as well, because seeing how our readership breaks down is very helpful.