Over the last several seasons, the Carolina Hurricanes Season Ticket Member (STM) renewal drive in March has come in like a lion, in other words, with a lot of loud growling and roaring. Uncertainty around changes in ownership, plan price increases, aggressive in-season promotions and flash sales undercutting ticket prices, and the reality of nine years of watching the postseason from the sidelines left many long-standing supporters less than enthusiastic about recommitting for more of the same.
But winning cures a lot, and while the organization has continued to make a priority of improving all aspects of the fan experience, the team took it upon themselves to make the on-ice product more desirable, first by getting back in the win column and second by making sure no one wanted to leave the building before the closing credits rolled. Given that a vital Season Ticket Member benefit is priority for playoff tickets, reality is this year that benefit may finally come to fruition again. For all those reasons, this renewal drive feels different from the recent past. All indications are that STM commitments and attendance in general will continue to improve heading into next season, and by contrast, this STM renewal period feels like it came in like a lamb.
There are positives and negatives to the 2019-20 STM plan package, but in general, the plans didn’t substantially change from what was offered in 2018-19. Following are highlights of what’s new and different.
(Ed. disclosure: I’m a Hurricanes Season Ticket Member and have renewed my plan for the 2019-20 season, which will be my fifteenth.)
- Press Release
- 2019-20 Season Ticket Membership Home Page - This is the jumping-off point for information about benefits and access, fan experiences, seating, pricing, and FAQs.
- Renewal Rewards and Contest Rules
- Canes Country 2018-19 Season Ticket Membership Q&A and Commentary
- Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. With few exceptions, pricing for 2019-20 season ticket plans increased in every section under every plan on average around $3 per ticket. For most full season ticket members that represents an increase of between $85 to $170 per plan depending on the location, and $11 to $90 for a mini-plan STM. From a historical perspective, the team did not raise STM ticket prices at all in 2018-19 but implemented a similar increase in 2017-18.
- Although gate prices for 2019-20 have not been released, based on the plan savings reported in the STM pricing grid, it appears individual ticket pricing will also see similar increases. Season ticket members are exempt from tiered pricing for premium games, which has been in effect for several seasons for high-demand games (criteria usually based on event date and/or opponent). Gate prices for premium tier games average 15-20% above regular gate prices.
- Pure Hockey Pricing, introduced last season as a “fewer frills” option for select lower level full season plans at a lower ticket price point, has been expanded from two seat options to three with a new Sideline option at $50 per ticket. Pure Hockey Pricing offers STMs access to fan experiences but excludes benefits such as food and beverage discount, vouchers, and pregame exchanges.
- The pricing sections for lower level did not change for 2019-20. Club Level Center Ice pricing was reduced from six sections to two (opening up more sections in Club Select for mini-plans), and the middle section of Terrace Preferred on either side of the upper deck has been designated as a new Center Ice Terrace section.
- Lower Level Center Ice was added as available for selection for 22-game mini plans.
- Season Ticket Members who commit to their 2019-20 plans before March 30 will automatically become eligible to win one of 14 prizes including a $5000 Diamonds Direct shopping spree, trips with the team, jerseys off the players’ backs, and various dining experiences and gift cards. (Note, since this reward is classified as a sweepstakes, state law mandates that no purchase is necessary to enter the sweepstakes, check the rewards page for a link to the entry rules).
- Other incentives that expire on March 30 include a preseason tailgate party for full STMs, and a food and beverage credit based on a percentage of the ticket plan price and status.
- In addition to the standard core benefits (vouchers, parking and concession discounts, pregame ticket exchange), an officially licensed Adidas gift and PNC Arena concert and family show pre-sale access are new benefits added this season.
- There is a new table that outlines benefits that increase in value based on STM tenure. Tenure-based team store discounts have been in effect for several seasons. It has been expanded to include benefits for in-game seat upgrade credits and the benefit itself has been expanded to be available for all seating plans for 2019-20 (eligibility was limited to lower level seating plans in 2018-19).
In addition to the pricing and perks that go along with the program, Season Ticket Members are guaranteed access to discounted tickets for any home games should the Hurricanes qualify for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Additionally, STMs who commit to a 2019-20 plan before March 30 are eligible for a “Pay As We Play” payment option, requiring no down payment until such time as games are guaranteed. For more information, visit here for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoff Pricing & FAQ.
Whether you have been a Season Ticket Member for years, you’re considering joining for the first time, or even if you just follow the team and don’t plan to buy a membership, we want to hear from you in our poll and in our comments.
What’s your Hurricanes Season Ticket Member plan for 2019-20?
This poll is closed
NEW STM for 2019-20 Full Season Plan
NEW STM for 2019-20 Partial Season Plan
CURRENT 2018-19 STM Renewing Same/Similar Plan for 2019-20
CURRENT 2018-19 STM Renewing and Upgrading Plan for 2019-20
CURRENT 2018-19 STM Renewing and Downgrading Plan for 2019-20
CURRENT 2018-19 STM Not Renewing
CURRENT 2018-19 STM Undecided
Not a STM But Considering Becoming One
Canes fan but not a current or future Season Ticket Member