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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Oakes

PNC Arena – Carolina Hurricanes


Photos by Joseph Oakes, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57

PNC Arena 1400 Edwards Mill Rd Raleigh, NC 27607


Year Opened: 1999

Capacity: 18,680


 

Rock You Like A Hurricane

The Carolina Hurricanes began playing at PNC Arena when the building opened in 1999. Prior to that, the Hurricanes played at the Greensboro Coliseum during their first two years in North Carolina. The facility has gone by three names since it opened: Entertainment and Sports Arena, the RBC Center, and now the PNC Arena. The arena is located in West Raleigh and sits next door to Carter-Finley Stadium, home of the NC State football team. PNC Arena boasts 18,680 red seats for hockey and is also the home of the NC State basketball team. Even though the venue is approaching 20 years old, it is still a modern arena for NHL hockey. 


Food & Beverage 4

PNC Arena offers a wide selection of food and beverage choices, even though the prices are a bit high. However, there is no shortage of concession choices as you make your way through the concourses. The permanent stands offer your generic stadium food: hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, nachos, pretzels, popcorn, and peanuts. Bottled Pepsi products are sold at these stands and Aquafina bottled water, coffee, hot chocolate, and Gatorade. 


Also, throughout the arena, you can find Cinnabon cinnamon buns and various ice cream choices. Alcoholic beverages are offered in two sizes. If you are a fan of BBQ, your best bet is to check out one of the several North Carolina BBQ stands scattered throughout the arena. These stands offer two favorites of mine: a BBQ sandwich and BBQ nachos. Pair these with a Cheerwine, and you are in business.

 

Atmosphere 4

PNC Arena is your standard three-level arena with a lower level, a middle club lever, and an upper level. All seats are cushioned and have cup holders. Suites are located at the top of the lower and club levels. There is a four-sided center-hung video board above center ice. It is small compared to many of the newer video boards, but rumor has it that the new Hurricanes owner wants to install a new video board next season that runs from blue line to blue line.



The Hurricanes have an engaging mascot – Stormy, who is a pig. This is about the great North Carolina Bar B Que culture. The Canes also have their dance team – the Storm Squad, which engages the crowd and helps get them pumped up for games. There are hurricane warning flags and graphics throughout the arena. Before each game, a local celebrity (such as an area college coach) will crank the hurricane siren to get fans pumped up. At various times throughout the game, “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by the Scorpions will crank up. The management does a great job of incorporating hurricane and storm-related graphics and activities into the game day experience.

 

Neighborhood 2

PNC Arena was built adjacent to Carter-Finley Stadium in West Raleigh near the NC State Fairgrounds. While there is plenty of parking and great tailgating, there is little to do within walking distance before or after the game. The only restaurants within walking distance are Backyard Bistro, Wendy’s, and Bojangles. Backyard Bistro is a great place to hang out and get food and drinks before a game.

 

Since you will most likely be driving to the arena, be sure to visit the Angus Barn restaurant about 9 miles from the arena, located near the RDU Airport. The Angus Barn is a sprawling upscale steakhouse in a barn-like setting with a wine cellar, lounge, and cigar bar.  Area activities to consider are the NC Museum of Art and Park, which is about 1 mile from the arena, and the North Carolina State Capitol building and museums in downtown Raleigh.

 

Fans 5

Since Rod Brind’Amour has taken over the team and has them consistently in the playoffs, expect a near-capacity crowd for every game. The fans are consistently loud and into the game, and tickets are now tough to come by.

 

Access 4

PNC Arena is easily accessible by car as it sits near I-40 and I-440 in West Raleigh. If you are flying into the area, the Raleigh-Durham airport is only 10 miles away and provides all the major airlines. Parking is plentiful around the Arena/Stadium area and is $40 on-site and $25 prepaid. We suggest buying prepaid to save $15.

The security staff entering PNC Arena does seem a little “strict” at times, so allow yourself some extra time when entering the arena. Once inside, the arena is easily navigable with three concourses serving the three levels. The arena is well-signed so you can easily find your section.

 

Return on Investment 3

Ticket prices range from $50 (upper level) to $200 (lower level) depending on location, and parking at the arena is $40. Concessions are expensive, but are on par with other arenas and the quality of food is good.

 

Extras 3

PNC Arena has hosted the NHL All-Star game, the Stanley Cup, and the NHL amateur draft.

 

Recently, the Hurricanes have started coming back onto the ice after a win and doing their version of the “Lambeau Leap” by skating down the ice and jumping onto the glass.

 

The arena has recently added phone-charging stations around the concourse.

 

Final Thoughts

PNC Arena is routinely sold out and offers a great environment to watch NHL hockey.

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