Two major events. One shared parking area. Let the chaos of the Carolina Hurricanes state fair game begin.
Who is ready for some fried food, rides games, and some hockey?!?! That’s right, it’s that time of year again. The North Carolina State fair is back in town and the Carolina Hurricanes will be there too.
From October 17th to the 27th, hundreds of thousands of people will be gathering at the North Carolina fairgrounds just a stones throw away from PNC Arena for fun, fried food, and a good time.
Now you may be thinking, why are we talking about the NC State Fair in a hockey article? That’s because on October 26th, the Carolina hurricanes will be hosting the Chicago Blackhawks at PNC Arena at 1 pm.
These two events happening at the same time will cause massive problems not for only for the fans going to the hockey game, but also to the fair goers.
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Let’s look at back at last year. In 2018, the Colorado Avalanche came to the City of Oaks during the state fair. This was the first state fair game for the Carolina Hurricanes in 16 years. The game itself was well attended (though the Hurricanes did lose 3-1) , but the main issue was outside in the parking lots and the traffic.
On a normal day, the thousands upon thousands of people who attend the North Carolina state fair will have several parking lots not only around the state fairgrounds, but will also take up both the parking lots by Carter Finley Stadium and PNC Arena.
Now with this hockey game, not only will you have to deal with hockey traffic, but add on the fair traffic as well. Sounds like fun, right? This is one of the main reasons why NC State football and the Carolina Hurricanes usually don’t have home games during the state fair.
This is where the front office of the Carolina Hurricanes and the organizers of the NC state fair come in. To try to help, these groups have historically cooperated to try to help each other.
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Last year, the Hurricanes worked with the state fair to offer discounted tickets to the fair for all who attended the hockey game; the game was made a part of the popular homegrown series, parking was dropped to just $10. The PNC Arena parking lot was also opened at 8 am for a 1 pm game to try to alleviate some of the traffic problems.
These ideas worked and the game was successful, but this year’s game also brings a new challenge. The Blackhawks are known for traveling well to away games and will bring far more fans than the Avalanche did.
However, with the lessons learned from last year’s game, I believe this year’s state fair game will go over smoothly and maybe begin a new tradition for the Carolina Hurricanes. But, that story is for another time.
Question to the CC readers: Will you be attending the hockey game, the fair, or both on Oct. 26th?