The Carolina Hurricanes have extended their lease with PNC Arena for another five years, ensuring the Canes Stay in Carolina.
In the worst news to be received by Quebec today, the Carolina Hurricanes and the Centennial Authority have a term sheet in place keeping the team at PNC Arena for another glorious five years according to reports from News and Observer.
During a global pandemic, this is excellent news. Especially considering that source of funding for the Centennial authority is Wake County’s hotel and restaurant tax, two business models hit the worst by the pandemic. But fear not, that hasn’t stopped the team from pushing to keep some stability for the fanbase.
It’s not a done deal just yet, however. The Centennial Authority chairman, Thomas McCormick said:
“We’ve been discussing a term sheet but the board has not approved a term sheet at this point. Obviously with COVID-19, and not being able to have any person-to-person meetings, it has been difficult. I can’t really comment on anything that might be in the term sheet since the board has not approved it yet.”
This new term sheet is basically a slowdown of all the renovations and upgrades the Arena needs while the economy recovers from the pandemic. To be fair, they are still coming and the new and improved arena is expected to be able to attract more and more fans, helping the team pole-vault up the attendance records.
But the most important part of this deal, the part that gets me most excited is the length of the term. Dundon has now been the owner for more than two years (time flies huh). That means he has a little over four years before he is allowed, by contract, to move the team. Getting a five-year deal puts him right there, which is concerning but he had this to say:
“I think it’s a fair deal. This gives us the flexibility to focus on Raleigh. We want to stay. This puts us in a position to stay here long term. It gives us all the time we need to focus on a long-term solution.”
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Dundon has poured a lot of money into the Carolina Hurricanes and renovations at PNC Arena. While many of his detractors claim that he still plans on moving the team, I would argue that he has invested a little too much here to sink all that investment and just move the team. Especially as attendance, fandom, and on-ice performance have all improved under his governance.
The Truth is, he can still uproot and move the team, by at that point, five years in the future, would it be the business smart move? After investing so much time, effort, and money into making the team profitable here? After turning players into regional superstars? After returning the team to form? I would argue that Tom Dundon will do the smart move and keep the team in Carolina.
A new lease with the Centennial Authority, especially during these troubling times, is the first step.
Question For CC Readers: Do you think that Dundon is planning to move the team after the next five seasons?