“The Carolina Hurricanes Have The Best Fans In Hockey.”
That’s what former Bruins head coach Don Cherry had to say about the Carolina Hurricanes celebrating after wins. In Cherry’s defence, the celebrations were quite extravagant, with the Hurricanes pretending to hit a home run or forming the players up like pins and bowling them down. The celebrations can come off as rude to the opposition, but to Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek, “The fans were great today, they always push you to be better.”
“This is the National Hockey League, you don’t do stuff like that. They’re jerks doing it, I know you (Ron MacLean) like it, but they’re a bunch of jerks as far as I’m concerned.”
About a week later, the Hurricanes coined the term “Bunch of Jerks” and sold 11,000 t-shirts with the phrase, the largest surge in sales since their Stanley Cup Championship in 2006. What the fans did after the “Bunch of Jerks” comment was great because they took a negative comment and completely turned it around. All the fans were on board, and even in 2021, they are known as a bunch of jerks.
In the past three years, attendance at PNC Arena in Raleigh has gone up in year respectively. Last season, in 2019-20, the Hurricanes averaged 16,900 fans per game, averaging 89% capacity per game. And in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, every Carolina home game was a sellout.
To give a perspective on how loud PNC Arena is, a report by the Raleigh Observer found that by the front glass, right above the ice, it got as loud as 130 decibels, which is as loud as a jet taking off.
The Carolina Hurricanes aren’t the only team with home field advantage. The Seattle Seahawks are widely regarded for having the loudest fans in the NFL, and in 2013, they broke the record for loudest fans with a roar of 136 decibels. This record was broken a year later by the Kansas City Chiefs, when they recorded a roar from their hometown fanbase of 142 decibels.
The Carolina Hurricanes also have a big following on social media. During the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, Carolina’s Twitter sent out a poll that said “Alright Canes fans, who are we rooting for? Dallas Stars or Tampa Bay Lightning?” and the fans voted Dallas Stars, so for the entirety of the Stanley Cup Final series, the Hurricanes Twitter and their fanbase were rooting for the Stars to win the Stanley Cup.
To have a successful sports franchise is one thing. But for that franchise to truly connect to the fans the way the Carolina Hurricanes do is something special and I very much appreciate what the team is doing to include their fans and making them feel like a part of the team.