RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — During the Carolina Hurricanes Stanley Cup run in 2006, the PNC Arena, then known as the RBC Center, was dubbed “The Loudest House in the NHL.”
But for nearly two years now, the building has been muted due to a lack of fans caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monday night, though, when the Hurricanes host Nashville in game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, more than 10,000 fans will be there to cheer on the home team.
“That’s what we’ve missed, no doubt about it,” said Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour. “We’ve had some good crowds but nothing like what we’ve been expecting.”
“That emotion is what has been missing in hockey and in all sports. That emotion is a big deal and it will be interesting to see how that goes,” he added.
The players know exactly how it’s going to go and they’re excited to feel the fan support. Two years ago when the Canes made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, PNC Arena was electric.
“I know the guys are really excited about it, it’s going to feel great,” smiled Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal. “There’s no better building when the Caniacs are going.”
On Friday, the Hurricanes were given the go-ahead to increase attendance from 6,000 to the nearly 12,000 that are expected to fill PNC Arena Monday night.
“We get a little bump in attendance and it’s going to be even that much louder. I’m very excited about it and it’s good to have some normalcy and good hockey back,” Staal added.
“It’s awesome,” gushed Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce. “I remember two years ago not being able to hear yourself in those games at home.”
“And obviously we feed off that, every team does but I think our fans are especially loud. It’s going to be awesome to play for them and have them around,” Pesce added.