RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Having the Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup Playoffs isn’t just good news for hockey fans, it can bring millions of dollars to Wake County, too.

It may be the first game of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but it certainly won’t be the last for many of the fans who filled the stands at PNC Arena Monday night.

“I’ll make it to as many as I can,” fan Bryce Pederson said.

“I can’t wait for them to keep going,” Ashley Soltis added.

Across the street at Backyard Bistro, bartender Jesse Gibson feels the same way.

After games, he said the bar fills up.

“We look at our hockey season as being the highest-grossing point that we could have, and the longer that they (the Hurricanes) go, even for our own selfish reasons, it’s great for us,” he said.

According to The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh), the 2019 playoffs brought in approximately $7.9 million as a direct impact of tourism. It also brought national media attention to the city.

“Even past my own fandom, I love the fact that they’re right there and we get to just kind of satellite off of their success,” Gibson said.

Although many bars and restaurants are facing staff shortages right now, Gibson said they’re finding ways to work around them.

“I think our motto is now we do the best we can with what we have, and we try to do it with a smile on our face at all times,” Gibson said.

There were certainly plenty of smiles as Hurricanes fans look forward to (hopefully) some big wins.

“As a fan, I hope they win in four,” Gibson said. “For my own selfish reasons I don’t mind a fifth game just to have them back home.”

He added though that he didn’t want the Carolina and Boston Bruins’ opening series game to go to seven games though, regardless of business.

“Too much stress,” he said.