Hurricanes playoff run means big business

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- You might better know Jeff Dwyer as the "Kilted Caniac."

"I'm still trying to catch up from game seven of the Washington series," he said Thursday as he was picking out a new shirt at the Carolina Hurricanes team store next to PNC Arena.

Dwyer said picking out clothes was hard because he's so superstitious.

"I have my game day routine where I pack my kilt and I have everything together," he said. "I have the whole get up where I have certain shoes and black and red socks, certain shorts, everything."

Dwyer attended the official "Watch Party" for game one of the Eastern Conference Finals on Glenwood Avenue next to the Carolina Ale House.

The party expanded from the last time as more of Glenwood was closed to car traffic.

Other bars and restaurants have seen a huge uptick in business since the Canes began their playoff run.

"Usually when you go into the summertime and the Canes season ends, we transfer into a lot of catering and do see a drop off in business," said Joe Lumbrazo, owner of Backyard Bistro across from PNC Arena. "This though is just gravy going into the summertime."

Managers at the Canes store also said it was packed all day leading up to the first game.

Dylan Grissom was at the store buying a new shirt Thursday. He also remembers the Stanley Cup run while growing up in Henderson.

"I went to NC State and became a bigger hockey fan once I went there," Grissom said. "When I was younger, we never went to any watch parties but not we're texting our friends every time like 'What are you doing for the game?'"

Visit Raleigh said the first round series against Washington meant more than a $1 million of "direct tourism economic impact to the area."

They also said 33 percent of ticket sales came from visitors outside of Wake County.
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