What the Canes sale means for Raleigh

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Tom Dundon, the new owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, talks with ABC11's Mark Armstrong.

Tom Dundon told me Friday that one of the biggest things he's trying to impress upon his new Hurricanes employees is that the transition to his ownership doesn't begin tomorrow, or next week.

It begins now.

He wants instant changes, instant improvements. In the immediate, Hurricanes president Don Waddell told me that'll mean discounted parking and concessions. They're also re-envisioning every aspect of the in-game fan experience, from music to player meetings to even how the seats look.

So what does Dundon buying the team mean for Raleigh? It means urgency, it means energy and it means expertise.

Peter Karmanos was by and large an absentee owner, a Detroiter who hired people he trusted and largely left them to their own devices. Dundon may live in Dallas, but he'll be hands on in every facet of the operation. He's supremely confident in his business expertise and the ability to "solve" as he put it, the business challenges the team faces.

RELATED: Carolina Hurricanes officially introduce Tom Dundon as new owner

As an example of just how detail oriented he is - at the post-press-conference luncheon, there was a French sauced beef dish. He passed on it, saying "meat" should never be covered in sauce, and he'd be talking to someone about that. That's the Texas steak eater in him I'd guess.

When I asked Dundon what he felt his specific genius was in business, he first balked at the term "genius" but then said he's very good at blending rabid information gathering and analysis with his gut feelings. As he told me 'there's art and science.' He added that he's not prideful about anything he accomplished yesterday, but entirely driven to be better today. "It will never be good enough" was his news conference mantra.

Dundon watched what Mark Cuban built with the Dallas Mavericks, culminating in a championship. He spoke at length with Cuban about the process of removing all impediments to success. Under Dundon, that'll mean providing his players and coaches with the best of everything, from creature comforts to a brand new practice facility to cutting-edge training and recovery methods. Some of it was outlined in his letter to the Caniacs on Friday:

Dundon doesn't want a winning team. He wants to build a champion. A year-in-year-out hockey force of nature. He wants to pack PNC Arena every night. Make it an event to attend a Hurricanes game.

He will immerse himself in everything that needs doing to make that happen. He will likely dunk himself in other facets of Raleigh to that end as well. Dundon isn't just investing in a hockey team, he's investing in the Triangle itself.

Right now, I'd expect rapid improvements and expansion of PNC Arena. I'd expect a completely revamped fan experience. I'd expect a level of accountability and general drive that hasn't been around for a long while.

Dundon has expectations and he sounds like a man who'll move mountains to meet them.
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sportsCarolina Hurricanesraleigh newshockey fanRaleigh
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