Hurricanes postseason success brought millions of dollars into Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- While Thursday night's season-ending loss to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals was not the ending Hurricanes fans had hoped for, the impact their postseason run has had on the city is likely to be lasting.

"The direct economic impact for the entire playoff series was over $7.9 million," said Dennis Edwards, the President and CEO of Visit Raleigh.

They came to that total in part based on first-round ticket sales. Data showed that one-third of those tickets were purchased outside of Wake County, with restaurants, bars, hotels, taxis, ride-sharing services, and retail stores all benefiting.

"Just as important is the media coverage we received on a national and even international level," Edwards said.

There was some luck to that angle, as Carolina faced off against Washington, New York, and Boston -- three of the country's largest media markets. On top of that, Edwards added, those three areas are full of traditional visitors to Raleigh.

"It's nice when a quality event like this just kind of falls into your lap, but it did for us," Edwards said.

While the Hurricanes had been one of the league's hottest teams since January, they have drawn just as much attention in the playoffs for their tailgating, "Loudest House in the NHL" fan experience, and even Hamilton, the team's unofficial mascot. Prior to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Hurricanes were 5-0 at home in the playoffs.

Although the playoffs showed off the city on a larger scale, fan excitement locally began to build earlier in the season as the team's 'Storm Surge' celebrations quickly went viral. They were eventually mocked by Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry, who referred to the team as a "bunch of jerks." That became a rallying cry, with merchandise emblazoned with the team's newly-adopted moniker flying off the shelves.

Prior to this year's run, the Hurricanes had not made the playoffs since 2009.
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