Among Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman's "31 Thoughts" is an interview with new Carolina Hurricanes co-owner Thomas Dundon:
It is a common observation from sports owners. You can run a huge billion-dollar business and stay anonymous. But, buy a professional team and prepare for a newer, more intense level of scrutiny.
“That’s the biggest adjustment,” Thomas Dundon said Sunday. “Eventually, you want your fans to have an attachment to the team. Your biggest asset is the players… and you want your fans to gravitate to them. That will come later. Right now, it’s me they want to hear from.”
Dundon finalized his majority purchase of the Carolina Hurricanes late last week. One of the first noticeable changes came as fans entered PNC Arena for Sunday’s game against Calgary. The Raleigh News & Observer’s Luke DeCock reported that the owner — disliking the setup in the team’s merchandise store — moved apparel into the concourse, making it easier to shop.
That came two days after Dundon met Alain and Monica Taylor, season-ticket holders who got married seven years ago on the arena’s ice surface. He gifted them with a spot on the team plane for a future road trip.
“Our fans are great, passionate,” Dundon said. “What we need is for each one of them to tell 10 more people about us. How can we get them to help bring more fans? It’s just effort. That’s the truth. I’ve told our people that every time I go there. ‘Here’s my schedule. I will make myself available and do all that is necessary.’ But it’s new. I haven’t done this before.”