Apr 26, 2024 - News

Tom Dundon is serious about bringing MLB to Raleigh

Tom Dundon, left, is almost always seen wearing a Carolina Hurricanes hat. Photo: Karl DeBlaker/NHLI via Getty Images

Tom Dundon, the Carolina Hurricanes owner, contemplated relocating the hockey team when he first bought a controlling stake in 2018, according to an in-depth profile in the Sports Business Journal.

Why it matters: Six years later, Dundon has never been more committed to the City of Oaks. He signed a 20-year lease at PNC Arena, invested large sums in redeveloping the area around it and — most ambitiously — is attempting to bring a Major League Baseball team to the city.

What they're saying: "In probably his first year and a half, we might have had two conversations about, 'Are there other places that might be better?'" Canes GM Don Waddell told the SBJ, recalling the team was bleeding money, had poor attendance and couldn't attract star players.

  • "And I kept saying, 'Let's give this a chance here.' Once we got to that point where we got the lease and attendance was getting better, he felt better that we can make it in this market and do well here."

Driving the news: The Canes are now performing well by nearly any measurement. They've made the playoffs six consecutive years and have blown out attendance records.

  • The value of the Hurricanes has more than doubled under Dundon by most estimates, per SBJ.

Zoom in: Here are some other things we learned from the profile:

  • Dundon still hasn't bought a house in the Raleigh area, preferring to stay at the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary when in town. He says he will likely get a place in one of the residential projects planned around PNC.
  • Dundon's considered among the most "hands-on" owners in the NHL.
  • His desire to bring an MLB team to Raleigh is very serious — and said he believes the community would want to help build a baseball stadium.
  • "You can get a public-private partnership to build a great stadium, and I think the people would support it," Dundon told the SBJ. "The revenues would do really well here, and we could sell tickets and sponsorships to be of value to Major League Baseball."

Read the Dundon profile in the Sports Business Journal

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