Development Beat: A Nice Price Near The Ice

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James Borden/Raleigh Public Record

The railings at the PNC Arena are getting an upgrade

Brought to you by Rufty-Peedin Design Build

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Q: What does a Carolina Hurricanes fan do when his team wins the Stanley Cup?
A: He turns off the PlayStation.

Carolina Hurricanes fans may not* have had a lot to get excited about over the last few seasons, but a brand-new study from our friends over at RentCafe could finally give them something to boast about.

The railings at the PNC Arena are getting an upgrade

James Borden / Raleigh Public Record

The PNC Arena is home to the Carolina Hurricanes NHL team

It turns out, the NHL stadium apartment proximity premium in Raleigh is only three percent, making the Hurricanes the third-cheapest professional hockey team in the United States to rent an apartment near.

What’s that? You’ve never heard of the NHL stadium apartment proximity premium? We more or less made it up, but it’s based off that RentCafe study we mentioned earlier.

Using data from Yardi Matrix, RentCafe ran an analysis on the 23 U.S. cities with a professional hockey team and found rents to be an average of 27 percent higher within a two-mile radius of the arenas.

Not surprisingly, cities with arenas located in the heart of their downtowns were ranked near the top of RentCafe’s list. The Columbus Blue Jackets, a team I’ve never even heard of, ranked number one.

The average rent in the city of Columbus is $837; within a two-mile radius of Nationwide Arena, the rent is 69 percent higher: $1,354. Oosh.

Like most modern-day sports arenas, Columbus’ Nationwide Arena is much more than just a house of hockey: it also hosts a range of blockbuster live events, like the NCAA Basketball Tournament and UFC fights.

Nationwide Arena

Nationwide Arena

When researching this article, we came across a great piece in The Wall Street Journal (the country’s best newspaper) about the demise of old NHL “barns” — spartan, cramped arenas where “seats not only lack legroom; they also don’t match. Some seats in the upper levels are so worn that you can’t tell for sure what color they are.”

The WSJ article also described the NHL as a league “whose strength is the fan experience at its games.” Even as a non-sports fan I’m inclined to agree: in my hometown of Philadelphia I could never afford to attend a Flyers game, but I saw plenty of Phantoms games at the Spectrum, before it was torn down and the Phantoms temporarily relocated to New York. I always had a blast, so it makes complete sense to me why die-hard hockey fans would perhaps be willing to pay a premium to live near the stadium.

Before it was torn down, the seats were removed from the Spectrum Arena and sold off for $395/pair by a New Jersey businessman.

Before it was torn down, the seats were removed from the Spectrum Arena and sold off for $395/pair by a New Jersey businessman.

But let’s get back to the other article that’s the actual subject of today’s post: “True Hockey Fans Pay a High Price to Live Close to Their Favorite Arenas.”

As with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the second-highest ranked team on the RentCafe list, the Nashville Predators, have a stadium that’s located in the heart of downtown.

Opened in 1996, the Bridgestone Arena is also a multipurpose venue, and was even the home stadium of the Arena Football League’s Nashville Kats back when people thought combining professional wrestling with professional football was a good idea.

This looks like the kind of place that would host Arena Football

This looks like the kind of place that would host Arena Football

The average rent in Nashville is $1,149 and the rent within a two-mile radius of Bridgestone is $1,911: a 66 percent increase.

Interestingly, number three on RentCafe’s list has more in common with the Hurricanes and another lowly ranked team, The Philadelphia Flyers, in that it’s located outside of the city’s downtown area.

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Amalie Arena is located between the highway and the commercial waterfront sections of town, yet the rent there is on average 65 percent higher at $1,822 than the city’s average of $1,103.

As we mentioned, fans wishing to live within two miles of PNC Arena only need pay a three-percent premium, as the average rental rate in that area is $1,064 vs. Raleigh’s average of $1,029.

If the ‘Canes can turn things around this season — and it doesn’t look like it’s off to a promising start — those figures may change. In the meantime, if you’re a hockey fan living in Raleigh who’s looking for a new apartment, now’s the time to rent.

Glory days

Glory days

*”May not” because I don’t follow hockey and have no idea how excited or not Hurricanes fans have been in the last few years. I spent about 5 minutes on Google trying to find out if the Hurricanes were considered a good hockey team. It looks like they’ve missed the playoffs for six straight seasons, so I figured the answer was no. The opening joke was stolen from the Carolina Hurricanes section on


One thought on “Development Beat: A Nice Price Near The Ice

  1. That list doesn’t include any of the Canadian teams… my bet is the premium is even higher in places like Toronto and Montreal.