"Winning is one thing, but I don't think it's the only thing," said Rutherford, who cited the population growth of the Triangle and a growing number of locals familiar with the sport.
Mr. Rutherford. Jim. I'd also like to believe that winning the Cup didn't play a huge role in the spike in season ticket sales. I really would. I'd like to believe that if the team eats it in 2006-2007, the fans made over the last year will be back for 2007-2008. But sports fans are a fickle enough bunch under normal circumstances. You're still looking at a team with less than 10 seasons played. As writers from up north and countless television commentators have been quick to point out: there's no tradition associated with the team. Not yet, anyway.
So the team does need to win. And win lots. I'm not saying the Cup has to live in North Carolina for the next 10 years(that would be nice, though), but it does need to seem as though it could. Give the team a winning tradition and let more and more fans watch games and find out how great hockey is.
Then you can get away with saying that winning isn't what puts butts in seats.