RALEIGH, N.C. — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has promised Raleigh it will host an all-star game, but the promise is contingent upon additional upscale hotel space and more meeting space.
There are only three four-star hotels in the Triangle and none of them are in Wake County or anywhere near the RBC Center.
"Right now, we are not in a position to host an all-star game," said Scott Dupree, of the Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.
There is a four-star hotel under construction in North Hills. Workers are renovating the old Sheraton at Crabtree into a four-star Westin. SAS has plans for a four- or five-star hotel. Raleigh's new convention center includes plans for an upscale hotel. By early 2008, Raleigh will have four upscale hotels with more than 1,000 rooms.
"When you bring those into the market, there's no doubt in my mind we will be able to host All-Star Weekend without a problem," Dupree said.
"We're going to need those hotel rooms and the meeting spaces anyway. We're a growing market," said Matt West, of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Officials have said an all-star game would be an added prize with an economic impact to the area of $10 million to $15 million. Officials said Saturday's NHL draft in Raleigh had the hightest attendance of any draft day ever.