Local News

Weather and Delays Plague Raleigh's New Arena

Posted January 26, 1998

— The weather is just one of many problems facing Raleigh's proposed new sports and entertainment arena. Crews are working around the clock trying to get back on schedule, but there's a possibility it may well be too little, too late for one major sporting event.

One big selling point for the proposed arena was that it would house the Special Olympics in the summer of 1999, but the Centennial Authority, which is charged with the development of the arena, has told Special Olympics Vice President Paul Velaski that delays might prevent its opening until August 1, 1999. The Special Olympics will be over by then.

Further complicating things, the Carolina Hurricanes could be forced to spend an extra year in Greensboro if the arena goes behind schedule any further. While the NHL team's contract with the Greensboro Coliseum allows for such a possibility, team management is rumored to be unhappy with the prospect of such a delay.

Harmon Anderson,the arena's construction contractor, told WRAL-TV5'sMark Robertsthat he couldn't guarantee the arena would be ready for either the Special Olympicsorfor the Hurricanes' move to Raleigh.

Tom Fetzer, Raleigh's mayor, has posed three questions to the Centennial Authority:

  • What are the specific delays?
  • Whenwillthe arena be ready?
  • How much over budget and behind schedule is the arena project?

    Fetzer says he is concerned that the project was "sold" to the city with the idea that it would be ready for the Special Olympics.

    The Centennial Authority says it will present a revised report on the arena project Wednesday.

    Roberts will have more information in WRAL-TV5's 6 O'Clock News.

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