Local News

Raleigh Arena Name Still Up in the Air - Maybe

Posted August 4, 1999

— The multi-million dollar name game is heating up inside of Raleigh's new arena. Several possible names have been tagged, even though the question of who owns the naming rights is still up in the air.

Ever since the project began, people have speculated the arena will have Wendell Murphy's last name on it.

Triangle sports fans of any age will tell you what the Raleigh Sports and Entertainment Arena should be called.

"I think it should be called the Jimmy V Stadium," says hockey fan Andy Scoggins.

However, it could be the named the Murphy Arena or the Murphy Center. A little Internet searching revealed theCarolina Hurricaneshave the rights to Web sites called murphyarena.com and murphycenter.com.

"The Murphy Arena, who is that after?" asked another hockey fan.

Hog industry king Wendell Murphy reportedly paid N.C. State up to $10 million for the arena's naming rights back in 1992. Gale Force Holdings, the company that owns the Hurricanes, insists when it comes to the arena's name though, anything is possible.

Gale Force is trying to buy the arena naming rights fromN.C. Statefor its own use. A Raleigh attorney who specializes in Internet domain disputes says getting the rights to the Web names is a good idea.

"For every name the company wants to acquire, they'll also acquire two or three other ... variations on that name in order to just make certain that they've staked out their area on the Internet," says attorney John Rittelmeyer.

Rittelmeyer says there is a fair chance that Murphy's name will adorn the arena.

"I wouldn't think that they would be acquiring rights on the Internet unless they had a fairly strong possibility that might come in handy some time in the future," he said.

A lot of people complained about the price tag of the arena. There is no doubt a corporate sponsor could have covered some costs.

Recently,American Airlinespaid $195 million for an arena in Dallas.Philips Electronicswrote a $168 million check for the rights to an arena in Atlanta.


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