Arena's a Go
Posted April 15, 1997
RALEIGH — A proposed entertainment and sports arena is back on the fast track in Raleigh, after a surprise vote near the end of a Tuesday city council session. It was considered a major break in an ongoing political power-play over the proposed facility.
For about three hours, it appeared the excavated site on the North Carolina State campus would remain just that. Then, at about 5:40 p.m., council changed its vote after having turned down a proposal earlier in the day that would have given $48 million to the arena.
Steve Stroud of the Centennial Authority, the group responsible for obtaining funding for the facility, says he's feeling far more optimistic about the project's future.
Stroud says there's still work to be done, but he believes the way has been paved for construction to continue this summer.
Stroud says he's glad the council members got together on this vote, and that he thinks everyone truly believes there will be a professional sports team in Raleigh before long.
The owner of the Hartford Whalers hockey team was in Raleigh last week as part of a cross-country trip scouting a new home for his team. Earlier this year, hopes for a National Hockey League expansion team here were dashed when the financier dropped out of the running over frustration with political indecision about the arena.