Local News

Naming Deal for Raleigh Convention Center on Table

Posted November 27, 2007
Updated November 28, 2007

— City officials are negotiating a deal to sell the naming rights for the area around the new downtown convention center.

"We have an offer," convention center director Roger Krupa said.

Krupa said officials are talking with two corporations and people representing a well-known local resident. A deal would put a name on the plaza surrounding the $221 million convention center, which is expected to open next fall, rather than the building itself.

"It's a great idea. It's a home run for the city and the taxpayers," said City Councilman Philip Isley, who said he hasn't been briefed on the details of the proposal. "Any private money we can get to help finance this $200-plus-million facility is really money the taxpayers don't have to spend."

A naming rights deal for the plaza, which will include an interactive fountain, could bring in more than $1 million over the next three to five years. That compares with $5.5 million Progress Energy is paying the city over the next 20 years for the naming rights to the performing arts center downtown.

Krupa said he expects a deal to be finalized within 90 days.

City Manager Russell Allen declined to comment.

The naming rights for convention centers usually don't generate the same kind of corporate cash as those for sports arenas, like the RBC Center, marketing specialist Hill Carrow said.

"The most attractive naming-rights sponsorships are usually associated with professional facilities that get a lot of broadcast or media exposure," Carrow said.

The 500,000-square-foot convention center already has booked more than 80 events, including regional and national gatherings, for its first two years of operation.

Fewer than 10 convention centers in cities nationwide have corporate naming deals, and those range from $250,000 to $850,000 a year. Carrow predicted Raleigh's deal would fall somewhere in the middle of that range.

"It reaches a certain audience. The key for most companies (is) does it reach the audience I want to tap into?" he said. "I wouldn't see it as a real risk for a business."

Durham-based Cree Inc. has already committed $1 million to erecting a "shimmer wall," with panels that shimmer in the wind, on the west side of the center.


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  • iamforjustice Nov 29, 2007

    I really don't understand why Raleigh and Charlotte have to be compared. I like both cities and I am a northerner. I think both cities have something great about them. The Raleigh-Durham area produces some of the smartest people. Charlotte has a beautiful downtown nite life. I would not say that Raleigh is 20 years behind Charlotte though. Both cities are in North Carolina so there is not that much difference in the mentality of the two cities. North Carolina is not a deep south state. There needs to be more of a connection of Charlotte and Raleigh and the larger cities in-between. Neither city is better than the other. Both have good qualities and high crime at the same time. If Raleigh and Charlotte would work together we could make a bigger and better difference. It is like comparing Black people to White people. They are just cities...and we are just people....get along people and stop the ignorant comments.

  • colliedave Nov 28, 2007

    WRAL, if the St. Pete Times can get the naming rights for an arena in Tampa why don't you seek the rights?

  • ranquick Nov 28, 2007

    What's wrong with the past history Sir Walter Raleigh Civic Center seems to fit rather well or NC Tarheel Civic Center

  • ANYWHO Nov 28, 2007


  • ma2345 Nov 28, 2007

    How about Raleigh Civic Center. Duh.
    And as far as Raleigh having a downtown. Sorry, there is nothing there. Try San Antonio, the River Walk Area. That is a real downtown with something of interest. I have worked in Raleigh for 35 years. Never been to Fayetteville St. Mall.
    Lived in Raleigh all my life. No plans to see the Shimmering Waste of Water Wall and no plans to visit Fayetteville St. Mall.
    As far as Raleigh downtown developing into something. Ask the guy that was running the bars in the old Train Depot what he thinks of Raleigh's downtown prospects.

  • Sopranos Justice Nov 28, 2007

    why are you on a raleigh website if we suck so bad?

    I don't hate anywhere in NC, but I know how to turn on my headlights...

  • jeffthompson Nov 28, 2007

    It is a shame that there is SO much jealousy from Raleigh politicians, city officials, and some residents....that Charlotte grew rapidly and Raleigh sat stagnant for many years...and still is 20 years behind Charlotte.

  • jeffthompson Nov 28, 2007

    and you admitted Raleigh was the STICKS!!!....not me.

  • jeffthompson Nov 28, 2007

    typical response from a Raleigh person...

  • Sopranos Justice Nov 28, 2007

    well I suggest you use your headlights then...works for us out here in the sticks....