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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Dorton Dinosaur

Posted May 2, 2008 8:52 a.m. EDT

It seems pretty sad. Raleigh draws the eyes of the nation tonight when the two Democratic Presidential candidates, locked in a dramatic battle, come together in the same room. But the best Raleigh can do for a venue is Dorton Arena at the State Fairgrounds.

Dorton Arena is a dinosaur with no air conditioning, horrible acoustics and a musty smell. Democrats say they were forced to move the Jefferson Jackson dinner to Dorton because of unexpected interest and the lack of options.

Raleigh will soon have a new convention center. The RBC Center is also a superb location for large events. The Progress Energy Center is a jewel downtown. And Walnut Creek has a certain charm.

Some people argue that Raleigh could use another intermediate venue for high profile events. It seems the State Fairgrounds with its major concerts in October could use a serious upgrade. Should we save Dorton Arena with its cool 1950’s parabolic design and renovate the facility or should we bring in the wrecking ball and start all over again? Please weigh in.