Rocky Mount-based RBC Centura Bank, which has been in negotiations with the Carolina Hurricanes' parent company, Gale Force Holdings, since last fall, is reportedly the front runner to put its name on the building.
Some sources believe a naming rights deal could be in place within a few weeks. The Centennial Authority, which would have to approve the deal, is said to be likely to OK an agreement with RBC.
Hurricanes officials believe the naming rights are worth $80 million over 20 years. Last August, a sports business journal estimated the arena's value at just $1 million a year.
A sports marketing expert
criticized local leaders
for not moving quicker on a naming rights deal in the Aug. 13, 2001 issue of
Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal
The article stated, "The local government has been so slow to legislate approval that they've missed the opportunity to sell in a good economy. It's cost them at least 30 percent annually,"
However, that was before the Hurricanes made it to the Stanley Cup finals and generated worldwide exposure for the ESA. Some said that exposure that could boost the naming rights to as high as $100 million.
The Centennial Authority could take over naming rights if they have not been sold by the end of the year.
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