Local News

RBC Centura Acquires ESA Naming Rights

Posted September 19, 2002 6:39 a.m. EDT

— The North Carolina State University Board of Trustees on Thursday unanimously agreed to accept an agreement settling lingering issues over parking at the Entertainment and Sports Arena, and also approved a naming rights agreement for the facility.

The Centennial Authority, the body created to provide public oversight over the arena, gave final approval later Thursday to an agreement that will give RBC Centura Banks, Inc; the right to rename the arena for the next 20 years in exchange for $80 million.

"We are so proud to have an arrangement established which will allow this wonderful facility to continue operating for a long time," N.C. State Chancellor Marye Anne Fox said. "...We believe that, as reflected in a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees, it is a good document for us, one that can form the basis for us to have a very strong and continuing positive relationship both with the managers of the arena and the other partners."

Hurricanes president Jim Cain presented bank officials with a key to the newly named RBC Center. He said the long-anticipated announcement was well worth the wait.

"We could have done it easier, but we could not have done it better," Cain said.

Cain said the changes are more than cosmetic. The deal sets aside $20 million to maintain the RBC Center as a top-notch venue.

"About $1 million a year will go into a capital fund, so 10 years down the road, when this building needs a major face-lift to keep it state-of-the-art, cutting-edge, we will have the funds there to do it," he said.

RBC said its logo will be seen 650 million times a year by sports fans, concert-goers and TV audiences. The Hurricanes and the Wolfpack hope to hang some of their own signs as well.

"We're going to see them hang a Stanley Cup banner in this building. N.C. State will hang a national championship banner," said Steve Stroud, Centennial Authority chairman.

The naming rights partners are anxious to put the new name in lights. They hope to have the RBC Center signs up before the Hurricanes' nationally televised home opener on Oct. 9.

N.C. State's agreement on parking reached with Gale Force Holdings resolves a dispute over distribution of revenue over the past three years and, more important, answers how future revenue will be divided.

Fox said after the Board's meeting that N.C. State would receive 60 percent of future parking revenue related to certain university events held at the arena and Gale Force, which manages the facility and is the the parent company of the Carolina Hurricanes, would receive 40 percent.