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Officials Working To Unlock Gridlock From Raleigh's 3-Event Day

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Saturday, Oct. 19, 2002 was one of the worst traffic jams many Triangle residents had ever seen. The State Fair, an N.C. State football game, and a Carolina Hurricanes hockey game were held all on the same day. Now, there are some assurances history will not repeat itself.

The Carolina Hurricanes have apologized to their fans and have asked the NHL not to schedule any home games during the State Fair.

"The fair had more people this year. We had big crowds on the Saturday night and it was a real inconvenience to our fans, so we sat down and said the only way to really fix this is to not have games in the future and that's what we're going to do," said Jim Rutherford, president of the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Canes officials said the league is working with them, but N.C. State is a different story.Officials said they try to work with the fair, but the way their league operates, they have very little wiggle room. N.C. State will not get its schedule from the ACC until January.

"Fans and spectators wonder why this schedule arrives the way it does. Well, it's fed into a computer system by the Atlantic Coast Conference and they dictate who plays who on what day and what Saturday," said David Horning, of N.C. State.

Aside from working on conflict schedules, there is some road relief for traffic in the area. The Edwards Mill extension will give north Raleigh traffic direct access to the fairgrounds area. It should be open by Christmas.

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