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Hurricanes Offer to Pay $20 Million to Finish Arena

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RALEIGH — The Carolina Hurricanes announced Tuesday that they have offered to pay the extra money needed to finish Raleigh's Entertainment and Sports Arena.

Arena authority members said that the hockey team will pay approximately $20 million additional dollars toward construction to get the arena ready by September 1999.

"The Hurricanes have assured us that they are willing to help us do what is necessary to complete the arena by 1999," said Curt Williams, who is the executive director of the Arena Authority.

When asked if the group will request more money from the local government, Williams said that "nothing has been decided in that reguard."

The team described the agreement as a "business deal" between the team and the authority.

Some authority members worry about the price they will pay for the deal.

"We will have the money to fund this," Arena Authority member Reef Ivey said. "The question is, is their price more expensive than Nation's Bank, or the state, or the city, or the county, or NC State."

Mayor Tom Fetzer said, "The new executive director that they have hired, I couldn't pick him out of a line up. He has never made an appearance before the city council, sent a letter, made a phone call or introduced himself in any way. They have kept us in the dark. I certainly hope, given that treatment, that they are not going to come and ask us for more money."

Neither the Hurricanes nor the Arena Authority would disclose specific details of the agreement. The two sides will meet behind closed doors Wednesday to work on the deal.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Edward Wilson, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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