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Sneak a Peek Inside the New Sports and Entertainment Arena

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WAKE COUNTY — Thousands of people drive by the semi-constructed entertainment and sports arena in Wake County, but few have been inside.

Centennial Authority members see something to be proud of, after taking a lot of heat on the project as a result of delays, price increases, and other problems.

The Authority says the arena is a beehive of activity. Most of the activity started in October, after approval was given to a final funding package for the $157 million project.

Compared to two months ago, there's a 40 percent increase in the number of workers at the construction site. The amount of steel installed has also increased 40 percent in that time. And there's been a 20 percent increase in the amount of concrete in place.

At this point, the building is still scheduled to be ready in September, for theCarolina Hurricanes1999-2000 season.

"We're told September 1 is still a go, and we're insisting upon that," says Curt Williams of the Centennial Authority.

Once completed, the building will have 19,000 seats for Hurricanes hockey games, 20,000 seats for basketball games, and 21,000 seats for center stage concerts.

Observers say there is enough concrete in this project to build a sidewalk from Raleigh to Greensboro.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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