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Gale Force Holdings, N.C. State Reach Compromise Over Arena Naming Rights

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RALEIGH — The players in the multimillion dollar name game for Raleigh's new arena neared the finish Tuesday when theCarolina HurricanesandN.C. Statereached an agreement in principle on naming rights.

A number of negotiating hurdles meant theRaleigh Entertainment and Sports Arenaopened without a name last October.

N.C. State had the naming rights because the arena was originally designed for Wolfpack basketball. Now, there is an agreement in principle between N.C. State and Gale Force Holdings, the company that owns the Carolina Hurricanes. The 'Canes also play in the building.

"We think that parties on all sides compromised," said Jim Cain, president of Gale Force Holdings. "Both the chancellor (Marye Ann Fox) and (Peter) Karmanos were committed to getting a win-win structure worked out."

Gale Force Holdings will pay N.C. State $10 million for the arena naming rights for the next 10 years, plus a percentage of the naming rights' proceeds for the 10 years after that.

This means N.C. State could be receiving $1 million per year for the naming rights for the next two decades, but it depends how much the naming rights go for.

"This arena has great visibility, both regionally and nationally, and we think it will be appropriate to have something in the range of $80 million to $100 million over a 15- to 20-year term," Cain said. "I don't think we will sell for anything less than that."

There are three or four companies interested in getting their name on the arena, but they have not been able to negotiate with Gale Force Holdings up to this point.

The city of Raleigh and Wake County, who put money into the arena, will get 38 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the naming rights.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Jim Young, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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