Local News

Debate Over Cary Amphitheater's Name Heats Up

Posted Updated

CARY — Caryis building a new amphitheater, but the hardest part may be yet to come. Residents have different ideas about what to call the new facility.

The price tag of the amphitheater in Regency Park has risen to almost $12 million. Selling the naming rights would be one way to recover the cost of construction.

"We simply have to look at it," Cary MayorGlen Langsays. "We have a fiduciary responsibility to our taxpayers to look into what the naming rights might be worth."

Lang says Raleigh's newBTI Center for the Performing Artsis a good example of how selling naming rights can pay for construction.

"When they built the BTI Center, BTI gave them in excess of $6 million for the naming rights for a facility that was priced approximately the same as this one, and this one will probably attract more people," he says.

Opponents of the plan to sell the rights are gathering signatures to name the amphitheater after former Cary Mayor Koka Booth. While Booth has remained silent, his supporters have not.

"He loves Cary. What better thing to do?" asks Booth supporter Sam Pait. "Cary has a history of naming parks after former mayors and council members, anyway. Why break that tradition?"

Lang says the first thing to do is find out what the naming rights might be worth. No decision on that issue is expected any time soon.

A name for the amphitheater is expected to be discussed at Thursday night'stown council meeting.