Local News

NBA's New Developmental League Expected To Create Financial Rebound For Crown Coliseum

Posted November 27, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— With the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill and Raleigh's Entertainment and Sports Arena and Alltel Pavilion, Fayetteville'sCrown Coliseumis struggling. Tuesday, the arena got a big boost to improve business.

TheNBA'snew developmental league could tip off at the coliseum in November. Members of the Civic Center Commission agreed Tuesday to form a partnership with the NBA andSFX Entertainment.

The deal would bring 26 minor league basketball games and 22 SFX Entertainment events to the coliseum each year.

"They will be bringing in events and people from other communities will be coming here to attend the events, so it will have a multiplied impact throughout the community, but the bottom line is it adds revenue to the coliseum itself," says Keith Allison of the Civic Center Commission.

The agreement would not affect the Crown Coliseum's relationship with theFayetteville Forcehockey team, but it would bring top-quality entertainment to Fayetteville and make the Crown Coliseum more competitive with other regional arenas.

"A lot of people go to the Raleigh entertainment complex for events, and Walnut Creek over the summer," Allison says. "So obviously, the dollars are here, but there are going to other events. SFX would bring some of those events also."

Supporters say the deal could reduce debt at the financially troubled Crown Coliseum by 30 percent or more. Some commission members wonder if the arena is handling over too much control to SFX.

"They are going to have a lot of influence. That's true. It is like being the anchor tenant at the mall, but they will not have control," says county attorney Grainger Barrett. "Control will be retained by the county."

The NBA is expected to make an announcement about the team in December.