Local News

NHL Officials Want To See More Development Around ESA

Posted April 25, 2001 9:14 a.m. EDT

— The Carolina Hurricanes' season is over, but another battle is just beginning at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. The NHL wants more development around the arena.

Steve Stroud, Arena Authority chairman and owner of a commercial real estate company, supports development near the arena, but he admits nearby fields and woods are just potential sites. The NHL wants a five-star hotel nearby before the All-Star game could come to the ESA.

"You could build a five-star hotel there and actually tie it into the arena and Carter-Finley Stadium and have direct access to the fairgrounds," he said.

N.C. State owns the tract between the arena and Wade Avenue. A developer would have to negotiate with the university to get a hotel project going, but arena development is coming in small doses.

"There's going to be a fast food restaurant that's going to be constructed. There is also going to be a suite hotel concept that's going on the larger site," Stroud says.

Stroud thinks land like the DOT lot at Blue Ridge Road and Hillsborough Street will increase in value, urging the state to sell.

"I think high-density residential, high-density office would be ideal for that," he says.

The Colorado Convention Center had plenty of room for this year's NHL All-Star Fantasy event. Stroud thinks the existing group of buildings at the fairgrounds could handle the companion All-Star game.