Local News

Wake County, Raleigh Remain at Odds Over Arena

Posted January 17, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— If Raleigh wants to attract an NHL team, which many do, it will have to come to terms on a site for those hockey games. A Friday meeting of Wake County Commissioners may have helped, although Raleigh officials appear to have different opinions.

Commissioners cast their votes to approve a $132 million, 21,000 seat structure that could house an National Hockey League franchise near Carter-Finley Stadium. That vote came despite a proposal put on the table by Raleigh city leaders, calling for a smaller arena with 18,000 seats and a price tag of $120 million.

County commissioners bristled at the suggestion of a smaller arena, saying the initial expenditure of more money would, by far, bring in more. Commissioner Vernon Malone commented on the different opinions.

A representative from the Centennial Authority, which is in charge of funding for the proposed arena, said it had been asked to draw up plans for a smaller arena by other groups with interests in the proposed structure.

By the end of the meeting, it was clear there would be at least one more round before the issue is resolved.

Meanwhile, no decision has been reached yet as to whether Raleigh will be one of the four U.S. cities to obtain an NHL expansion team.