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Dispute Wages on Over Raleigh Arena

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RALEIGH — Three Triangle leaders who say they don'tsupport a 21,000 seat arena now say they will support whatever the votersdemand in a public referendum. Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer says he, Councilman Marc Scruggs and Representative Russell Capps want to give thepeople a voice.

Fetzer Scruggs with the support of a taxpayers' association, but without support of their fellow city councilmembers, say the public has been left out of the ongoing dispute overwhether or not to build an arena capable of housing an NHL franchise.

Fetzer says it seems everyonebutthe public has expressed anopinion.

Centennial Authority members say the politicians are using the arenaissue for political gain at a crucial time when debate could shut out the area's chance at obtaining a hockey team. The Centennial Authority is thegroup overseeing the arena project.

Scruggs says a referendum will show which side has the mostenthusiasm.

Capps says it's all guesswork if the public's opinion isn't heard.

These three are calling for a county-wide referendum to determine, notwhether to build an arena, but how big it will be and how much theCentennial authority will be allowed to spend on it.

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