Local News

Pro Basketball to Return to Raleigh

Posted February 6, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Professional basketball is returning to the Triangle.

The Raleigh Cougars will take to the hardwoods in May as part of the 12-team United States Basketball League, said team owners Woody Erdman and Clyde Austin, a former N.C. State guard who played 10 seasons with the Harlem Globe Trotters

The Bullfrogs, the last pro team in Raleigh, folded along with the Global Basketball League after two seasons.

The Cougars think they've got a better shot at success.

Thomas Phelps, the Cougars' assistant general manager, said, "The Cougars will be playing in the summer. The Bullfrogs were going directly against the ACC, which is impossible to survive."

Phelps expects the Cougars to draw 1,000 to 2,000 fans per game at Dorton Arena, which also is home to the Raleigh IceCaps of the East Coast Hockey League.

Austin and Erdman hope to eventually bring an NBA franchise to the Triangle.

Seaason tickets for the Cougars will cost $85, while single game tickets will cost $4 to $8.