Local News

Without Hockey, What Next for Arena?

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RALEIGH — Now that Raleigh's hopes of attracting aNational League Hockey franchise have been dashed, officials must lookagain at plans for an arena that would have been enlarged for the pros.Some say the huge arena that was approved by both county and cityofficials will now be too large, while others say there is yet hope itwill be successful.

Financier Felix Sabates pulled a bid to acquire a hockey franchise whenofficials couldn't meet his deadline for a lease agreement on the arena.The NHL was considering several cities and had said it would not award anexpansion team to a city without an arena to accommodate it.

Sims Hinds heads up the Centennial Authority, which is charged withfinding funds to build the arena. He says there are plenty of otheroptions for a large arena in Raleigh.

Hinds said that within hours of Sabates' withdrawal Monday, he heardfrom representatives of both the American and International hockeyleagues.

Raleigh City Council will be discussing whether to go forward withcurrent plans or scale down the arena project at a meeting Tuesdayafternoon.