Raleigh's Hockey Hopes Get A Boost
Posted April 18, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — There's new reason to hope for a professional hockey team in Raleigh. Peter Karmanos, the owner of the Hartford Whalers, says there is a 50-50 chance he'll bring his team here.
Karmanos was in Raleigh last week to look things over, then went on to look at several other U.S. cities. One of the main issues in the Triangle is the proposed multi-purpose arena in Raleigh.
Centennial Authority members, who are charged with finding funding for the arena, say they are elated at the possibility of acquiring the Whalers. Earlier this week, a major stumbling block to the future of the arena evaporated when Raleigh City Council voted to contribute money to the project. Wake County Commissioners had voted to support the project earlier.
Authority Chairman Steve Stroud says the next important step is to sell the Triangle area to Karmanos.
Karmanos told WRAL-TV5 by telephone that he is now torn between Raleigh and Columbus, Ohio.
Karmanos says he will be making a decision soon. He will be taking his management team to visit Columbus, then will bring them to Raleigh for some wining and dining. The team will also visit before a final decision is made.
Authority members say they plan a soft sell to Karmanos and feel confident they can reel the Whalers in.