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Raleigh's Hockey Hopes Get A Boost

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RALEIGH — There's new reason to hope for a professionalhockey 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 tolook at several other U.S. cities. One of the main issues in the Triangleis the proposed multi-purpose arena in Raleigh.

Centennial Authority members, who are charged with finding funding forthe arena, say they are elated at the possibility of acquiring theWhalers. Earlier this week, a major stumbling block to the future of thearena evaporated when Raleigh City Council voted to contribute money tothe project. Wake County Commissioners had voted to support the projectearlier.

Authority Chairman Steve Stroud says the next important step is to sellthe Triangle area to Karmanos.

Karmanos told WRAL-TV5 by telephone that he is now torn between Raleighand Columbus, Ohio.

Karmanos says he will be making a decision soon. He will be taking hismanagement team to visit Columbus, then will bring them to Raleigh forsome wining and dining. The team will also visit before a final decisionis made.

Authority members say they plan a soft sell to Karmanos and feelconfident they can reel the Whalers in.

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