Hockey Saga Continues with New Wrinkle
Posted April 30, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — There was new information Wednesday about the Hartford Whalers' possible move to the Triangle. With Raleigh and Wake County committed to building an arena, the team would still have to have a place to stay until it's built.
Plans to use the Greensboro Coliseum are not firm yet, but another option has reared its head. Officials in Fayetteville are wondering, if they'd drive to Greensboro, would they drive here?
Fayetteville officials say they've sent a message to Peter Karmanos, owner of the Whalers, offering their Crown arena as a temporary site. Karmanos has agreed to visit the facility this Friday.
Karmanos says he is impressed with the Greensboro site, but apparently the Coliseum wasn't impressed with his season rent offer of $2 million. The Whalers also want to keep all hockey-related revenues
The Crown is only about half the size of Greensboro's site, but Karmanos says it would be big enough for an interim site. Using a smaller arena, however, might mean more expensive tickets.
At this point, everything is still up in the air. Greensboro is not out as a temorary home and Columbus, Ohio has not been eliminated as a permanent home for the Whalers. But a Whalers transition team member told WRAL-TV5'sMark RobertsWednesday that they were leaning towards Raleigh. Karmanos told Roberts that, if he decides for Raleigh, he'll announce his decision before next Tuesday.
He also said he likes the name 'Carolina Hurricanes' for the team.