It's a Done Deal! NC State Will Name Arena and Collect Revenues
Posted May 20, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — The clock is ticking on Raleigh's new sports arena. The scheduled groundbreaking is just 11 days away. But a big chunk of the money is still tied up. Part of the problem is that North Carolina State is scared of being swallowed up in the fury created by the Hurricanes.
State has a number of concerns, not the least of which is naming rights. An NC State benefactor put up a considerable amount of money for the right to name the arena. But after a 7 hour discussion Tuesday, the issue of naming rights ended.
NC State will get exclusive rights to name the new arena. Sharing that new home with the Carolina Hurricanes could've blown the whole arena deal away.
While there's no doubt that State's basketball team and the hockey team can co-exist in the same arena, there are some logistical difficulties, especially in terms of practice schedules.
Not everyone likes what's being called a sweet deal for NC State. Bill Mullins with the Arena Authority says rent payment, coupled with naming rights and a cut of the suite income goes beyond what is warranted.
Mullins was not alone. Three members of the Centennial Authority voted against the NC State deal. Chancellor Larry Monteith has an answer for those who think the Wolfpack's plans went too far. He says the University never meant to stand in the way of the arena, it just planned to negotiate on the points that were important to NC State.
From the point of interest of the hockey fan, Tuesday's developments pave the way for the construction of the new arena in just a few weeks. State will pay $600,000 a year in rent. The Wolfpack also gets a cut of the coveted skybox revenue from basketball games.
As for the name, it could be a few more weeks before that bit of information is make public.
Mark Roberts reporting