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It's a Done Deal! NC State Will Name Arena and Collect Revenues

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Bill Mullins
RALEIGH — The clock is ticking on Raleigh's new sports arena. The scheduled groundbreaking is just 11 days away. But a big chunkof 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 namingrights. An NC State benefactor put up a considerable amount of moneyfor 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 thatnew home with the Carolina Hurricanes could've blown the whole arena dealaway.

While there's no doubt that State's basketball team and the hockey teamcan 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. BillMullins with the Arena Authority says rent payment, coupled with namingrights and a cut of the suite income goes beyond what is warranted.

Mullins was not alone. Three members of the Centennial Authority votedagainst the NC State deal. Chancellor Larry Monteith has an answer forthose who think the Wolfpack's plans went too far. He says the Universitynever meant to stand in the way of the arena, it just planned to negotiateon the points that were important to NC State.

From the point of interest of the hockey fan, Tuesday's developments pavethe way for the construction of the new arena in just a few weeks. Statewill pay $600,000 a year in rent. The Wolfpack also gets a cut of thecoveted skybox revenue from basketball games.

As for the name, it could be a few more weeks before that bit ofinformation is make public.

Mark Roberts reporting

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