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Final Preparations Taking Place for Coliseum Opening

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FAYETTEVILLE — The Crown Coliseum opens Thursday night with the city's new minorleague hockey team taking the ice. Question is, is everything ready?

It may not look like it but thousands of people will file into CumberlandCounty's new coliseum Thursday night. On the eve of the grand opening,there was a sense of urgency felt by workers. There were still phones tohang, wires to cover, rails to grind. And with little time to spare.

Kendall Wall, coliseum general manager, said the time schedule was a little closer than he had hoped for.

A small army of workers fans out across the seating and concourse areasto polish up the Crown. Willie Starks, a worker, hopes the coliseum willshine in its debut.

For a while, the coliseum will be rough around the edges. For instance,the visiting teams will have to use old school lockers until the new onesare in.

Wall said the coliseum will be under construction for a while.

Finished or not, the facility looks fabulous to Fayetteville Force players.

Some people may wonder why the opening wasn't delayed until all the workwas done. Doing so would have cost the coliseum several big events andperhaps the hockey season, all of which equaled more than a milliondollars.

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