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Hurricanes, Centennial Authority Agree on Arena Upgrades

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The construction of the new arena is behing schedule, but many people seem to think time will be made up.
RALEIGH — There's a new arena "slowly" growing on Raleigh's west side. Unfortunately, the cost is apparently growing as well. Friday, the Centennial Authority met with hopes of ironing out some differences tomake sure the arena opens on time.

It's been a long time coming, but it looks the Centennial Authority andthe Carolina Hurricanes have an agreement. They hashed out the final details this afternoon, including $20 million dollars in construction upgrades.

The Hurricanes have agreed to invest the extra money to make the facility a first class arena.

"We truly appreciate the cooperation of everyone here, and we look forwardto playing hockey here in two years," says Centennial Authority ChairmanStephen Stroud.

It all came down to smiles and shared accolades. Sticking points included $20 million dollars in upgrades to the original construction plans, thearena naming agreement and the commitment to a 20 year lease.

In the end they agreed. The arena is supposed to be done by June 1999,just in time for the Special Olympics. Some people have speculated thatit won't be done in time. But the Authority is confident that it can bedone.

"We can give the construction plans to the contractor on Monday," Stroudexplains. "We hope to get it done on time. We are dedicated to doing that."

All that's left is for the Centennial Authority to officially ratify theagreement. They are meeting again on Tuesday at noon to do just that.

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