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New Coliseum Bringing Crowds, Money to...

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Professional wrestling is a big draw at Fayetteville's new Crown Coliseum.
FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville got two hours of nationalexposure Monday evening. The USA Network broadcast several World WrestlingFederation matches live from the Crown Coliseum.

The coliseum has only been open a month.In that time, it has hosted hockey, wrestling, ice shows and concerts.It also is providing an economic boost for Cumberland County.

On Monday, more than 10,000 people packed the arena for the wrestlingmatches. It marks the third major attraction at the Crown since itsopening. Wrestling fan Ryan Coleman seemed to be speaking for an exuberantcrowd when he said the experience was great.

First, Reba. Then Disney on Ice. Now, WWF. Events that wouldn't havecome to Fayetteville without the Crown.

By drawing big events and big crowds, the Crown's expected to give Fayettevillean economic lift. Kendall Wall, general manager of the coliseum, said thefinancial future looks good.

On a big night, the coliseum puts a few hundred people to work.

Von Hair, a coliseum worker, says he likes his new job.

Some Fayetteville businesses also hope to cash in on the Crown.

"I think it will bring a lot of business to the area, and we're sittingright here at the corner, and we'll have a big share of it," Sanat Naik,Coliseum Inn owner, said.

The numbers also tell the story. In recent years, it would take almostan entire year for the county civic center to top a million dollars inticket sales. The Crown is nearing a million dollars in revenue -- in itsfirst five weeks.

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