Hurricanes' Rutherford Downplays PNC Arena Scheduling Conflict With N.C. State
Hurricanes President & GM Jim Rutherford yesterday said that scheduling conflicts at PNC Arena have "wrongfully been portrayed as a dispute" between the Hurricanes and N.C. State Univ. basketball, according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER. Rutherford said that a "more important issue was the stewardship and successful operation" of the venue by Gale Force Holdings, which owns the team and operates the arena. Gale Force has "claimed N.C. State used its priority on scheduling dates to lock down an excessive number of slots for a small amount of games." Rutherford said that two dates submitted by the Hurricanes to the NHL "remain in question." Rutherford and N.C. State Chancellor Randy Woodson "will meet in the next two weeks in attempts to resolve the issues." Rutherford: "From the time this went public, people have been twisting their side of it, and frankly it’s not accomplishing anything. It’s been spun into Wolfpack against Hurricanes, and it shouldn’t be" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 6/10). Alexander cited an N.C. State release as stating that the school "initially held out 91 dates of an available 192 dates for 28 events." But Rutherford in a May 14 letter wrote 129 dates out of 214 dates "had been held by N.C. State." Woodson said that the information released by the school on Saturday "shows the university has been reasonable in using its priority on scheduling dates." The school said that Gale Force in past years has "contacted ACC officials to ask that certain dates be withheld for hockey games." Woodson said N.C. State was "surprised that Gale Force had been working directly with the ACC to change our basketball schedule" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 6/9).
BANK DEPOSITS: In Raleigh, Jason deBruyn notes N.C. State's cut from naming-rights revenue for PNC Arena "will be reduced by nearly three-quarters under terms of the 20-year agreement that's now entering its second decade." When the deal was struck in '03, the Centennial Authority government agency that owns the arena's naming rights "decided to give the Hurricanes a larger portion of the naming rights revenue" because the Hurricanes have more home games than the N.C. State basketball team. At the time, N.C. State "claimed to already have a naming rights deal" worth $10M in place. The Centennial Authority allotted N.C. State $1.3M per year for 10 years "to cover the agreement plus interest." For the second half of the contract, N.C. State "receives between $356,000 and $362,000 and must use that money for improvements at the arena complex." The Hurricanes receive about an 8% "bump in the second decade, hovering around" the $1.15M range (TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/7 issue).