NC State and the Carolina Hurricanes battle over arena dates

The Carolina Hurricanes, which apparently are a professional hockey team, and the NC State Wolfpack both use PNC Arena. The Wolfpack use the arena for basketball, and also use its parking lot for football games. This arrangement has been managed for 14 years, so it's a bit odd that the two are now fighting about it.

Somehow the Hurricanes, whose parent company manages the arena, negotiated for themselves rights which defer to NC State. The Wolfpack have first access to the arena. This didn't seem to be a problem when the lease was renegotiated several years ago. At the time, the Hurricanes GM said, "We value our strong partnership with the Centennial Authority and NC State University, ensuring that the RBC Center remains a first-class arena. The extension of our lease displays the confidence that we have in the growth of hockey in this market."

Now, however, that tune has changed as the two sides bicker about the number of dates the Wolfpack are keeping reserved. The Hurricanes claim that NC State is holding 129 of 214 potential dates, while NC State claims they're only holding 65. Much of the problem stems from the ACC basketball schedule, which has not yet been released. NC State needs to hold potential dates open, and then they can release the ones they do not need.

This is how it's worked for years.

But now the Hurricanes have bypassed NC State, and gone directly to the ACC. They've asked the conference to guarantee that the Wolfpack won't be in Raleigh on certain dates. The university became aware of that contact "within the past year, and they requested the ACC have contact only with university officials."

“All of us were surprised that the Gale Force (owners of the Hurricanes) had been working directly with the ACC to change our basketball schedule,” chancellor Randy Woodson said.

The lease runs through 2024, so why would the Hurricanes be making noise now about revisions to the contract? It's hard to say, but if someone has larger visions, this wouldn't be the first time Raleigh big wigs have pushed for a new arena.

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