Home > Sports > Stanley Cup afterglow: I was right, kinda

Stanley Cup afterglow: I was right, kinda

Saw this article about the RBC Center (home of YOUR NHL champion Carolina Hurricanes). The article, published just five days after the team brought Lord Stanley’s overgrown punchbowl to Raleigh, is titled, “RBC Center authority sees $15M-$25M in needs.” That’s right. You’ve had about 96 hours to celebrate, Raleigh. Now, we need more money.In my random thoughts on the brink of the Stanley Cup finals, I wondered:

If [losing seasons] were to happen (or when that happens, given the way that all franchises eventually trail off), I give the Canes a 50-50 chance of survival. The transplants and the converted natives might be enough to make a go of it. But, in a few years, the relatively new RBC Center will be antiquated (see the Charlotte Hornets to learn how fast that can happen). The key factor will be if the Hurricanes can become part of the fabric of the Raleigh area before the owner pulls a “build me a new stadium or I’m gone” ploy.

I’m not saying that Jim Rutherford and the Canes are pulling a “put up or shut up” ploy with newly-minted bandwagon fans. But, I’m worried about a few things in the article.

  • A good chunk of that money required ($1.1 million) is for a “private club and restaurant on the north end” of the RBC Center. Hmmm… the seven-year-old RBC Center is suddenly not luxurious enough. Betcha it won’t have enough luxury boxes in 2-3 years.
  • The chairman of the Centennial Authority, who runs the RBC Center, said that they are looking for improvements to make it last for 20-30 years. Uh, it’s only seven years old. Christ, do we get a warranty this time around?
  • The chairman also said, “At some point, the RBC Center will need major improvements.” Uh oh.
  • The red flag of public financing is coming up. “At some point, the authority expects to seek out other funding methods, including the city of Raleigh and Wake County, to keep the arena current with modern expectations.”

I’m not trying to be a negative Nellie, but I’m a bit concerned about these things rearing their ugly heads so soon after an NHL championship. There may be valid concerns about the health and viability of the RBC Center, but in my mind, the timing is suspect. It means that the Centennial Authority was waiting on some good news to go with the bad. They got the mother of all good news with the Stanley Cup. Now, here comes a heaping dose of medicine to go with the shovelful of sugar.

Well, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. It was inevitable that the stadium would fall out of favor with the team or the folks running the venue. I don’t think anyone (especially me) thought it would happen this soon.

Categories: Sports

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