Today in NC State History: Breaking ground for new arena

July 21, 2012
By Bill Krueger

PrintFor years it was known as the RBC Center. Now it is known as PNC Arena. What really matters, of course, is that it is the home of Wolfpack men’s basketball.

But on this day in 1997, when officials staged the groundbreaking for the new arena in west Raleigh, it was known as the Raleigh Entertainment & Sports Arena. Or ESA.

The groundbreaking on the $120 million arena came after months of negotiations and efforts to scrape together the money. NC State would share the arena with the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League.

“The budget battle that preceded approval of Raleigh’s proposed arena was dirty,” read a story on WRAL.com at the time of the groundbreaking. “But it couldn’t hold a candle to the shovels full of mud that flew Monday at the arena’s official groundbreaking ceremony.”

Among those on hand for the ceremony was then-Gov. Jim Hunt and then-Chancellor Larry Monteith.

When the arena opened a little more than two years later, the NC State magazine welcomed it with a two-page spread of photos, calling it a “state-of-the-art arena capable of ‘packing in’ 19,722 howling fans.

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One Response to “Today in NC State History: Breaking ground for new arena”

  1. Charles Waters says:

    worst move ever made by the Wolfpack. Long live Reynolds. (in my humble opinion)

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