PNC Arena’s to receive $300M tourism fund for upgrade and bigger convention center

 Friday, August 18, 2023 


In a move that might result in significant upgrades to two of Raleigh’s most important tourist attractions, local governments look prepared to give PNC Arena and the Raleigh Convention Center tens of millions more each year.A suggestion on how to spend tax money from the county and Raleigh’s interlocal fund was given to the Wake County Board of Commissioners on Monday by the county manager’s office.

The commissioners all indicated support for the decisions, even though they did not vote on the plans that would have determined how the region would spend its tourism tax revenue for the ensuing 20 years.The money from the interlocal fund would make it possible to relocate Red Hat Amphitheater to make room for a new convention center building and to make significant improvements to PNC Arena.

The News & Observer reports that the Carolina Hurricanes are prepared to agree to a new, long-term lease with the venue and make investments in further entertainment-related development near the venue.

The Wake County recommendation prioritizes four major projects to boost tourism- PNC Arena upgrades, Raleigh Convention Center expansion, Cary Indoor Sports Facility, Downtown Raleigh hotel project.

Starting in 2025, PNC Arena would get $21.3 million a year for the following 25 years.By doing this, the Centennial Authority, which runs PNC Arena, would be able to get $300 million in financing for the stadium’s 24-year-old renovation and the neighborhood’s development.The developments must also offer a portion for affordable housing.

The Raleigh Convention Center’s long-discussed expansion would also be funded under the recommendation, with $25.6 million provided a year for 30 years.The funds would be used to relocate and rebuild the well-known Red Hat Amphitheater so that a larger convention center wing could be built in its stead.Starting in 2025, the project would need $387 million in loan capacity to fund its completion.

To create the proposed indoor sports complex in Cary, which includes 12 indoor basketball courts, multipurpose event space, a walking track, and a gym, the project would get $5.4 million per year for 25 years.

The former South Hills shopping mall in Cary, which will be redeveloped by Loden Properties, is in talks to include the indoor facility, which would be utilized to draw youth sporting events.Additionally, the county and city seek to employ financial incentives to get a developer to collaborate on a significant hotel project on Fayetteville Street that will support the convention center.

The city and developers are currently negotiating the construction of a hotel with more than 400 rooms on a parking lot in front of the Martin Marietta Center for Performing Arts.The project would receive $6 million every year for 20 years under the suggested strategy, and up to $75 million in debt might be used to fund its construction.It is hoped that construction will begin in 2026.

The taxes on lodging, food, and drink in Raleigh and Wake County support the interlocal fund.The proceeds from the tax can only be used to fund initiatives that would boost tourism in the county, particularly for the convention center, the arts, and other recreational and cultural pursuits.

The distribution of the funds is subject to approval by the Wake County Board of Commissioners and the Raleigh City Council.

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