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raleightransplant

RBC Center

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Yeah, of all of the things I've loved about this area since moving here...this is the one thing that shows INCREDIBLE lack of vision. Wow.

There is a new downtown arena or stadium in like every major metro in America now, and Raleigh couldn't pull the trigger on a sure-fire way to revitalize a downtown? That just absolutely baffles me! It's not like you need to be huge to do this kind of thing either...Columbus, OH did an amazing job with their arena for it's NHL team. There is a sizeable district of bars and restaurants surrounding the area...incredible.

The sad part about Raleigh is that it's inherently is better than ANY other comparable sized area in the country...this is just a fact. Culturally, education-wise, the music scene, the natural bounty of the state? The place just doesn't dream like it should...Durham does, and the place will reflect that to visitors. The city of Raleigh really should have gotten this right, and it's a tangible misstep by the city. RBC Center is a really nice arena, but that pine forest just isn't cutting it.

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NCMike1981    6

Wow I didn't realize that the arena was to have been where the new convention center is being built. I personally would much rather have the arena there then a convention center that I will more then likely never set foot in. Oh well, mybe in 25 more yrs...

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Yeah, of all of the things I've loved about this area since moving here...this is the one thing that shows INCREDIBLE lack of vision.  Wow.

There is a new downtown arena or stadium in like every major metro in America now, and Raleigh couldn't pull the trigger on a sure-fire way to revitalize a downtown?  That just absolutely baffles me!  It's not like you need to be huge to do this kind of thing either...Columbus, OH did an amazing job with their arena for it's NHL team.  There is a sizeable district of bars and restaurants surrounding the area...incredible.

The sad part about Raleigh is that it's inherently is better than ANY other comparable sized area in the country...this is just a fact.  Culturally, education-wise, the music scene, the natural bounty of the state?  The place just doesn't dream like it should...Durham does, and the place will reflect that to visitors.  The city of Raleigh really should have gotten this right, and it's a tangible misstep by the city.  RBC Center is a really nice arena, but that pine forest just isn't cutting it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No sure how long you have been here but remember who was in charge. The Fetzer crowd owned Raleigh and fought extremely hard not to have an arena or with any tax payer money. NCSU put up some money, Karmonas (Canes Owner) put up $40M and hotels and meals tax put up the rest. Without that, it would not have been built or maybe NC State would have built something half as nice. NCSU already had a plan for their arena and even a namesake (Murphy), but when the Canes came looking, the arena centenial authority was put in place but the Fetzer/Coble crowd fought them. But there were some smart thinking people (conservatives) like Goodman who had some foresight. I am not for city money wasting but I do want to see things done that spur growth. That same crowd (and others) that fought the arena were the same one who were allowing a strip center on every corner in N Raleigh and turn that into sprawl, and not pretty sprawl. I do not agree with Meeker on everything but I do agree with the need for work in the city core to create some kind of identity. Raleigh will become a 4th or 5th rate city without it. :blush: Of course, this is just my humble opinion?

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Subway Scoundrel, I can agree w/ you. Thanks for the insight, as I did miss that story. Hopefully downtown won't need the arena, as it looks to be perking up. There are a lot of young people here which should urbanize Raleigh quite a bit.

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Jones_    114

The arena planned downtown can be seen in the Odell redevelopment plan on the City website. The Odell plan is the same one that ran a freeway through Oakwood between Bloodworth and East Streets. The arena would have been sighted up against the RR tracks on the gravel parking lot south of where the CC is going. I believe the RBC center as it was finally built, would have overwhelmed downtown Raleigh. You are talking 4 full blocks with street removal to get that thing plus parking in place. I cannot pick 4 full blocks I would be willing to part with downtown...I am already p'd enough at losing 5-star for the train station (while agreeing we need the train though). No offense Tay, but Applebees hardly is what I call a quality dining option. I am glad to leave the RBC center and all its associated Applebee's out by the pine trees..I will take Est Est Est, Five Star, The Rockford, and Duck and Dumpling along side Empire Properties remaking of all of downtown's historic buildings over the standard boring, shiny new, unimaginative, off the shelf stuff proposed out by the Arena and elsewhere, anyday.

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orulz    106

The place that I think a downtown arena should go in the block bounded by South, Salisbury, McDowell, and MLK Jr. That's the block directly to the west of Memorial Auditorium and the Progress Center, and it's the only block that's big enough to fit such a massive building without mutilating the grid. The only other option is Dix, where there is no grid - but that's really too far away.

You might notice several problems with this block: 1. there's a little road called Kindly Street that dead-ends in the block. 2. The railroad tracks cut it in half. 3. There are already buildings (suburban in nature with plentiful surface parking) on the block.

It's also oddly shaped, but so is an arena so no big problem there.

Remember that we're talking pretty far in the future, probably 15 years or more, before the RBC is considered obsolete - and in the interim, these obstacles can work to our advantage. these obstacles work to our advantage. The fact that the block is oddly shaped, already developed, and has a RR through it means that nobody would realistically consider redeveloping it - too much hassle. But once Raleigh decides that it needs an arena downtown, it wouldn't be too hard to buy the current occupants out. Kindly Street can disappear without any opposition since it just dead-ends, and the arena would then get built on top of the railroad tracks.

On top of the tracks? Have I gone MAD?! But wait. It's not as crazy as it sounds. The city of New York is talking about building a new stadium for the Jets on a giant deck on top of a Metro North railroad yard! Surely it'd be less of a challenge to build on top of merely one or two tracks. This block is already a hill, and the tracks are already in a ditch, so topography is in our favor. It can't possibly be more difficult than building the massive four-level underground parking deck for the convention center.

Speaking of parking, there'll be the underground deck (which might even get extended across Fayetteville and Wilmington streets as well) plus all the other parking for the convention center and the Progress center. While we're at it, extend Fayetteville Street (the southern segment) onto the arena grounds with a bridge across MLK. If it's not possible to run Fayetteville all the way up to South Street, then just make it a pedestrian bridge.

Yeah, that's the perfect place for an arena. That space is pretty much useless for anything else, and it'd be so easy to tie it in with the convention space (a la the Georgia Dome and the GWCC) or the Progress Center. You just have to get over all the obstacles.

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paletexan    0

I think this West Raleigh location is one of the best addresses in the triangle. I hope they can develop something unique and integrated with the RBC/C-F complex. I cannot imagine any NIMBY presence interfering in this part of Raleigh since it's mostly offices and apartments, along with Cardinal Gibbons HS (which is on some prime real estate).

The old site of the Charlotte Coliseum (similar suburban setting) turned into a sprawling office park. Let's hope that doesnt happen here.

When the Alabama company that won the bid did not build, it was handed over to this Preston development and one of the guys is Bubba Rawls) who is famous for building standard, boring strip center mentality/big box development. Guarantee there will be a Lowes, Home Depot and huge surface parking lot.

This would be a nightmare.

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richthofen    0

While I wasn't here for any of the discussions at the time, I'd imagine at least part of the reason the arena didn't go downtown was NCSU's stake in things. Since they already had Carter-Finley stadium out there, that was a very logical place for a basketball arena since they didn't want to keep it on campus due to parking constraints. I don't think they would have gone in on a downtown arena, and them taking their money and going home would have put a huge squeeze on the project financially.

Of course, the 'Canes may yet have a downtown arena one day, which would probably result in NCSU buying the rest of the RBC Center from its current other co-owners. And that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, at least not from the point of this NCSU employee. :)

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avery    0

I agree with many of you on the location of the arena. I would have rather seen it downtown, but it is too late now. I don't know how much development we will see out towards RBC, but the highway access in that part of town is great compared to downtown. Also, I kind of like how Carter Finley and RBC complement each other. Bottom line is that State fans and Hurricane fans will frequent the arena irregardless of its location. Yes, it would have helped downtown's growth but again...it's too late now.

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I think we could expect to see a new dwntwn Raleigh arena only if we get another national sports franchise, (football, basketball). Since the RBC center already has to keep seperate schedules for the NC State Basketball team and the NHL team, it would be almost impossible to add another team's schedule to the RBC center. And not to metion the scheduling all of the other small venues that come to it every year. Maybe then dwntwn will be ready for it? Thoughs? :blink:

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DanRNC    18

Getting $9 million for the Fayetteville St. project was like pulling teeth. You will not see a major venue or coliseum in downtown Raleigh in the next 20-30 years.

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pack-man    0

I believe the only way downtown Raleigh would build an arena is in conjunction with the Hurricanes in 10 -15 years. If downtown becomes a great place with a lot of residents like the city is hoping, I really think Karmonos would consider this as an investment. Lets not forget about all that real estate close to I-40 that is a stones throw away from downtown. As the RBC ages and a new push to reinvigorate the franchise(unless they win some cups) this type of thing happens in cities. Who knows, time will tell... I just wish there would be some better development with what is already out there. That area had unbelievable potential in the late 90's and I feel that it has been wasted considerably.

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Getting $9 million for the Fayetteville St. project was like pulling teeth. You will not see a major venue or coliseum in downtown Raleigh in the next 20-30 years.

I agree. However, I was just pointing out "what" it would take to have an arena downtown. Hey maybe the City of Raleigh could re-examine the idea of a Shaw Univ. and St. Aug.'s arena just outside of downtown and move it into the center district? :D

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ChiefJoJo    0

I remember growing up hearing Jimmy V's idea of a Downtown Ral/NCSU Arena with 15-16k seats in the mid-late 80s. Avery upchurch was mayor and I believe he supported it too. Once NCSU (Wolfpack Club), Raleigh, and state govt, etc got involved, the "free" land and easy highway access made the current site the widely supported choice. A DT revival wasn't on anyone's radar screen back in 1997 when these decisions were being made. It's too bad... at least the Hurricanes came and made them put in luxury boxes--otherwise it would be obsolete (a la Clt Coliseum).

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I think we could expect to see a new dwntwn Raleigh arena only if we get another national sports franchise, (football, basketball). Since the RBC center already has to keep seperate schedules for the NC State Basketball team and the NHL team, it would be almost impossible to add another team's schedule to the RBC center. And not to metion the scheduling all of the other small venues that come to it every year. Maybe then dwntwn will be ready for it? Thoughs? :blink:

I guess it depends on what the new arenas add in the future. I could see a new arena somewhere around 2025 or so. By that time, a new arena will be $800M. It will take a few Stanley Cups to make that happen.

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pack-man    0

arenas don't come cheap anymore...so this might be the last one that Raleigh gets. Its ashame they didn't establish that area better than what it is.

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I know that this subject has been touched on before, but I wanted to give it it's due and its own topic board.

My thoughts are this, the city of Charlotte have taken away/outbid Raleigh if you will the for the CIAA. And don't expect Raleigh to get the ACC games away from other cities. I just hope that Raleigh can hold onto the MEAC tournament now that it has it. We have the ability to jump start these games into an exciting event. Then only to loose it to a bigger/better downtown. But everyone that I have talked to and seen news reports about the CIAA in Charlotte say that it really does make a difference to have the arena/stadium in a downtown area. Not just for hotels and restaurants, (which of course you could build around the RBC Center). But because having it downtown makes a statement for the city. Which keeps it in the minds of the people who come to the civic center. Those people have to take a taxi, bus to the RBC Center. And then a taxi, bus back to the hotel and or restaurants. Not to mention shopping. I am not saying move the RBC Center. NC State still needs it as well as the CANES, but...

I'll let it start here... :D

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jlblaes    0

I know that this subject has been touched on before, but I wanted to give it it's due and its own topic board.

My thoughts are this, the city of Charlotte have taken away/outbid Raleigh if you will the for the CIAA. And don't expect Raleigh to get the ACC games away from other cities. I just hope that Raleigh can hold onto the MEAC tournament now that it has it. We have the ability to jump start these games into an exciting event. Then only to loose it to a bigger/better downtown. But everyone that I have talked to and seen news reports about the CIAA in Charlotte say that it really does make a difference to have the arena/stadium in a downtown area. Not just for hotels and restaurants, (which of course you could build around the RBC Center). But because having it downtown makes a statement for the city. Which keeps it in the minds of the people who come to the civic center. Those people have to take a taxi, bus to the RBC Center. And then a taxi, bus back to the hotel and or restaurants. Not to mention shopping. I am not saying move the RBC Center. NC State still needs it as well as the CANES, but...

I'll let it start here... :D

Uhhh who is going to finance this ?

I think some realistic perspective is needed here...

There won't be another major league indoor sporting arena built in Raleigh for many years.

There won't be an aquirium built in DT Raleigh.

The zoo is not going to move to Dix.

Raleigh needs some time.

JB

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dmccall    1

Charlotte's attendance isn't any better with their downtown arena than it was out near the old landfill. WHERE is the evidence that downtown arenas do better than suburban ones?

I'll check back on this thread in 25 years.

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Transplant    0

My understanding was a DT arena's intention is to boost/gain tax by having customers of the Arena eat/shop/stay before and after events.

Locations such as the RBC area do not lend themselves to gaining revenue off events.

..... And i agree, there will not be a DT arena anytime soon.

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Jones_    114

Yeah, the whole point was that the atmosphere surrounding the arena was more preferred for what CIAA was trying to achieve.....I did not see any tilt towards how successful is the arena itself based on its placement but the other way around...how does the surrounding area benefit from the arena?

While certainly not huge, do not discount the importance of the possible Shaw/St Augs stadium as a sort of test case....in 25 years you may very well see a large stadium of some sort on the site of say the current Trailways station.

More related to the actual question....no, downtown does not need silly big box crud like an arena to be what I think downtown should be. I certainly would not want to live shouting distance from one.....maybe a huge stadium complex nearer downtown, like say behind Red Roof on South Saunders....

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JDC    0

The fact that the RBC Center ISN'T downtown (or close to downtown) is a handicap to the city. Any city that ships it's cultural and entertainment venues off to the suburbs where there's more parking is at a disadvantage. Where there are sporting events and live music, nearby bars and restaurants would have reason to stay open later into the night.

I would agree that an ideal downtown isn't about "silly big box crud" like arenas, but if a pro and college sports team were packing the house 2-3 nights a week, with other events mixed in year round, you've got yourself a local business booster. It doesn't do anybody any good to pack 10,000 people into an arena by the interstate that's surrounded by an ocean of parking.

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ChiefJoJo    0

Forget about it. There won't be a new arena in 20+ years, so let's think about what we can do to better integrate what we have.

How about connect TTA rail at the fairgrounds station with the RBC/C-F stadium? Maybe a shuttle bus during events right down Youth Center Dr? This way, you could connect DT with RBC without having to drive. I've even walked that distance. It's on the order of a mile or more, but it's doable. Sure a DT arena would be great, as I live 2 blocks from the future TTA DT station, but I would still go to RBC/C-F via rail if it was available.

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DanRNC    18

The bottom line is that sporting venues do not equal financial success or urban development. If anything they drain the coffers on things such as maintenance, security, etc.

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