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Renovation plan revealed for PNC Arena

Fresh plans have been presented for an extensive overhaul of PNC Arena, home of NHL ice hockey team the Carolina Hurricanes, that could cost up to $201.8m (£153.3m/€178.7m).

The Centennial Authority, owner and operator of the Raleigh-based facility, has received a presentation headed by Indianapolis-based Ratio Architects that updates an original vision presented in 2015. At the time the cost of the project was pegged at $115m to $120m.

The Charlotte Observer newspaper said the presentation included proposals for a rooftop bar and restaurant on the south end of the arena, the possibility of removing stairwells or suites for more “income-producing spaces” and removing some aisles on the lower level to add more seats.

PNC Arena opened in October 1999 and also hosts college basketball for North Carolina State, as well as being a major concert and event venue. The presentation outlined an estimated cost of $167.4 to $201.8m, with additional costs for planning and fixtures. However, the extent of the project would be contingent on the Authority agreeing a new lease deal with the Hurricanes and its parent company, Gale Force Sports & Entertainment.

The team’s current lease deal ends in 2024. Centennial Authority chairman Tom McCormick said: “We’ll move forward. The building is always going to be here. But ultimately what we’re going to be looking for in the near future is an allocation of money which we might be able to get. How much of that we ultimately get will probably depend somewhat on what the guaranteed future of the Hurricanes here is.”

The renovation plan would require money from Wake County and the City of Raleigh through the Interlocal Agreement, which is funded by the hospitality industry’s hotel/motel and prepared-food tax.

If approved, the project would commence in 2020. The south end entrance could be opened up to provide a view into the bowl area, a move that Ratio president Bill Browne said would allow fans to immediately feel the arena “experience.”

Image: Centennial Authority