Colleges

Landlord, tenant relations grow stale between NC State and Canes

Posted June 4, 2013
Updated June 5, 2013

The PNC Arena Saturday afternoon before the Carolina Hurricanes last Saturday home game. (photo by Wes Hight).

— For more than a decade, the Carolina Hurricanes have played grateful tenant at PNC Arena because the North Carolina State Wolfpack, and its leadership, was amicable in scheduling negotiations with the professional franchise.

Somewhere in the last few years, however, that courteous compromise has been lost and the two sides find themselves in a battle of both words and home.

When asked Tuesday what has changed in the relationship, Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford responded, “I don’t want to comment on that. I have an answer for it, but I would prefer to try and work through this and make it work for both sides.”

Documents obtained Tuesday by WRAL News show an active record of communication over the past year between Rutherford, NC State administrators – including athletics director Debbie Yow and Chancellor Randy Woodson – and Dave Olsen, the vice president and general manager of PNC Arena.

In those records, NC State representatives repeatedly claim to be going above and beyond in compliance with the terms of the contract dated June 19, 1997. However, a Sept. 6, 2012, letter from Yow to Olsen, which was endorsed by basketball coach Mark Gottfried, paints a different picture.

“We regret that abiding by the contract terms could make scheduling NHL games more challenging,” Yow wrote. “That said, our goal is to build a championship-caliber basketball program and the scheduling terms of the contract are designed to support achievement of that goal.”

The terms of the contract agreement state that NC State shall hold all priorities when it comes to scheduling at PNC Arena. The contract also stipulates that both the Wolfpack and visiting teams get use of the facility for pre-game practice. Furthermore, the contract instructs that the use of the arena “requires coordination between the Authority (arena management) and NC State University to promote its most efficient use.”

The last of those terms has become the major point of contention for Rutherford because the NHL has warned the Hurricanes of potential fines if the team cannot keep scheduled games.

“We respect the fact that NC State gets priority dates. We know Saturdays and Wednesdays are important for them because of televised ACC games,” Rutherford said. “What we don’t respect is that they tie up all the dates to play a minimal amount of games.”

Rutherford added in a January letter to Woodson that if the Hurricanes did not play in the arena, losses to the operating company of the Hurricanes would amount to roughly $10 million annually and millions more would be lost in tax revenues and payment to the City of Raleigh, Wake County and the state.

A regular season NHL schedule requires 41 home dates between October 1 and the first week in April. Per the agreement, PNC Arena may also be booked between the months of September and May for events such as graduation ceremonies, the circus, Disney on Ice, the Harlem Globetrotters and professional wrestling. In 2000, the agreement was amended to block out a week in December and February for the circus and Disney on Ice.

“This is a unique situation,” Rutherford said.

Another controversial point between the two sides is the calendar itself. The NHL requires scheduling dates be submitted in time for a July release date. The ACC does not release their schedules until late August, affording NC State more time but putting the Hurricanes at risk of hundreds of thousands of dollars in league fines.

“Through working together and mutual compromise, we have consistently been able to maximize the utilization, and thereby the financial health, of PNC Arena,” Olsen wrote in a letter dated Sept. 24, 2012. “NC State has now taken the position that we must grant them 100 percent priority over all dates at PNC Arena without regard to the reasonableness of what is best for the Authority, the City, the County, the State, Gale Force, the Hurricanes or fans that attend the events.”

Olsen continued to say that without compromise, the venue risks losing major concerts and would never have hosted the NHL All-Star game.

Rutherford added in a May 14 letter that they were specifically told that the current administration at NC State “will not be as flexible as previous administrations,” and that “the number of events will be significantly reduced as more shows will skip PNC Arena due to the lack of available dates.

Rutherford outlined losses to the venue from August to November because NC State stakes claim to 28 dates while only playing “six to seven” football games. He said NC State claims 42 of 92 dates between October and January despite playing only “eight potential home games.” Then, Rutherford added that from January to the end of basketball season, NC State is claiming 59 of 88 calendar dates for “a total of eight potential basketball games.” In all, Rutherford states that NC State has staked claim to 129 of 214 calendar days, including 26 of 30 days in November, for a combined total of 23 Wolfpack sporting events.

Conversely, Woodson said that NC State has complied fully to the terms of the agreement despite giving up a week in February to the circus, which puts the Wofpack “at a competitive disadvantage.” Woodson added that they have also relinquished 11 of 13 Fridays between October and December, reserving only Oct. 11 for “Primetime with the Pack” and Nov. 8 for the basketball team’s regular season home opener. Dec. 3-4 were also reserved in anticipation of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

NC State football, which shares a parking lot with PNC Arena, requested April 20 for the annual spring game. Woodson said concessions were also made on that date due to a 7 p.m. hockey game that forced the Wolfpack to cancel otherwise planned events.

Rutherford indicated that meetings will be planned in the near future to better deal with the scheduling issue. He said that meetings have occurred in the past with little or no resolution.

125 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • jbengel Jun 24, 12:24 p.m.

    Sorry Canes, but YOU are 2nd fiddle here. You deserted Hartford for this chance to make money... View More

    — Posted by morgannyy

    "Free" home? The Canes ownership put up almost 40% of the money to build that barn, and if they hadn't, it would still be on the drawing board. Centennial Authority spent 10 years talking about it before Karmanos announced the move, then suddenly... In any case, it was anything BUT a freebie.

  • evenflow2005 Jun 10, 12:47 p.m.

    Yow, Yow, Yow, Bu, Bu, Yow, Yow, Yow.........

  • WufSkins Jun 6, 1:05 p.m.

    Isn't it ironic that this issue never grew into something this big until Yow was in the picture?... View More

    — Posted by caniac315

    Because she's doing her job unlike Lee Fowler?

  • TsKaMF Jun 6, 12:32 p.m.

    This is still being discussed ? Why ?

    "The terms of the contract agreement state that NC State shall hold all priorities"

    ^^^Contract

  • Ken D. Jun 6, 11:26 a.m.

    The irony in all of this is that State had enough money to build its own arena in the 90's. Lawrence Joel Arena in Winston-Salem, which seats 14,655 for basketball, was built for about $20 million. The price tag for a 23,000 plus facility proved too much, but some State boosters refused to listen to Valvano, who said it was too big. He wanted a facility of no more than 16,000 capacity, which over the years since has proven to be at or above State's actual attendance at the PNC Center.

    State could have had a great venue, with luxury boxes and all, but it wasn't good enough. Instead, they wound up settling for sharing an arena they can't fill consistently. Not great decision making there.

  • common tater Jun 6, 11:04 a.m.

    126 dates reserved for 23 State games...yep...sounds like sound State math to me. This is the capital's only pro sports team...and the only pro sports team in the state with a national title...they don't deserve this type of childish power grab.

  • Ken D. Jun 6, 10:59 a.m.

    NC Sate does not belong in that arena anyway.....why can't they remodel the heck out of Reynolds... View More

    — Posted by cfazio62

    My thoughts exactly. We should go back to Reynolds. In fact, I will go so far as tyo say that... View More

    — Posted by tayled

    Well, the intent was to build a BBall only facility where the PNC currently lies. Then the State... View More

    — Posted by ncstatefan215

    The intent was to build a basketball only facility, but State found out it couldn't afford to do that. State didn't "oblige" anybody. They agreed to share an arena they could not have had otherwise. A large part of that agreement required both major tenants to cooperate. State has now stated publicly that it no longer intends to do that. Eventually, they will realize they have to back down from that, just as they had to back down from their plan to "one up" Carolina with a 23,000 seat arena.

    In the meantime, get used to the huffing and puffing.

  • Bob Sidel Jun 6, 10:57 a.m.

    NCSU is Raleigh, NC! As a lifetime resident I have always been disappointed that we got an NHL... View More

    — Posted by robertporter

    Sounds like it's you that doesn't belong in NC anymore, Robert. Or do you go by Bo?

  • Bob Sidel Jun 6, 10:52 a.m.

    NC Sate does not belong in that arena anyway.....why can't they remodel the heck out of Reynolds... View More

    — Posted by cfazio62

    My thoughts exactly. We should go back to Reynolds. In fact, I will go so far as tyo say that... View More

    — Posted by tayled

    Well, the intent was to build a BBall only facility where the PNC currently lies. Then the State... View More

    — Posted by ncstatefan215

    State ran out of money to build their facility, that's why there was a pile of dirt sitting for years where the PNC now stands until the Canes jumpstarted the actual construction.

  • caniac315 Jun 6, 10:35 a.m.

    Isn't it ironic that this issue never grew into something this big until Yow was in the picture? I am not a Yow fan.

More...

 

 

  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Saturday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Toronto

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. UConn

    Tonight at 8:00 on 620am

  • WBB: Duke vs. UMass Lowell

    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
UCONN
 
Final
CLE 98
ATL 127
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
DET 106
DAL 117
Final
BOS 109
ORL 92
Final
MIA 87
UTA 105
Final
TOR 105
BRK 89
Final
SAN 116
MEM 117
Final
POR 104
MIL 97
4th
DEN 88
HOU 92
 
4th
LAC 94
IND 93
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
HOU
NOP
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
MIL
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
OKC
 
Final
UNT 78
LANG 65
 
Final
Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
Final
MSST 55
ARKST 69
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
GMAS 99
CATAWBA 69
 
Final
WOFF 64
CSOU 58
 
Final
HIGH 106
FERR 48
 
Final
JVU 68
GWEBB 65
 
Final
ILL 73
HAMP 55
 
Final
BST 52
JMU 72
 
Final
YOUNG 84
KNST 90
 
Final
UMO 71
LONG 60
 
Final
PITT 65
MAN 56
Final
OSU 97
NCAT 55
Final
FSU 93
UNF 77
 
Final
TOL 83
RMU 57
 
Final
CAMP 70
SIUE 65
 
Final
DUQ 52
RFLSH 67
 
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
Final
UCF 75
DET 70
Final
UNCW 73
LIB 70
 
Final
LOYC 83
ABCHRIST 44
 
Final
MURST 94
ALCOR 56
 
Final
HOU 56
ARKPB 61
 
Final
NW 67
CMICH 80
Final
WKENT 75
CHIST 60
 
Final
ODU 58
UGST 54
Final
SMU 67
ILLCH 46
Final
LALAF 115
MLGN 76
 
Final
TULSA 74
MIZST 70
Final
UWGB 66
MORE 50
 
Final
NEOM 92
NCOL 82
 
Final
TTU 101
SCST 39
 
Final
DEN 83
TAMCC 73
 
Final
STEPH 66
TXST 60
 
Final
STLU 75
TXPA 69
 
Final
MEM 83
USCU 73
 
Final
ILLST 64
TENNM 54
 
Final
MSU 66
EMICH 46
Final
GRCN 80
INCWORD 82
 
Final
STAN 67
LMU 58
Final
BAY 66
NMST 55
 
Final
CIN 71
SDST 62
Final
AUB 80
WINT 62
 
Final
NMU 76
CARK 55
 
Final
PEPP 53
HOW 45
 
Final
CPSL 60
NE 58
 
1st OT
UNLV 69
PORT 67
 
2nd
OREG 74
CSNO 52
 
2nd
WASH 86
GRAM 37
 
12:30pm Today
RICE
STTHOMASTX
 
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
CLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIU
FIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
STET
GSOUT
 
7:00pm Tonight
QUIN
LEH
 
7:00pm Tonight
SFLA
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
RICH
SALA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
USB
 
7:00pm Tonight
DEL
TEMPL
 
7:00pm Tonight
WCU
WRST
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
YALE
 
7:30pm Tonight
SDKST
IDST
 
7:30pm Tonight
RIDE
MRGST
 
7:30pm Tonight
LATU
NICST
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHAR
APP
 
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
CCAR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
UCONN
 
8:00pm Tonight
BRAD
EUREK
 
8:00pm Tonight
PEAY
OAKC
 
8:00pm Tonight
JST
SMISS
 
8:30pm Tonight
SD
MNTST
 
9:00pm Tonight
UAB
LSU
 
9:05pm Tonight
EVAN
OHIO
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSFU
CSDH
 
10:00pm Tonight
ORST
DEP
 
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
NEV
 
10:00pm Tonight
USF
PORST
 
10:00pm Tonight
IDAHO
WALLA
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
CALST
 
Final
NJD 0
OTT 2
Final
MIN 2
BOS 3
Final
VAN 0
DAL 2
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
ANA
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
EDM
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
STL
 
8:25pm Tonight
JAC
TEN