June 13 / 2008

Hurricanes Extend RBC Center Lease

Team's agreement with Centennial Authority/Raleigh, NC arena runs through 2024

RALEIGH, NC—The Carolina Hurricanes and the Centennial Authority, the public/private partnership that developed and owns the RBC Center, today announced that the lease agreement between the entities has been extended by five years. The extension includes the arena management contract with the Hurricanes’ parent company Gale Force Holdings, making the previous 20-year lease, established in 1999, effective through 2024.

"We value our strong partnership with the Centennial Authority and NC State University, ensuring that the RBC Center remains a first-class arena,” said Hurricanes President/General Manager Jim Rutherford. “The extension of our lease displays the confidence that we have in the growth of hockey in this market."

The five-year extension was the result of nearly two years of negotiations involving the Hurricanes and the partners comprising the Authority, including the City of Raleigh, Wake County and North Carolina State University.

“We are extremely pleased with the terms of the lease extension,” said Centennial Authority Chairman Ray Rouse. “The agreement represents a mutual commitment to the long-term viability of the RBC Center as the home of the Hurricanes and NC State basketball, and as a world-class events venue for our growing metropolitan community.”

Rouse, who has chaired the Authority since December 2007, noted the work of former Authority Chairman Bill Mullins in securing a 15-year extension of an agreement with the city and county to earmark hotel and motel use taxes through 2025 to help fund the arena. The Authority also agreed to specific financial provisions to help Gale Force Holdings meet the rising costs of operating the RBC Center, such as terrorism insurance, utility fees and game-day expenses.

NC State also negotiated for specific capital improvements and considerations, including upgrades to the basketball facilities and parking lot, as well as more input related to future upgrades as part of a $6 million, 15-year commitment to the arena’s Capital Enhancement Fund. The Authority uses the fund to make periodic upgrades to the building, maintaining it as a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue.

“The Centennial Authority continues to do an exemplary job as stewards of this premier facility,” said Charles Leffler, vice chancellor for finance and business at NC State. “The new agreements provide additional security for the future of the arena.”

In addition to making ongoing improvements to the arena through the Capital Enhancement Fund, the Authority has paid more than $15 million in PILOT payments (payment in lieu of taxes) to the city and county since 2000. These payments are unrestricted, allowing Raleigh and Wake County to spend them as they wish.

“The Centennial Authority is committed to insuring that the people of the greater Triangle region continue to enjoy the type of world-class sports, entertainment and special events that only a top-tier venue can attract,” said Rouse. “The Authority is also committed to providing its premier tenants with the best possible facilities, amenities and comforts without compromising its responsibility to manage the building’s evolution and safeguard its future.”