Raleigh sports arena gets new name


Officials announced Thursday that the Centennial Authority preliminarily approved The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. request to rename the local sports and entertainment venue.

The naming rights agreement, which would replace the "RBC Center" name, is expected to take effect in March 2012. It follows PNC's buyout of RBC Bank back in June.

"PNC is one of the nation's strongest banks, and has an excellent reputation for support of its employees, customers, communities and shareholders," said Peter Karmanos, CEO and owner of the Carolina Hurricanes and Gale Force Sports & Entertainment in a press release. "We are happy to be associated with this well-regarded national franchise, and look forward to working with PNC in the North Carolina community."

PNC invested more than $60 million in communities across 16 states and the District of Columbia last year. The goal was to encourage home ownership and economic development along with support of community-based organizations and early childhood education.

The 19,000-seat arena, which opened in 1999, averages 1.5 million guests and 150 events per year. The RBC Center currently hosts the Carolina Hurricanes hockey games, NC State basketball games, music concerts and more.

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