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New downtown Raleigh arena back on agenda

Mayor Charles Meek wants to see a replacement for RBC Center in downtown Raleigh — someday.

As an economic-development tool, RBC Center on the western edge of Raleigh, N.C., hasn't exactly set the world on fire: a decade after opening, the home of the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL) and the North Carolina State basketball team is still surrounded by parking lots and pastureland.

And the word used most often to describe it is "functional": yes, it works, but it's not especially revered or loved. It was a compromise facility, and it shows.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker wants to go back to the original plan for a new arena: placing it in downtown. He's a little early out of the gate — there are still 10 more years of bond payments remaining on RBC Center — but he's correct that it takes a long time to plan a new arena, between discussions of where it should be located and how it should be financed.

So while there's nothing imminent in Raleigh, don't be surprised if the discussions continue.

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