Working in Raleigh tomorrow

And checked into my hotel 2 miles from my work place a few minutes ago. It’s convenient to work and even more convenient to the NC State stadium and arena, both essentially just across the street (stadium first, arena behind that). Put it this way, the restaurant next door has signs for $20 arena/event parking, and they were put to use last night (NCSU beat Notre Dame). The arena is also home to the Carolina NHL team, which plays Friday night. So I tucked in between events.

The arena exterior looks pretty much like a standard big arena, a slightly larger version of the NLR arena. It seats 19,700 for basketball, 18,600 for hockey.

The stadium, if you didn’t see the light towers, you’d think was a five-story commercial building. No evidence of it being a stadium from the street until you get down to the southeast corner where you can actually see the upper deck seating. Same stadium Lou Holtz coached in at NCS 50 years ago, although significantly upgraded since then (capacity is now 57,000).

Both are on the NC State Fairgrounds, which is a couple of miles away from the main campus.

A little farther down the fairgrounds is Dorton Arena, which was the first cable-supported structure in the world, served as a precursor for buildings like the Astrodome and Superdome, and looks very much like the current Saddledome in Calgary, Canada. It was a home site for the ABA Carolina Cougars and also has been used for arena football, hockey and concerts. Capacity is 7,600, but if you didn’t know better you might think from the outside that that’s the main hockey/basketball arena.

Yeah, I know, big whoop, but I’m bored, obsessed with stadiums and arenas, and staying very near to three notable examples.

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I watched Steph Curry in person for the first time there. Arkansas and Davidson were at the same NCAA Tournament site and Curry scored 40 and 30 in back-to-back games against Gonzaga and Georgetown. I just thought he was a pretty good small-college player. I had no idea he would be one of the all-time greats.

The Davidson-Georgetown game was a lot of fun. Davidson came back from a big deficit (19 is the number that stands out in my mind) and won just before Arkansas-North Carolina. It was like a Davidson home game. In addition to a big group of the Davidson base coming over from Charlotte, all of the UNC fans were having a blast cheering on the home-state team and cheering against the Hoyas.

Jeff, If you get a chance go look at the Wolfpack sculpture in front of the football stadium. It was created by Dick Idol, the same man who sculpted the “Wild Band of Razorbacks” monument outside Razorback Stadium. Idol played football and baseball at NC State.

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I’ll do that. Just notified that I can show up 30 minutes later for work tomorrow so I’ll have time. I think I saw a photo of the sculpture while I was looking around for the stadium photo I pasted above.

Also, the soccer stadium where last year’s College Cup was is only 2.8 miles from my hotel.

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I love looking at university campuses and stadiums. We typically take a couple of 3 week camping trips each year to different national parks and I always plan stops at stadiums along the way to walk the campus and take a break.

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Is the old Wolfpack arena, Reynolds Coliseum still standing? It held around 12,000 if I remember correctly. It was much more of a home court advantage than the big multipurpose building they use now. Seats were right up against the court. I always remember seeing games on tv and they had a very distinctive press table next to the court that had a dark hardwood surface.

Will be there in early Feb. Heading up to Edenton, NC to talk about drift control to some Ag Pilots. Been years since I was in that country.

I love architecture and buildings and bridges are marvels of human ingenuity. Nothing boring here and the history just adds body to the narrative. Life is too short to ever be bored.

Still standing, but reconfigured to only seat about 5K. They use it for women’s hoops, volleyball, gymnastics, the NCS sports hall of fame and their ROTC program – and finally air conditioned it after 68 years. It’s now Valvano Arena at Reynolds Coliseum; you can guess who that was named for.

The hockey team is very good, by the way; tied for the second best record in the NHL. I was kinda hoping one or the other (NCS hoops) was in town last night. But the Hurricanes won in overtime at Dallas. They play the team with the best record (Boston) Sunday night, and tickets on Ticketmaster are appropriately ridiculous; cheapest nosebleeds are $87, and it’s $150-275 to sit downstairs. Even standing room tickets are $130, and that’s face value.

For tomorrow night, a lot cheaper; as low as $40 (my one NHL game, in Montreal, I paid like $35Can and sat in the nosebleeds with the kids; I was the only one in the section over 40 or didn’t speak French, but it was a lot of fun). When they tell you hockey is a lot better in person than on TV, believe it. A lot easier to follow the puck, even where I was sitting (I was BEHIND the press balcony), the players move incredibly fast and the kids are very much into the game. The bluehairs downstairs, not so sure.

Turns out there are at least two sculptures at the stadium. I think this is the one Matt meant:

But then there’s this on the west concourse:

And the stadium photos I found last night suggest at least one more.

I’ve lived in Raleigh since 1989. Great town. Have 2 Wolfpack daughters.

There is nothing like playoff hockey and the Raleigh fan base for the canes is highly regarded in the league.

Anyone needs Raleigh tips just let me know😀

Any tips for how to get through RDU quickly?

Coming back from Chapel Hill last summer might have been the craziest airport experience I’ve had. I’ve never seen so many people at 3:30 in the morning. The bag check was chaos.

Same here per having a passion for architecture & development but instead pursuing a safer career path in business.

Always fascinated with the UofA campus with pride in many of the older (plus the recently completed Student Success Ctr) classic buildings with stone facade. Hope to see in my lifetime UofA restoring Memorial Hall (former UofA union), White Engineering, & other old buildings. Never expected Old Main to be restored when it was crumbling & shuttered during my college days at UofA.

Fortunately my experience with RDU wasn’t that bad. The North Carolina Medical Board had asked me to come in for an interview (which was two hours of torture) on Thursday, then I went down to Fayetteville to look for a place to live, then came back to Cary to cover the Hogs-Virginia Tech NCAA soccer match. Wifi at the stadium was inadequate, and I wound up filing my story to ADG sitting at the gate at RDU before flying back to Fort Smith. Finished filing about 10 minutes before boarding, then as I stood in line to board, my phone buzzed: My medical license was approved.


Reynolds Coliseum (now the James Valvano Arena at RC) is great. Intimate, on campus, not a big somewhat distant dome. Years ago the US Team was playing an exhibition there. Mayberry and Day were on the team. I got a seat right behind the bench, wearing all my Razorback regalia. When I left the arena I saw Mayberry walking out, gave him my program and my pen and asked kindly if he could autograph my program. He grabbed my pen, tried to hurriedly sign my program, said “Your pen don’t work”, and handed them both back to me as he scurried off. It did work, but he was no doubt tired, sweaty, in a hurry to make the bus, was being bugged by kids already, probably jaded by that time, so why indulge an adult even if he was wearing Hog stuff in Raleigh, don’t blame him (much :smile:). I did get Day’s signature earlier at a practice at Cameron.

The football stadium is old timey too, although it has been updated. Years ago went to the State Fair for the day, then walked over for a UNC-NC State night game. The Pack had Tory Holt at the time.

Although I am first a Razorback fan, then UNC, I harbor no ill will for NC State. First, they are not Dook. Second, as a State fan I played basketball with at UNC for years told me, “Our teams are so similar. Both wear red. And both lose enough to break our hearts but win enough to keep it interesting.” So I feel a certain kinship with them. Btw, he was ok with Dook but hated UNC despite (or maybe because of) working there, so there is a rivalry. They fired him (but not because of that, that would be illegal, right?).

They can fire you for anything except race, age, religion or sexual orientation. Being a Pack fan at UNC? Probably grounds for termination.

Basketball is a religion around here. I think he’d have them on that one.

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I read that when they remodeled it, the concourses on the east and west side were expanded from 4 feet across to 35 feet across. Four feet across is VERY intimate.

Come to think of it, I attended the NCAA Mideast Regional (Hogs, Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana) at the old Stokely Athletic Center in Knoxville in 1983. Stokely had some of that 4-foot concourse action going on as well. How they crammed 12,000 people into that building, I have no idea.

Hey Matt,

That is definitely not the norm. Not sure what airline you were flying. You can check bags the night before a flight if you are worried about it. I’ve done that a couple of times for big family trips just so I didn’t have to get up early. In my previous job I traveled 50% of the time and I can tell you RDU is generally one of the nicest airports out there.
Super early flights can have back ups for security but if you have precheck it’s not a problem.