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Raleigh venues receive over $1 billion in hospitality tax for major upgrades

Hospitality tax dollars will be allocated for a new Raleigh Convention Center building, a Red Hat Amphitheater move, and funding for a Cary indoor sports facility.

A rendering of the new Raleigh Convention Center building with a bridge over South McDowell Street.

A rendering of the new Raleigh Convention Center concept features a bridge connecting the two buildings.

Photo provided by The Raleigh Convention Center

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The Wake County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the use of over $1 billion in hospitality tax funds to be distributed between multiple projects over 25 years.

In 2022, 17.8 million people visited Raleigh and Wake County and spent $3 billion, according to Visit Raleigh. This reallocation of tax dollars is intended to draw even more tourism to the area. Additionally, bigger and better facilities means more jobs for the area.

We broke down the new deal by the numbers.

Raleigh Convention Center + Red Hat Amphitheater

Downtown’s convention and exhibition facility will receive $387.5 million + Red Hat Amphitheater will move, but not far. The convention center will construct a building on the current home of Red Hat Amphitheater to add 500,000 sqft of convention space and 30 break-out rooms. Red Hat will move a block over to the corner of South McDowell Street and West South Street.

An aerial rendering of the new Raleigh Convention Center space and Red Hat Amphitheater.

Red Hat Amphitheater won’t move far at all with another convention space taking its place.

Photo provided by The Raleigh Convention Center

PNC Arena

PNC Arena will receive $21.3 million annually for 25 years, intended for renovations and enhanced building infrastructure use. The arena is separately receiving $800 million over 20 years through the Carolina Hurricanes’ extended contract with the Centennial Authority.

Cary indoor sports facility

An upcoming Cary indoor sports facility will receive $5.35 million annually for 25 years. This facility, near South Hills Mall, will house 100,000 sqft of competition event space for everything from basketball to esports.

Construction on all of these projects will take a few years, but events scheduling should begin by the end of the year.