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Life on Campus at NC State: What's Happening - August 2023 (Update)

Life on Campus at NC State: What's Happening - August 2023 (Update)

I previously published one of these posts in April, but since then there's been a lot happening around NCSU as the 2023-2024 academic year and athletics calendar soon get underway.

PNC Arena Renovation & Development Plans Move Forward:

PNC Arena renovations and the development of the surrounding area have been topics of discussion for years. I wrote up a PNC Arena piece back in December 2022 that outlined what was in play at that time:

Life on Campus at NC State: The Future of PNC Arena
The future of PNC Arena has long been a hotly debated topic amongst those in the NC State fanbase, as well as with general Raleigh residents. For NC State, the debate tends to center around “We should have never left Reynolds” (which is itself a much larger and more nuanced

The Centennial Authority reviewed plans for proposed renovations and developments at various points over the last year. With sports betting set to become legal in NC, the first major PNC renovation will be a sports book. Also included in these arena renovations would be upper-level bars that face the arena bowl, restroom updates, box/suite updates, and a total reconfiguration of the box office/main entry area.

The N&O published a series of articles detailing the timeline for this process [Link 1 and Link 2], but the key points are:

  • Friday 8/11: Raleigh and Wake County leaders proposed recommendations on how to allocate hotel and restaurant taxes for PNC Arena, Red Hat/Raleigh Convention Center, and a Cary indoor sports facility. Should everything be approved at subsequent August meetings, there will be a debt borrowing of $300M used to finance the PNC Arena renovations, with PNC set to receive ~$21M annually for a period of 25 years to pay down the debt servicing on the loan, pay for maintenance/upkeep costs, etc. These renovation recommendations are now on tap for approval at city and county meetings on 8/15 and 8/21, respectively.
  • Tuesday 8/15: Also occurring on 8/15, the Centennial Authority will meet to hear from CAA ICON on the proposed renovations and will then vote on two term sheets, (1) a new long-term lease to keep the Hurricanes in Raleigh, and (2) an agreement that authorizes Tom Dundon (Hurricanes owner) to develop the 80-acres around PNC, which now largely consists of surface level parking, into a mixed-use development.

I shared my opinions on this development in the piece I wrote in December, but as this article from Raleigh Magazine outlines, there's a lot of investment currently going into the Blue Ridge Corridor around PNC Arena. Point blank, the land around PNC is far too valuable just to continue sitting there as surface-level parking. It's pretty wild that it's taken 24 years to actually consider developing any of that land. Unfortunately, this also means that tailgate spaces for NCSU FB and Canes playoff hockey will be sacrificed in the process.

I think the net impact of this will ultimately be positive for the Canes, NCSU, and Raleigh, but I also hope that the development of these lots will include green space specifically dedicated to preserving the tailgating culture for NCSU and the Canes in the areas directly adjacent to PNC.

It's worth noting that NCSU doesn't own this land - nor does the University own the land around Carter-Finley. Per Raleigh iMAPS, it's all owned by the State of North Carolina - State Property Office. Randy Woodson sits on the board of the Centennial Authority that owns PNC Arena, so it should be assumed that State still has some kind of a say as to what this development will look like. Additionally, given how many people in the local media that should be "in the know" alluded to NCSU being the party that held up the finalization of a renovation/development plan the last few months, I'm hoping Woodson/NCSU have been able to negotiate something for NCSU in this process that outweighs the loss of these surface level parking spaces for tailgaters.


BP Cox was the first to point out the decks coming on Twitter

NCSU Campus Masterplan Developments:

If you're an NCSU / Raleigh-area nerd like I am, this thread from the DT Raleigh Community showcases some links and concept art of what could potentially come to both Main Campus and Centennial Campus in future years

Full Image

There have been some more widely discussed near-term plans, such as: the Integrated Sciences Building in the Brickyard, Poole College of Management's desire to open a new building on Centennial, Brickyard surface regrading, etc. However, the thread from DT Raleigh Community goes into detail on NCSU's Master Plan, and provides renderings for many of the University's long-term plans, like moving the softball stadium next to Doak Field, converting many on-campus roads into pedestrian/bike paths, replacing Lee/Sullivan/Bragaw, improving pedestrian access to campus across Western Blvd., constructing a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks behind Talley, etc.

This is well worth your time if you're interested in the types of changes that NCSU's campus may see over the next couple of decades.

Doak Field Renovations:

In early 2022, it was announced that Doak Field would finally be seeing major renovations for the first time since the early 2000's. The first of these renovations included new bullpens, a new scoreboard, LED lighting, and a new playing surface for the 2023 season. As the below link from GoPack indicates, the next phases will include "Competitive Team Performance Spaces" and "Fan Experience Upgrades". I'm interested to see if the Athletics Department or Baseball Program's social media accounts publicize any of the progress for these renovations over the offseason.


Centennial Campus Innovation District:

NCSU has been planning major changes for Centennial Campus over the last few years. As this WRAL article explains, Centennial was recently segmented into 9 different sections of land that vary in their allowable building heights. One of the sections could see buildings up to 28 stories tall, while others could see buildings from 3 to 12 stories tall. Part of this includes what NCSU has dubbed "The Innovation District" (creative, I know).


The first building in the University's plan for Centennial was recently announced to be a new lab facility that will be developed by Charlotte-based developer Lincoln Harris. The timeline is not yet known, but this announcement shows that NCSU is now actively moving towards building out these previously undeveloped areas on Centennial.

Wolfe & Porter Renovations:

Although it doesn't sit on Hillsborough St., Wolfe & Porter sits just off Hillsborough on West Morgan St. The current renovations to the space will make it one of the nicer bars that's within a short walk of many student housing and young professional housing options near campus. This Instagram Reel provides an overview of what these renovations will include and an Instagram page for their new lower-level liquor bar has been created as well: "Cellar Liquor Bar".


"Oberlin Hotel" to be Constructed in the Village District

"Gussie's" to Open on West Morgan St. off Hillsborough

Hillsborough St. IHOP Building for Sale

Wood Residence Hall "Student Sanctuary"

Blue Ridge Ramada Inn to be Replaced with Apartments

New Pack Football Uniforms Feature the Actual NCSU Seal

Jim Valvano Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Bill Cowher to be Inducted into NCSU FB Ring of Honor on 9/29

David Thompson "Skywalker" Documentary in Development from Meadowlark Media

Go Pack.