Know Your Stadiums: Carter-Finley Stadium

September 14, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football 

Image of Vaughn Towers at Carter-Finley Stadium.

North Carolina State’s home football stadium, Carter-Finley Stadium, was opened in 1969 as a replacement for an obsolete on-campus stadium named Riddick Stadium. It now seats 57,583 after two major expansions and following a renovation in 2006 as well.

Originally named Carter Stadium in honor of Harry C. and Wilbert J. “Nick” Carter who were both graduates of the university and major contributors to the original building of the stadium. Albert E. Finley, a major contributor to the University, was added in 1978.

The stadium is located on University land, however it is not on the University grounds proper. It is actually located a few miles west of the academic campus on Trinity Road.

When it originally opened it seated 41,000 from 1966-1973, they then expanded to 45,600 from 1973-1983. In 1984-1991 it sat 47,000 fans. From 1992-2002 it seated 51,500, when in 2001, the university began mordernizing the stadium and enclosing the southern end zone and began building the Murphy Center, which houses the football offices.

Seating expanded each of the next four years with seating increasing to 53,800 in 2003, 55,600 in 2004 the year they began building the Vaughn Towers which houses luxury boxes, club seats and media facilities. When the Vaughn Towers were completed in 2005, the seating capacity was 57,500 Then finally the university added seating underneath the video scoreboard, making the stadium a bowl and seating 57,583 in 2006.

Carter-Finley Stadium from above.

In October of 2009, U2 and Muse held a concert in the facility.

Also in the same complex is the PNC Arena (Formerly the RBC Center) which is the home of the NC State Wolfpack basketball program, and the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL. It seats 19,722 for basketball and 18,680 for ice hockey.

The ground breaked was held on July 22, 1997 and opened in October 29, 1999. It is the second largest arena in the ACC and 10th largest in the NCAA.

The idea for a new basketball arena initially came in the 1980s under coach Jim Valvano. In 1989, the unversity trustees approved plans to build a 23,000 seat arena. The North Carolina Legislature created the Centennial AUthority in 1995 as the governing entity of the arena. It was financed by state appropriation, local contributions and University fundraising.

The Centennial Authority refocused the project into a multi-use arena, which lead to the relocation agreement with the Hurricanes (then the Hartford Whalers) in 1997. An estimated construction cost of $158 million was largely publicly financed by a Hotel and Restaurant Tax and the Hurricanes agreed to pay $60 million of the cost.

It has held a number of notable events including the NHL Stanley Cup Finals twice, the NHL Draft and NCAA Basketball Tournaments.

It can be seen directly behind the video Scoreboard at Carter-Finley Stadium.

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