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Stokan: Move basketball to Reynolds

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It's too early to tell whether Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO Gary Stokan, who's a former N.C. State basketball player, will be a target of the school's search to replace departing athletic director Lee Fowler.

But Stokan did lay out one intriguing and perhaps controversial idea Tuesday when asked whether he is interested in the job. Stokan said N.C. State needs to consider moving its home basketball games back on campus to Reynolds Coliseum.

Since the 1999-2000 season, N.C. State has played near the State Fairgrounds at the RBC Center, which it shares with the Carolina Hurricanes. Fans only fill the stands for home games against the most attractive opponents, and the atmosphere is hardly intimidating for opposing teams.

Reynolds was much louder, and Stokan would like N.C. State to raise the roof there to add suites and extra seating and restore the competitive advantage that the atmosphere there gave the Wolfpack. He acknowledged that more seats at the RBC Center lead to more revenue for athletics, but still would like N.C. State to play in its old home arena.

"I’d move the games back to Reynolds Coliseum" Stokan said. "I think that’s the history and tradition. That court, that facility, was worth five wins a year. To me, Reynolds, Carmichael [Auditorium at UNC] and Cameron [at Duke], there are the three best facilities in the country. I think we’ve lost something. Obviously we’ve gained something with RBC because financially it’s probably a really good situation. I don’t know all the information on it. But I think we’ve lost something with the history and tradition at N.C. State. And I think Duke has capitalized on that and maybe we’ve lost some of that by going to RBC."


Stokan wouldn't say whether he's interested in replacing Fowler. He praised Fowler's building of facilities and hiring of coaches Sidney Lowe in basketball and Tom O'Brien in football, and said he is willing to assist new chancellor Randy Woodson in any way necessary. 

"It’s appropriate now for the new chancellor to really talk to a lot of people," Stokan said. "If he thinks I can help in that process, I would be more than willing to talk to him and help with some thoughts, because my passion and my belief is I want N.C. State to be successful, and I think it can be with the fans, the Wolfpackers, the facilities and the coaches they have there. And the academics. There are great academics to recruit to."

And there's an arena arrangement for basketball that Stokan would like to see changed.



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heres a suggestion - START WINNING!!!

then this attendence argument will not be a problem.

not trying to be my cynical self

but this fella has a great point. 

IF state starts winning games on a very consisten t basis, the seats WILL BE FILLED at the Royal Bank of Canada Arena.

look no further than the Chapel Hill.  The Heels weren't winning this past year (like state every year) and the place simply was not full. 

When the Heels do win (like almost every year) the place is full or damn near full when the cup cakes come to play.

Winning = butts in seats.

it really is that simple.


are the examples that prove this point.




Unless Reynolds can be upgraded enough to generate at least as much cash as they are getting from RBC, its not gonna happen. Sadly, it's not about the atmosphere. It's about money.

That's not to say that the Pack can't play more than just one game per season at Reynolds. But they are not going to pass on the extra revenue those money games provide. No way.


Which looks more attractive to recruits: Reynolds, or RBC?


@Heels20:"Which looks more attractive to recruits: Reynolds, or RBC?"

 Having an old, tiny, hot gym apparently doesn't stop anyone from signing with Duke. 


I always have said that the RBC center was due to "Dean Dome Envy".

I say that Reynolds is more

I say that Reynolds is more attractive to recruits.  You look at what duke has in Cameron; it's not the nicest place in the country to play, but they have a good crowd who supports their team, always shows up, and has a good home court advantage.  Yea, the RBC has more seats, luxury boxes and corporate sponsorship, but that means nothing to a recruit if you can't fill the stands except for when duke and UNC come to town.  I'd rather play in small arena with a loud pumped up crowd making it as hard on the opposing team as can be.  I'm a UNC fan, and as much as I like the Dean Dome, I'd still like to see 4 or 5 games a year in Carmichael, just for tradition and atmosphere.  It’s not about how big your arena is, but how dedicated your fans are to supporting the team, and I think that means a lot to recruits.

Good observation

It's tough because as much as I would love to see a Carolina-Dook or Carolina-State game in Carmichael, it would never happen because of financial reasons.  I was at the game against W&M at Carmichael this year and the atmosphere was unbelievable.  I was also forturnate enough to go to Reynolds in '07 to see State play Marist, and that was also an incredible game to be at.  I guess what it comes down to is that you can show off 20,000-seat, updated and impressive facilities, or you can run the risk of showing off a 9,000 seat arena that's deafening and a true home-court advantage, but comparable to something that could be displayed at UAB.  It's kind of a weird thing to think about.

Heels20, Depends on


Depends on whether they appreciate ear-shattering, raucous, filled to the rafters crowds sitting right on top of the court, or prefer half-empty, can-hear-a-pin-drop airplane hangers with companies entertaining clients instead of watching the game and rooting on the home team.

My only complaint with Reynolds was the size of the seats (or lack thereof). I grew up watching the DT-era teams beat the snot out of UNC, Duke, MD, and the atmosphere was ELECTRIC.

If certain renovations could be made to Reynolds, they should go back 'home' - I'm sure the students would appreciate beiong able to walk to games again !

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About the blogger

Ken Tysiac has covered the ACC for The Charlotte Observer since 2003, and spent the previous eight years covering Clemson for the Anderson Independent-Mail and then The State in South Carolina. He grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.