Word is out today about a sponsorship deal for Raleigh's new downtown amphitheater, which the city hopes will be called the Bud Light Amphitheater. But the deal isn't quite as far along as has been reported elsewhere.
"We've reached no agreements yet, which we can't do until the [Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission] gives permission," says Doug Grissom, assistant director of the Raleigh Convention Center. "What we have done is talk to Anheuser-Busch about conditions if we get a sponsorship. Now we're going to the ABC to see if we have the ability to do this."
At issue is a state law that bans alcoholic beverages as part of the name of a public venue. Whether or not to grant an exception will be taken up at the next ABC panel meeting in June. But that means it won't be resolved by the time the venue opens in early June.
"We will open as the Raleigh Amphitheater," says Grissom. "We found that out today."
The venue's official grand opening is June 6 with former teen idols Backstreet Boys. There will also be a free June 4 preview show, possibly featuring Raleigh rock band the Connells -- who opened up Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in 1991.
ADDENDUM (5/15/10): Controversy.