Expect the RBC Center to change names next year.
Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group's $3.45 billion acquisition of RBC Bank, announced this morning, includes the naming rights to the Raleigh sports arena that is home to the Carolina Hurricanes and N.C. State University's basketball team.
PNC CEO James E. Rohr said in an interview today that the bank is looking at putting its own name on the arena after the acquisition is completed, which is targeted for next March.
"As you know, there are ball parks and football stadiums and hockey rinks all across America where the names have changed as a result of acquisitions," said RBC Bank CEO Jim Westlake. He said that the naming rights deal expires in 2022.
PNC is used to having its name plastered on sports venues. The Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team plays in PNC Park, and PNC Field outside of Scranton is home to a New York Yankees minor league team.
Under the naming rights agreement, the Hurricanes and the Centennial Authority, which owns the arena, have the right to reject names that are "offensive to the sensibilities of the community at large." And any costs associated with renaming the arena are the responsibility of the holder of the naming rights.
"I don't see it having much of an effect on us," said Jim Rutherford, president and general manager of the Hurricanes. " Nearly everything that affects us is part of the naming-rights agreement. We have had a great relationship with RBC and we look forward to having the same with PNC."