Asheville does naming rights deal with Harrah's Cherokee Casino

By a 6-1 vote last night, the Asheville City Council agreed to accept a naming rights deal with Harrah's Cherokee Casino worth $5.75 million.

U.S. Cellular currently has the naming rights, but its bid was much lower than the one from Harrah's.

From Jason Sandford at

The decision ended weeks of community debate about the name. Some residents urged City Council to reject the association with the gambling enterprise about two hours west of Asheville. Others urged council to take the offer, which was significantly larger than the U.S. Cellular bid, the only other bid on the table.

According to the City staff report, the money will be used for debt service at the facility. So, the Harrah's deal will help pay for needed work at Thomas Wolfe:

Tuesday’s vote also served to further propel planning to renovate the center’s aging Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, a 2,500-seat auditorium that ranks as one of the city’s signature music and performing arts venues. The city earlier this year hired a consultant to study a complete renovation, estimated to cost about $40 million, while civic center officials are working with another consultant to formulate a plan to raise private funding.

The deal takes effect January 2020.

Pete's Prep: Wednesday, May 29, 2019

  • The US Supreme Court issued a two-part ruling related to an Indiana law regulating the disposal of aborted babies and another law banning abortion based on the baby's gender, race, or disability.
  • FOX news has a rundown of this and the other rulings that the Supreme Court issued.
  • John Boyle at the Citizen-Times: "Basically, conservatives don't like liberals much, and vice versa, and it's getting so we don't even want to live around each other."

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