State Fairgrounds Facilities
J.S. Dorton Arena
The J.S. Dorton Arena was built to serve agriculture, industry,
commerce and the general welfare of North Carolina. It has
earned an international reputation since its construction
in 1951. The building is ideal for concerts, trade shows,
athletic events, circuses, speakers, graduations and more.
The suspended roof eliminates any necessity for structural
steel supports and presents no view obstructions from any
seat. The exterior walls are constructed of tinted, glare-reducing
glass. The two lobbies are on the ground level. The arena
floor provides 25,000 square feet. Restrooms, dressing rooms
and storage areas are also available.
In 1972, Dorton Arena was named a National Historic Monument.
In 2002, the building celebrated 50 years of serving Raleigh
and was named a National Architectural and National Civil
Engineering Monument. For more information on this historic
building, go to www.ncstatefair.org/facilities/DortonHistory.htm.
- Completed in 1952, renovated in 1979, 1996, 2002 and 2015.
This facility includes handicap ramp access from lobbies to the main arena floor and is mechanically heated, but is not air conditioned. Floor fans are available to assist with air circulation.
- Seating capacity: 5,000 permanent seats (7,500 with
portable seats used with stage)
- Shape: elliptic (see building arena floorplan)
building lobby floorplan)
- Square footage: 25,000 arena floor
- 300 ft in diameter and concrete floor is 221 feet
long and 127 ft wide at widest point
- Ideal venue for trade shows, athletic events, circuses,
speakers, proms and other special events
- Energy-conservation rate (ECR) available for access
days other than event dates.
- Support services, such as staging, tables, electrical
hookups, etc., are available for an extra fee
- Restrooms, dressing rooms and storage areas are
- This building offers mechanically generated heat,
but is not air-conditioned. Floor fans are available.
At a glance
||5,000 permanent or
7,500 w/ portable seats
Concessions stand Dressing rooms
||$2,900 per day; discounted rate for access other than on event days
||Trade show set-up