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“Old and needs to be torn down” 2 of 5 stars
Review of J.S. Dorton Arena

J.S. Dorton Arena
Raleigh, NC
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Ranked #30 of 55 Attractions in Raleigh
Type: Architectural Buildings, Flea/ Street Markets, Landmarks
Activities: Shopping
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Attraction details
Owner description: Flea market open weekends at the fairgrounds.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Old and needs to be torn down”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

This place has served its purpose and is an eyesore at the fairgrounds. I know for some it has a nostalgia factor; however, this has also long pasted. The place old, outdated, horrible seating and has horrible acoustics. Its main purpose now is for small concerts at the state fair but you can hardly understand anything through all the echoes. My suggestion would be to tear it down and build some type of small amphitheater, etc. Anything but this …

Visited April 2013
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21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    3
    7
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    3
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cary, North Carolina
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Horrible Acoustics”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

We have been to the arena to see acts at the State Fair. We learned the hard way that you need to sit on the floor if you want to have a chance to understand anything being sung. The acoustics in the building are horrible.

The bathrooms are kept very clean by the attendants, so that is a plus, but it is weird to feel compelled to tip a bathroom attendant when at an event. The bathrooms are located at the ends of the concourses, so the lines can become unwieldy.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A little old but serviceable”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012

Maybe it's not fair for me to rate Dorton since it's been years since I was inside the building (the flea market is outside so I have been on the grounds). It's cavernous and moderately comfortable. So many other venues are open now, it's an also-ran these days.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
elizabeth city, nc
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“A living architectural relic”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

This place is an architect's fantasy from the late 50's/early 60's when everyone was fascinated with geometric shapes for buildings. (Remember all the geodesic dome houses?) The roof is parabolic, which makes for interesting aesthetics. Inside, it is dated. It is on the fairgrounds, and used for everything from horse shows to concerts. The acoustics are not the greatest, probably due to the roof.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knightdale, North Carolina
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Classic Raleigh Bldg”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

Ground Zero for the State Fair. Classic architecture everyone recognizes. Terrible for concerts though as the acoustics are horrible. But pretty good for sporting events and trade shows.

Visited October 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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