Sunday, June 28, 2020

Joe Murnick Leaves Charlotte for Raleigh (1961)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Joe Murnick had worked for Jim Crockett in Charlotte for several years in the 1950s before moving to Raleigh. He held many roles for Jim Crockett Promotions, including promoting the Raleigh area and central North Carolina back into the late 1950s. But he did so raising his young family in Charlotte.

When longtime Richmond VA promoter Bill Lewis died in March of 1961, Murnick assumed his territory of Eastern Virginia, including Richmond and Norfolk, all under the Crockett umbrella. He relocated his family to Raleigh in the summer of 1961. C&M Promotions was born.

Murnick had been very involved in many civic functions is Charlotte, including the Charlotte Park and Recreation Commission, which oversaw the Park Center and Memorial Stadium.

The following article appeared in the Charlotte News in July of 1961, announcing Murnick leaving Charlotte for Raleigh.

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The Charlotte News, July 17, 1961

The resignation of Joe H. Murnick as vice chairman of the Charlotte Park and Recreation Commission will be acknowledged today at a 4 pm meeting of the park board in Park Center.

Mr Murnick, a prominent sports promoter and member of the board for 10 years, will move to Raleigh Aug 1. His resignation is effective today and City Council will name a successor.

Mr Murnick, best known for his role in salvaging plans to rebuild the burned-out Armory Auditorium, has been promoting wrestling and other sports events in the Raleigh-Durham area. He said he is moving to Raleigh to be closer to his work.

He has served as chairman of the Park Center and Memorial Stadium committees of the commission. After the armory burned in 1954, he and Ernest Sifford, another board member, led the fight to rebuild the controversial structure as Park Center.

"Mr Sifford and I were the only two people in favor of re-building the armory" he recalled. "Many people thought that it would be competitive with the Coliseum, but results have proved otherwise."

The Coliseum handles big attractions and Park Center the smaller ores.

As chairman of the Memorial Stadium Committee, Mr. Murnick was also instrumental in bringing college football here.

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More about Joe Murnick on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

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