The much-discussed expansion of the Scope arena isn’t going ahead, Mayor Kenny Alexander said Friday, after expert analysis found that building out the 48-year-old downtown venue to add seating and event space wasn’t feasible.
However, Alexander said Norfolk will put together a plan for a brand-new arena to capture major events he said the region is missing out on.
The announcement came during the mayor's State of the City address on Friday at The Main hotel. It was a departure from last year's address, which was big on splashy announcements and potential future projects.
Alexander’s speech this year was much lower key, focused on the city’s ongoing efforts to grow business and improve quality of life.
Expanding seating at the Scope to accommodate larger crowds and bigger acts had been on Alexander’s agenda for nearly two years. He first announced the expansion study at his first State of the City address in 2017.
The city recently announced plans to revamp the whole Scope plaza in conjunction with the renovation of Chrysler Hall. Scope itself will remain unchanged for the time being.
Alexander said the city will now come up with a plan for a new arena in a different location.
“I am committed that a new arena is constructed, and I am directing staff over the next year to bring forward a plan that brings this arena to Norfolk,” he said.
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