Arena research presented at meeting
Arena research presented at meeting

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Research funded by the city supporting the construction of a large-scale arena in Virginia Beach was presented to city council Tuesday evening.

Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms said he has been in talks with a professional sports team interested in coming to the area, but did not reveal who it was. WAVY Sports Director Bruce Rader's sources say the team is the NBA's Sacramento Kings.

Additionally, Sessoms said the City and region can support a professional sports team and that the state is willing to help out.

"I'm happy we did the independent study," council member John Moss said. "It's bringing some new information to light, so I think we need to study the numbers and see what they tell us."

The arena would likely cost approximately $350 million and seat 18,500 people. Presenters included Bill Rhoda with CSL, the company tasked by the city with putting together the study and Mike McGee with the City of Virginia Beach Economic Development Authority.

View a slideshow of the presentation here.

The research presented included the following highlights:

  • The Hampton Roads market is comparable to many existing major league sports markets
  • Southeast Virginia lacks a large entertainment venue
  • City is on right track, timing-wise
  • Arena would produce $92 million in net spending for the Beach, $152 million in total output and create 1,230 jobs. Annual fiscal impacts are projected at nearly $9 million
  • Las Vegas, Seattle, Kansas City, Louisville, Ky. and Anaheim, Calif. are also potential relocation markets for an NBA team

According to Marc Davis, spokesman for the City of Virginia Beach, Sessoms and the economics development director are in negotiations with Comcast Spectacor.  There is no timeline for when negotiations will be complete.  There are also no details that have been released regarding their talks.  Davis says, after negotiations, a possible deal will be brought back to city council.

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