The City Council wants to hear from you.
Virginia Beach is exploring a possible 18,500-seat arena at the Oceanfront, to host large sports events, concerts and conferences. Negotiations are ongoing and there is no deal yet. The city also is talking with a major-league sports team that may move to the arena.
Meanwhile, we want to hear from you. We have created a special online forum – called Virtual Town Hall at www.VBgov.com/virtualtownhall – for citizens to discuss the project and answer two simple questions:
- What intrigues you about the possibility of having a sports and entertainment venue in Virginia Beach?
- What concerns do you have about the arena project?
Comcast-Spectacor, one of the country’s biggest sports and entertainment companies, would run the arena for 25 years, paying rent to the city and all operating expenses, including any losses. Live Nation, the largest producer and promoter of live music events in the world, would book events.
The arena would be built across from the Convention Center, funded by the city, state and Comcast-Spectacor. It would cost $300 million, plus $46 million for financing. Comcast would contribute $35 million and the city’s $161 million. The city has asked the state for $150 million. The city’s share would be paid for by people who use and benefit from the arena, not by taxes on real estate and personal property. There might also be $80 million in team relocation costs.
Why an arena? In all of Virginia, there is no large, modern arena outside of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. Norfolk, Hampton and Richmond have older, smaller arenas. None can hold mega-concerts and very large sporting events and conferences. The City Council is committed to the project only if arena income funds all of the city’s debt and increases existing revenues to the city.
For more information about the project, visit www.VBgov.com/arena
# # #