Va. Beach Arena Proposal Today, the latest

August 28th, 2012 at 11:18 am by under News, Personalities, Uncategorized

By Bruce Rader
Bruce.Rader@wavy.com

The Olympics are behind us, the football season is still a few days away, but today is Opening Day for a new sporting event of sorts in Hampton Roads. The race to build an 18,000 seat arena in Virginia Beach anchored by a major league sports team.

Don’t get too excited this afternoon when the president’s of Comcast-Spectacor and Live Nation Arenas go before the Virginia Beach City Council and as ask to start a conversation regarding building a arena in the resort city.

All they are going to ask to do is start a conversation.

There will be no announcement of an arena, there will be no guarantee that the Sacramento Kings or any other NBA or NHL team has agreed to move into the arena. If fact, it will probably be made very clear by everyone that today is just a day to get the conversation started and that there a lot of steps to go.

In our “lay everything on the table today and let’s take a vote mentality”, this will be disappointing to many who have heard the leaks, and have already started to debate the pro’s and con’s of the potential project, going so far as speculating on a name for Virginia Beach’s new NBA team.

Contrary to what some businessmen close to the project say, sources tell me neither NBA Commissioner David Stern or anyone else in his office has been to Virginia Beach. The NBA owners do not like moving teams around, and there is a very formal process that has to go through involving all the owners before the OK is given for a team like the Kings to leave Sacramento and go to Virginia Beach or any other city. And the process won’t even begin until the city agrees to build the building, and the owners of the team file a relocation application.

Comcast-Spectacor, which owns the Philadelphia Flyers, the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and ironically the food service company Ovations, has close ties to professional sports team, and wants to manage the new Virginia Beach arena if it is built. The Mayor of Virginia Beach, Will Sessoms told me last week Comcast-Spectacor guaranteed a “major league sports franchise” as the main tenant if Virginia Beach builds the building. But I don’t think Comcast-Spectacor is ready to go public with that today.

By the way, if the food service company Ovations sounds familiar, the Comcast-Spectacor owned company is led by, who else, company founder Ken Young the principal owner of the Norfolk Tides and Norfolk Admirals.

As far as today’s presentation, don’t expect anyone to leave too many cards on the table. Comcast-Spectacor and Live Nations, and even Warren Harris, the director of Economic Development for the City are just going to inform council that the two sides want to start talking, and more information will be forth coming. In fact, I would assume there won’t be a final proposal until sometime in October. In the perfect world a final decision may be reached by mid November but may linger on until the end of the year.

So don’t expect any bomb shell announcement’s today, in fact don’t be surprised at all if the words “Sacramento Kings” don’t even come up.

A project like this will involve long negotiations, a lot of time and a lot of political posturing.

And as for today, Let the Games Begin.

4 Responses to “Va. Beach Arena Proposal Today, the latest”

  1. BVA says:

    Bruce, thanks for the perspective. The last few days have created a ton of speculation and maybe even some emotions from both Virginia Beach and Sacramento sports fans. Because of all the rumors coming from every angle, it’s become too easy to get caught up and wonder what’s next. It’s a long road ahead indeed, but I’d rather be prepared than read the meeting results this afternoon and feel underwhelmed. Keeping fingers crossed regardless that this does lead to a pro team sooner than later.

  2. MJR says:

    Bruce,
    Why? Why start this conversation now? $400mm for a stadium on 19th street! How will people get in and out of that mess. $800mm for Light Rail !!! Where does the city get this money to throw around? Our mayor said recently that us taxpayers get a pretty good deal for our money. Whose opinion is that? They talk about trillion dollar projects yet the grass on the streets is 18 inches tall. Our schools and other public buildings are crumbling because they say we don’t have the money to maintain them properly. But they find the money to build Great Neck Middle when the old building was good enough to be Cox high school not that long ago. etc. etc. etc.

    We are a city with a $2 BILLION dollar budget. Maybe we should take a breather, get our priorities straight, perform the duties for that which we pay our taxes. After this is done then MAYBE we can think about these projects.

  3. MH says:

    What is the problem? A major giant Comcast/Live nation is offering to build an areana with a 25year lease to finally help this area and this COMMONWEALTH have something we can call our own and be proud of, and the only reason we can think that we don’t want it is TAX MONEY??? Newsflash: We are already paying taxes on every possible thing we can own from pets to our boats and I see nothing that our tax money is doing for this area but get the government officials wealthier. At least we can see where our tax money is going with the arena. It will create jobs for the entire region and profit that can be used for much needed road projects. Virginia is a strange state! Everyone here gets excited to bring the Redskins to the capital city for PRACTICE, but when someone tries to bring a team that will carry the name of the State, be located in the state the people complain about taxes. This is probaly why this is the largest metro area with nothing major. And sorry the tides are not major. This is embaracing. What the people should be asking is if we been paying taxes for 400 years why do we not have the money to pay for an arena lol where is the tax money really going. Just think about this: Jerry Jones built a BILLION dollar stadium in Texas and we complaining abot 300 million, but VA acts as if its the best managed state in the union. Keep letting Washington, DC use virginia as its step child stilling our fan base but yet nothing on there logo or name honors VA I guess the people are just happy with mediocraty.

  4. MH says:

    Virginia Got Pro Sports? Wake up people sports and entertainment runs the world and we have been left behind. Someone is trying to give us a chance and we are throwing it away again, just like we did the Nationals and oh they seem to be doing fine in DC with half their fan base tax payers of Virginia lol we look like a joke. Just think even North Caroline has 3 pro franchises yea country Carolina!!!

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