Va. Beach Mayor speaks out on Arena Deal and Sacramento Kings

January 8th, 2013 at 8:28 am by under News, Personalities, Sports, Uncategorized

After years of talks, over a million dollars spent on consulting reports, and most recently an NBA team looking to relocate, time has run out for now regarding plans to build a new arena in Virginia Beach with the Sacramento Kings as the building’s main tenant.

Today, Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms and Peter Lukko, the president of Comcast Spectacor, acknowledged they are no longer hopeful a deal can be made with the next week or so to bring a major league sports team to Virginia, that team being the Kings.

“Both parties remain committed to the concept of an arena in Virginia Beach and to continuing discussions with a potential anchor tenant. That said, we have not reached a level of progress that will allow the city to go before the General Assembly to request the necessary funding.”

So, the Kings will not be signing an agreement to come to Virginia Beach.

I spoke with Mayor Sessoms today and asked him if he was disappointed. He said, “Yes, but at the same time looking ahead to the future, and seeing opportunites like this again we know what to be prepared for. One city can’t do this alone in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I think we will have an opportunity like this again, hopefully in the very near future. Based on our experience I believe we will be able to negotiate better, have our partnerships in place with whoever we do this with ahead of time, and get out to the community ahead of time.”

Without that agreement with the Kings, Virginia Beach will not ask state legislators for the 150-million dollars they need to finance the deal.

Thus the Kings, who have never publicly admitted they were considering the move to Virginia, will most likely explore other options. Whether it be selling the team to folks in Seattle, perhaps working a deal to move the team to Anaheim, or just staying put in Sacramento.

There is no way to tell today just how far apart the various parties were from agreeing to a deal–Beach officials were adamant they would not build the arena unless they could guarantee no risk to the taxpayer. And the Kings obviously weren’t going to make the move unless they were convinced it was a good deal for them.

Time has run out, the city needed a deal to take to the state, saying the $150 million was critical to make the project happen.

If there is a positive to the arena talks–it re-energized the entertainment complex planned for the old Dome site at the Oceanfront. That project, to be built by producer Michael Jenkins, using $120 million of his own money, should be finalized soon.

I’ll have more on the Mayor’s arena statement later today, and on WAVY News 10 at 6pm.

7 Responses to “Va. Beach Mayor speaks out on Arena Deal and Sacramento Kings”

  1. GB says:

    So Hampton Roads gets taken for a ride…again. It’s gotten to the point where I’d just rather not hear anything the next time a big leagues rumor starts up. The locals get their hopes up for no reason (admittedly myself included), and in the end we get stood up at the altar a few months later.

    Thanks for nothing, Maloofs. Have a seat next to George Shinn on the shady developers bench. Maybe HR was better off without you.

  2. Ron Kelly says:

    Let’s get real, folks. If the concept of an arena, with or without a major professional sports team, were attractive enough financially the savvy entrepreneurs in the promotions business – or some sports team – would be beating a path to our door. They’d be willing to make do with a bit of parking and roadway improvement and perhaps some tax abatement for several years. Our city should not have any more “skin in the game” than that! Ancillary and ephemeral benefits like increased hotel occupancy, meals and so forth are not enough
    This same argument would be valid whether we have other more pressing needs or not!

  3. majormar says:

    I’m highly disappointed. I’m moving from this area asap

  4. jl01 says:

    womp womp

  5. JC says:

    If an arena is built in Va Beach hopefully the funding will be more like what happened in Seattle or San Fran and a more altruistic owner will pay for the vast majority of its cost. The Maloofs have no money and are trying to squeeze whatever city will take them into building them an arena for free and their NBA owner lifestyle is funded by taxpayers. Hopefully no cities bite and they’ll be forced to sell

  6. mike flythe says:

    Heres my thoughts on the matter of the teams actual name…. Virginia beach kings honestly sounds like a gang… Virginia kings sounds like a cigarett…. I think if any name soumds the best for our state it should be the commonwealth kings…..

  7. mike flythe says:

    So we should try a different sport like football or even baseball really….

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