After months of negotiations it appears the details have been worked out to build an arena in Virginia Beach, and bring a major league sports team with it.
But the deal is far from being done.
A plan to build a $350 million arena on the Virginia Beach oceanfront, with an NBA team as its anchor tenant, moved forward tonight.
WAVY News 10 has learned that Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms will formally ask City Council for permission to forward to Virginia state officials a request for $150 million dollars to help with construction costs and moving expenses for the unnamed team.
As I reported earlier this month, George Maloof Jr., one of the owners of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings met in Richmond with Gov. Bob McDonnell and other state officials to talk about moving his team to Virginia Beach if an arena was built there.
Since that meeting, Peter Luukko, the President of Comcast-Spectacor has been negotiating a deal with Beach officials and presumably the Kings to bring the three groups together.
The city would own the building, Comcast-Spectacor in partnership with concert industry giant Live Nation would manage and book the arena, provide lease payments and all operating costs.
The Kings would be the main tenant.
But the deal hinges on the Virginia General Assembly kicking in $150 million.
$70 million of the requested state funds would go towards arena capital costs, and $80 million will go to the team for moving expenses. That would include an estimated $30 million dollar relocation fee the Kings would have to pay the other NBA owners, and for potential loss of income the Kings would face by having to play two years at the Old Dominion Constant Center while the arena is being built.
Already one consultant report, given to state officials, concludes an arena with an NBA team in Virginia Beach could generate as much as $182 million in visitor spending each year, with the state alone taking in almost $11 million a year in tax dollars.
Mr. Luukko is expected to come before the Virginia council next week to make Comcast-Spectacor’s formal proposal.