Comcast-Spectacor Unveils Proposal for $350M Arena

A group led by Comcast-Spectacor L.P. wants to bring a $350 million oceanfront arena to Virgina Beach.

A group led by Comcast-Spectacor L.P. wants to bring a $350 million oceanfront arena to Virgina Beach. The 18,500-seat venue would rise along the I-264 corridor on 19th St. near the Virginia Beach Convention Center.and could be ready to host its first events by 2015.

Warren D. Harris, the city’s economic development director, and Peter Luukko, president and CEO of Comcast-Spectacor, presented the proposal to the Virginia Beach City Council on Aug. 28. Harris called it “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the city to bring in new businesses, create new jobs and serve as a long-term driver of economic growth.”

According to the developers, the 800,000-square-foot arena would draw 1.4 million people a year to 200-plus events. It also be the linchpin of a bid to attract a major-league basketball or hockey team to the city.

Project backers point out that Southeastern Virginia is the largest metropolitan area without an major-league sports franchise and that its population of 3 million is larger than 22 other metro areas that have teams. Southeastern Virginia includes Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Hampton Roads, Williamsburg and Richmond. Developers estimate that the arena would create about 1,230 jobs in Hampton Roads and generate $98 million in revenue in its first year.

Philadelphia-based Comcast-Spectacor, which owns the Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center, would lease and manage the arena for 25 years. The development group also includes Live Nation, an entertainment company.

Rumors have swirled that the NBA’s Sacramento Kings might move to Virginia Beach, but no team names were mentioned during Tuesday’s meeting. And the project’s financing structure is still unclear.

For more information on the project, visit www.bringitva.com.

Image courtesy of www.bringitva.com.