UPDATE: Beach city council picks United States Management arena proposal

UPDATE: 

The Virginia Beach City Council is throwing its support behind one of two arena proposals.

Councilman Bob Dyer tells NewsChannel 3, they’ve picked the United States Management plan.

That’s the plan that’s privately financed, for the most part.

The USM plan does cost some tax money. You’d pay $4 million for hockey ice if that’s what the city wants. Taxpayers would also fund parking and site improvements. The company would keep all the admissions and concessions taxes and could be around $7 million a year. Plus, the company would own the venue.

The USM plan calls for concerts, basketball and hockey.

This move means the plan offered by W.M. Jordan is on hold for now.

Virginia Beach, Va. – The city council heard on Tuesday that a sports arena will cost taxpayers about 190 million dollars. Or the city could get the same arena for no money. It sounds like a no-brainer, but that free option does have a catch.

The essential choice for city council is deciding between a big taxpayer investment and would mean more tax revenue later, or letting a private company pay for an arena while the city gets much less money.

Councilman John Moss said in the privately funded plan, there’s little for the city to worry about if the arena is a flop.

The city’s researcher said in both plans, the arenas would cost $200,000,000 and have a capacity of 19,000. In the USM plan, it’s privately financed. The WM Jordan idea is for taxpayers to shoulder the cost. Both proposals imagine concerts and basketball, and hockey or indoor football.

Either way, the mayor and several on council say Virginia Beach is ready for a sports and entertainment arena.

But others don’t think area families have high enough incomes to support this.

2 comments

  • Pam

    I wish they would rather fix the roads and traffic system, like timed traffic lights! how much traffic would be avoided if the lights were timed correctly! It takes 35 minutes to drive 10 miles and it doesn’t matter what area you are in. But no, let’s waste 190 million on some arena to bring more tourists to the city so locals can go completely insane trying to drive to work and from work in that chaos and sometimes can even hardly get out of their own driveways!

  • Jeff Harris

    They voted for the privately-funded USM plan instead of the taxpayer-funded project. “WE’RE” not “wasting” $190 million in tax funds. You could read all about the private project proposal at Virginia Beach’s website http://www.yesvirginiabeach.com/Resources/Documents/USM-arena-proposal-submittal%20Final.pdf As for attracting a pro basketball or hockey team, have people noticed they’re rarely packed night after night? Why build something bigger? A 19K-seating arena is better than any other arena in the commonwealth. Again, read the plan. You’d think more people would want more privately-ran/managed organizations. Guess it’s the people who are doing the managing that worries folks. Pity.

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