Va. Beach Continues Arena Push

City councilors in Virginia Beach voted to move forward on a proposed arena plan and deal with Comcast-Spectacor that could lure a pro sports tenant to the region.

The current plan includes $241 million from the city, $150 million in state funds and $35 million from Comcast-Spectacor  which agreed to lease the building for 25 years and will help pursue an anchor sports team tenant, without which an arena won’t be built.

Trouble is, the state hasn’t dedicated any funding to the project thus far.

Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren Harris recently requested the funds in a letter to a state economic partnership authority that outlined where the money would be spent.

But a spokesman for Gov. Bob McDonnell said Dec. 7 the governor would not include $150 million toward the arena in his next budget and noted the project needs to be economically justifiable.

“We never expected the governor to have budget amendments for $150 million,” Councilman Glenn Davis told WAVY-TV.

“We didn’t have the details on the deal structure yet. The governor has been very supportive of an arena and a professional team, but he wants to see the deal structure run through the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.”