‘Game On’ For Va. Beach Arena

Virginia Beach, Va., has finalized a financing plan with a developer to build a $220 million arena after months of uncertainty. 

– Virginia Beach Arena Rendering

Mayor Will Sessoms made the announcement in his March 15 State of City speech, saying it was “game on” for the arena plan, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

“Picture March Madness two years from now. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have that happening right across the street at our new Virginia Beach arena?”

Developer United States Management, a special purpose entity and affiliate of The ESG Companies in Virginia Beach, expects to break ground on the project this summer and hopes to have it ready to open in 2019.

A $240 million plan, to be financed by a Chinese bank, was approved more than a year ago but was ultimately scrapped as too risky, according to the paper. Instead, JPMorgan Chase Bank is the lead lender.

The deal reportedly calls for $70 million in equity and a $150 million loan from USM. It will be privately owned, but the city will lease the land and contribute $67 million in infrastructure upgrades, according to WTKR-TV.

In all, developers will receive up to $476 million over 33 years from 1 percent of Virginia Beach’s lodging tax, construction tax incentives and tax revenue generated by the arena, according to the Pilot.