Mayor Will Sessoms of Virginia Beach has issued a deadline for Tuesday 1/8/2013 for Comcast-Spectacor to finalize a signed lease agreement with the NBA team (rumoured to be the Sacremento Kings). According to Pilotonline, Mayor Sessoms stated “If we don’t have a deal or a good indication we have a deal, we’re not moving forward,” he said. If they don’t lease with a pro sports team, it won’t work. Comcast-Spectacor has offered to pay $35 million of the more than $300 million budget required to build the 18,000+ seat arena on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
Many Hampton Roads residents are excited about the opportunity to lure an NBA team. Virginia Beach is known as a seasonal tourist location. The summer season is the only positive for most beach businesses and hotel owners. During the fall and winter seasons Virginia Beach resembles a ghost town. Many businesses and hotel owners are forced to lay-off employees due to lack of incoming business but many owners and business welcome an NBA team as a boost for business and opportunity for the Hampton Roads region. If Comcast can reach a lease agreement with the proposed NBA team, the city of Virginia Beach would also have to request more than $150 million from the state. Earlier this year Mayor Will Sessoms stated if the state does issue the money requested, the arena deal will not be met.
In my unbiased opinion I believe the Hampton Roads area is ready for an NBA team and the benefits will be unmeasurable. The Arena will bring to the region more than 1500 jobs while the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and business district should be able to sustain more than 2000+ employees in contrast to seasonal work.