VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) - New discussions are sparking across Hampton Roads, about the possibility of an NBA team coming to our area.
The league has talked about expanding in the coming years, and a few different analysts have called our area a good option for a team.
The upcoming plan for the arena, could possibly better our chances.
Joel Rubin is currently working with United States Management, the company building the facility. He said, so far, there has been no talk about a team heading to the arena.
"We haven't had any detailed conversations about it with anybody," said Rubin.
Although there hasn't been chatter between the city and arena officials, a popular sports website, SB nation, ranked Hampton Roads number 4 in line to possibly get a brand new NBA team.
Hampton Roads is behind Seattle, Mexico City and Louisville. Commissioner Adam Silver announced there's a possibility 30 NBA teams will expand to 32.
"We are thrilled to hear it because we are one of the largest markets in the country without any major professional sports," Rubin explained.
It sounds like a slam dunk for Virginia Beach, because the proposed arena is expected to be completed by 2019. If a professional team wants to call the arena home, Rubin said work needs to be done to bring it up to NBA/NHL standards.
"The only numbers we have, estimated awhile ago, was $80-100 million dollars that you have to invest into the facility to accommodate the needs of an NBA or NHL team," explained Rubin.
Sessoms said all the business partners would have to get together to figure out where the extra money would come from.
"The City of Virginia Beach will have to make a wise business decision along with our partners who own the arena," Mayor Sessoms said. "Can we get to that point? I don't know. I would certainly like to have the opportunity to try and get to that point."
Nick Bailey, host for "The Nick Bailey Show" on SportsRadio 850, thinks an NBA team could be very successful locally.
"I think NBA is the only sports team we would support wholeheartedly win or lose," he said.
Baily thinks Virginia Beach already has qualities attractive to the NBA, such as the potential arena, a fleet of hotels, and the appeal of the oceanfront.
But, he thinks with having a pro team, there are also challenges.
"Filling the seats in the first couple of years wouldn't be hard because it's new but there's going to be doldrums and it's going to be about how we battle those doldrums," he said.