VIRGINIA BEACH--A Norfolk politician supports Va. Beach's pursuit of an arena and NBA team.

Details of the proposal are expected to be announced during Tuesday's 3:00 p.m. Va. Beach City Council meeting.

State Sen. Ralph Northam (D-6th D.) believes the 18,000-seat arena near the Oceanfront would likely need help from lawmakers.

'We do have the Governor's Opportunity Fund that's designed for projects like this,' Northam said Monday. 'I can't speak for the governor, but there is potential to have some money, but you never know what the long term payoff is going to be. There's no guarantees in this business. It's going to be a tough sell.'

A spokesperson from Governor Bob McDonnell's office says '[McDonnell] is aware of the effort to bring a professional sports franchise to Virginia Beach and he is very supportive. He has helped along the way to encourage a team to come to the area, including having conversations with a number of individuals and groups involved in this project.'

Northam also points to other priorities in our region - like transportation and education.

'I think you sell it by saying, if you bring something like this in, the revenue we generate for Hampton Roads could then go into our transportation needs and public school funding. That would be the sell.'

Portsmouth Mayor Kenny Wright likes the idea of a big time pro sports team in Hampton Roads and he urges leaders across the region to work together to make it happen.

'Our problem is that we never act in a cohesive fashion. It's all about what's best for that locality,' he says.

Wright is concerned that tolls could be a dealbreaker.

'We're talking about tolling the tunnels, we're talking about tolling 460. we're talking about tolling I-64 and when that gets widened,that's gonna be a huge cost of doing business,' he adds.

Newport News Mayor McKinley Price thinks the economic benefit would be felt in his city, too.

'I think it would help the economy on all sides because more people here and locally and the region would enjoy seeing professional sports,' he says.

Comcast-Spectacor will give its presentation to Council at 3pm and then talk publicly at 4:00 p.m.

Meantime, residents are taking to Facebook to show their support and desire to have the Sacramento Kings in Hampton Roads. There are two pages so far -- Bring the Kings to Hampton Roads and Bring the Kings to Va. Beach.

Read or Share this story: