VIRGINIA BEACH-- A new arena in Virginia Beach could produce $92 million in net new spending, $152 million in total output and create 1,230 jobs, according to two new feasibility studies presented to City Council Tuesday.
The studies, which were requested by council, were conducted by BARMAC, Inc. and independently by Convention, Sports and Leisure International.
They found that the net new fiscal impact was projected at $8.9 million annually. This is an increase over the $5.2 million estimate of a previous study. That assumes an average ticket price of $70.00.
The study also found that demographically, the Virginia Beach market is comparable to many existing major-league sports markets and Southeast Virginia lacks a large state-of-the-art venue. Creating one would open the market to many large shows and sporting events.
Via conference call, Bill Rhoda, a partner of Convention Sports and Leisure International, said there are variables that impact success.
'At some point, if there's no team performance, that market won't support it no matter what it is,' he said, speaking about the struggling Washington Wizards. ;
The report also said that the city is on the right track and there is still a lot of work to do as Virginia Beach negotiates with potential partners.
Mike McGee, President of BARMAC, Inc. said 'The Virginia Beach market holds great promise for a project of this magnitude. Not only would an arena attract entertainment options that are now unable to appear in this area, but the economic boost to the region would be significant.'
Mayor Will Sessoms says he's talked with some NBA team owners about their possible interest in playing here should a team come.
'(They) would very much like to come, but they haven't provided a number, what would it take for them to come here. When it's received it will be communicated to council,' he stressed.
The Associated Press reports one study paid for by the city says Las Vegas, Seattle, Kansas City, Louisville, Ky. and Anaheim, Calif. are also potential relocation markets.