VIRGINIA BEACH - Five officials with the City of Va. Beach flew to Dallas for talks about the proposed sports/entertainment arena.

They returned a day after meeting with Comcast-Spectacor representatives and Dallas-based consulting firm HKS Solutions, confirmed City spokesman Marc Davis.

Economic Development Director Warren Harris, Deputy City Manager Steve Herbert, Finance Director Patti Phillips, Associate City Attorney Alex Stiles and Councilman Glenn Davis discussed the 18,500 seat complex ahead of next week's Council meeting on whether to move forward with the proposal.

The city paid for the trip, said Davis.

The Associated Press reported Friday that $150 million will not be included in Gov. Bob McDonnell's budget. McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said the project could still be funded, but further study is needed. Without state assistance, city officials say the arena deal is dead.

Comcast-Spectacor owns the Philadelphia Flyers and used to own the Philadelphia 76ers. It's part of a group trying to get a pro team to Va. Beach, but the group says there isn't any venue big enough to lure a franchise to the region.

The Virginian-Pilot reports the arena would be paid for with $241 million in city money, $150 million in state money and $35 million from Comcast-Spectacor to build the arena and relocate the team. Comcast would lease and operate the arena for 25 years.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Will Sessoms said Friday afternoon that he was waiting to hear details of the trip.

When asked about the meeting, Comcast-Spectacor spokesman Ike Richman said, 'This is part of us doing our due diligence and we will refrain from making any public comments about the process at this time.'

On December 18, a newly-formed Citizen Advisory Committee will hold a Town Hall meeting at the Convention Center to hear what the public thinks of the arena proposal.

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