VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) — It's still two years out, but Virginia Beach is wasting no time in doing what they can to get the ball rolling on the sports center coming in November of 2020 to the oceanfront.
City council approved a comprehensive agreement Tuesday night with Eastern Sports Management, the company that will manage the sports center.
Councilwoman Jessica Abbott voted against it, and Councilman John Moss wasn't at the meeting for the vote due to an out of town trip.
"This is now with Eastern Sports Management who will be the operator for a potential term of 20 years," said Deputy City Manager Ron Williams.
Under the agreement, the city will pay the company $420,000 before the sports center is actually built, all in hopes to meet certain goals by the time the $68 million center opens.
"The upfront cost are for hiring staff, procurement of systems, and make sure that on opening day, it's open and running," said Williams.
Williams emphasized the importance of making sure the facility is ready to go the day it opens, as officials are already eyeing moving some tournaments from the convention center over to the sports center once it opens.
In a letter from City Manager Dave Hansen, those six events include wrestling, cheer, and gymnastics.
"There's a significant of work and ramp up time to run a 285,000 square foot facility on day one," said Williams.
The management company will put in about $4 million on furniture, fixtures, athletic equipment, and technology.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with the City of Virginia Beach and to help bolster the economy by providing access to an elite national sports facility right here in our community,” says Andy Ballard, Eastern Sports Management’s Vice President of Operations.
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