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Old 08-24-2012, 06:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtitans View Post
Even if this is true, given that they were having a difficult time trying to get an arena built and that the fact the VA Beach would build the arena regardless if they come or not and can guarantee a 25 year lease, I don't see how they wouldn't save money do that as opposed to go to a place that is likely going to require them to fund the arena. I think it's more realistic than people think.
I think a lot of people are talking with their hearts and guts than with their brain. I'm not saying that as an insult at all because sports is about passion. You would think that franchises would automatically just locate in the city with the most loyal and rabid sports fans. But those all exist in the northeast. When franchise owners used to be car dealers shelling out a couple of million (or maybe even just several thousands) of dollars for a franchise prior to the 1960s there wasn't much at stake. You went to wear guys wanted to go watch games.

In the late 80s when expansion was jumpstarted again with the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat, the game had changed. It was now about sunbelt cities. But even this was short lived. Those arenas became obsolete in less than a decade! You may not like Mark Cuban but he changed the way pro sports (notably basketball) was marketed. I remember when he first bought the Mavericks every time you saw him on TV all he would repeat was "For the price of a Backstreet Boys CD, you can come get the full experience of an NBA game". The size of the market and how "loyal" the fans are is now irrelevant. Pro sports (in this case the NBA) is about small markets, preferably with no other sports franchises, where you can attract nuclear families (not just single guys who are too cool to buy the merchandise) that are filling seats and shelling out hundreds of bucks a pop. No billionaire owner is going to stay in a city with no Fortune 500 companies to supply buyers for luxury boxes and courtside seats or doesn't have a major power broker (like Comcast) looking to cash in.

Virginia Beach, like OKC, is the EXACT target market area that the NBA is looking for. A lot of middle class families, a fairly stable economy, affordable real estate without the real estate bust, safe surrounding areas with no decaying inner city with high taxes, and interested developers who want to couple the arena with retail/entertainment/hotel/convention center projects that are going to spawn a lot of trickle down dollars. Everyone is happy in these deals.

This is why Virginia Beach is viable. Sacramento has no fortune 500 companies and an outright public fiscal crisis. Seattle and Kansas City already have two pro sports franchises that garner more attention and getting stadiums built in Seattle have been a political nightmare for over a decade now. Kansas City is first and foremost a Chiefs town and already lost the Kings before. Las Vegas has no economy (that's good anyway) beyond casinos and tourism. And it is much more crime ridden than a modern owner is going to want to deal with from a public relations standpoint.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:14 PM
 
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Steelers, thank you for putting a lot of things in perspective. Awesome analysis! You guys should also check out Kansas City's Sprint Center for an example of how an arena has thrived without a major league tenant.

If nothing else, this arena is a good deal for the region. NBA or not, think about how many more concerts the area could get. There's also the possibility of college basketball conference tournaments, or even a first/second round NCAA game. The MEAC has a 3-year deal at Scope; with two teams in HR and a few more within a 5-hour drive, a successful Scope run could translate to more years at the VB Comcast Center. The concerts would be great during the tourism offseason, when it's a little too cold to go to the Amphith...excuse me, "Farm Bureau Live". I gotta admit, I'm a little bothered that it's beside the Convention Center...that takes away trade shows that could be held at this arena. I think the old HQ lot at Town Center, or where Bill's Flea Market used to sit would work.

For those who say this won't work because Hampton Roads is smaller than Sacramento, that really doesn't matter. Not only did the last 3 NBA relocations go to smaller cities, but those 3 teams all play in metropolitans smaller than HR.

I'm optimistic about the arena and pro sports, but not so sure about the Kings being the team. It's all just too sudden, although the equally sudden damage control by the Kings' owners says a lot. While they and the Sacramento media are downplaying everything, I gotta admit, there's a LOT of factors that are just too easy to write off as a BS rumor. At any rate, Comcast-Spectacor supposedly pursued us, so they obviously see a sports fanbase...maybe it was the Admirals late-season surge, maybe it was the UFL half-season, but they see potential in HR, which says a lot.

It may not be the Kings, but something's definitely brewing IMO...I'll just be glad when an announcement is made next week. It'll put a lot of these seesaw rumors to rest.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:50 AM
 
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If you've lived here long enough, you know that every few years there's talk about a professional sports team coming to the area. They all start like this, with a bunch of hype, followed by a long delay, followed by eternal silence.

The thing that kills this area when it comes to professional sports teams is that the population is too spread out, we have too many traffic issues(the tunnel is quite a deterrent), and we don't have a population that could support a pro team.
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:59 AM
 
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Who knows I could learn to like basketball, I guess.


Quote:
Tuesday is building up to be a big day in Virginia Beach, as two of the largest entertainment companies in the world pitch the city to build a new Arena with the possible guarantee of bringing to the beach an NBA team as the building’s anchor tenant.

It is now official, Peter Luukoo, the president and CEO of Comcast-Spectacor along with Michael Evans, president Live Nation Arenas and Wilson Howard, president of Live Nation’s southeast division have crunched the numbers and are ready to convince the City Council that Virginia Beach can make more than enough money to pay off the debt if the city builds an 18-thousand seat arena near the city’s Convention Center.

And to sweeten the pot, Beach Mayor Will Sessoms told me Thursday Comcast reportedly made a deal with a “major league sports team” to sign a 25 year lease and become the building’s main tenant. Although no specific team has been named, the consensus is that team is the Sacramento Kings of the NBA. Unhappy in Sacramento, the Kings have explored moving to several different markets and it’s believed team co-owner Joe Maloof has already visited the beach.
Bruce Rader's Blog
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcor117 View Post
If you've lived here long enough, you know that every few years there's talk about a professional sports team coming to the area. They all start like this, with a bunch of hype, followed by a long delay, followed by eternal silence.

The thing that kills this area when it comes to professional sports teams is that the population is too spread out, we have too many traffic issues(the tunnel is quite a deterrent), and we don't have a population that could support a pro team.
Are you sure you have lived here long enough? The Norfolk Neptunes led the Continental Football League in attendance in the 1960s. I'm sure you have heard of the Virginia Squires, right?

Pro franchises in the area are not hype. Virginia suffers from the same municipal cancer that has caused both Baltimore and St. Louis to repeatedly lose pro sports franchises: the independent city. When Baltimore, St. Louis, Richmond, Norfolk, etc. made the fatal mistake in the 19th century that they didn't want the burden of extending infrastructure to their surrounding rural counties these cities sealed their own fates by creating a climate of animosity toward their unincorporated counterparts. Low and behold, when suburbanization began in full swing after WWII, these counties absorbed progressively more and more wealth. And due to the history of racism, lawsuits (often with looming federal civil rights implications if they ever made it past state courts) prevented these cities from annexing more county land to "whiten" their populations even if that was not the reason why these independent cities were attempting to annex county land anyway.

So when Baltimore, St. Louis, and Norfolk (which was actually one of the largest cities in the south) began to lose population after the 1960s, there was no sense of regional cooperation for surrounding cities to "pitch in" and want to build new arenas and later stadiums to build franchises. St. Louis lost the Hawks to Atlanta and Baltimore lost the Bullets to DC. Later both cities would respectively lose the Cardinals and Colts. If you have ever been to Baltimore you would know that 1st Mariner Arena is no better than the Norfolk Scope.

And that is the problem. The interest has always been there to locate a pro sports franchise in Virginia. Why did Virginia lose the Squires? They were playing in the Scope, Hampton & Richmond Coliseums; all hopelessly undersized arenas. There was no need to have three 10,000 seat (on average) arenas within a 1 and 1/2 hour drive of one another. 'We just needed one big one. This is nothing unique; Miami built an undersized arena for the Heat and Charlotte built one for the Hornets but Miami turned around in a decade and built a new larger arena and Charlotte actually lost its team but was able to get an expansion franchise back when they built their new arena.

Norfolk was actually in the lead to get one of the 1976 NFL expansion franchises (over Tampa). What was the problem? There was regional cooperation to get the "Old Sombrero" built whereas Norfolk did not have a stadium built (Norfolk was completely built out by the early 1970s) and certainly Virginia Beach wasn't going to let Norfolk build a stadium on land that it had to go to court against Norfolk for 10 years earlier to keep them from annexing it.

So an NBA franchise is more than feasible. What it is going to take is for Norfolk (and Portsmouth of which I am a "native") to shut their pieholes and realize that it is not 1960 and Virginia Beach is the leading city of the region and the only city with a nationally recognizable identity. In terms of national recognition, nobody from Generation X understands how important Norfolk and Portsmouth used to be. Just let Virginia Beach shine and the regional cities need to capitalize on this newfound national stage. If you live in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, or wherever, go support the Virginia Beach franchise even though it's not called "Tidewater", or "Hampton Roads", or some other non-existant political entity just like people in Ft. Lauderdale supporting Miami teams even though they are a prominent city in their own right.

As far metropolitan Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Chesapeake, etc. being too spread out, you are just making stuff up right now. This metro area is far more dense than Kansas City, Sacramento, Las Vegas and a host of other "small market" metros Virginia Beach is supposed to be in competition with. If metropolitan Virginia Beach took up the same amount of land area than metropolitan Kansas City did, it would overlap to encompass metropolitan Richmond (thus making it the 18th largest in the country and larger than metro Tampa, Denver, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Cleveland, Orlando, etc.) and it would STILL be more dense than metro Kansas City. To say metro Virginia Beach is too spread out to support an NBA franchise is absolute hogwash. And if you think Virginia Beach traffic is bad you obviously haven't done too much traveling to other metropolitan areas!
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:34 AM
 
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Well according to this thread VA Beach could support an NBA team.
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:45 AM
 
3,849 posts, read 7,588,679 times
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Quote:
Virginia Beach can make more than enough money to pay off the debt if the city builds an 18-thousand seat arena near the city’s Convention Center.
The question is: If it's such a great deal, why aren't the Maloofs or Comcast paying for the whole thing?

Why must the city of VA Beach pay $350 MILLION for an arena? If this is going to be such a cash cow, Comcast should have no problem footing the bill (after all, it's a $100 BILLION dollar company) or attracting other investors to do so.

The answer is: because it's not a good deal. This will do very little for economic prosperity in not only VA Beach, but the entire HR area. They're better off dividing the $350M and giving every person that lives in the city a check for $800.

Companies don't pass up sure fire, 100% gold, cash cow projects to other people.

It's times like this that I'm glad we don't have a county government that can funnel money from everyone in the metro to go to fat cat projects like this.
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:07 PM
 
1,009 posts, read 1,851,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post
The question is: If it's such a great deal, why aren't the Maloofs or Comcast paying for the whole thing?

Why must the city of VA Beach pay $350 MILLION for an arena? If this is going to be such a cash cow, Comcast should have no problem footing the bill (after all, it's a $100 BILLION dollar company) or attracting other investors to do so.

The answer is: because it's not a good deal. This will do very little for economic prosperity in not only VA Beach, but the entire HR area. They're better off dividing the $350M and giving every person that lives in the city a check for $800.

Companies don't pass up sure fire, 100% gold, cash cow projects to other people.

It's times like this that I'm glad we don't have a county government that can funnel money from everyone in the metro to go to fat cat projects like this.
Not even Jerry Jones himself footed the entire bill for the new Cowboys Stadium, even the city of Arlington, TX (smaller than Virginia Beach) had to come up with $325 million (paid for by a sales tax increase), and the NFL loaned Jerry Jones the rest of the money. I what world do corporations solely fit the bill for any municipal stadium project?

This Virginia Beach deal is much sweeter than any other proposal on the table (I have only heard so far about the Nordstrom guy and Seattle and this) and definitely better than the Arlington deal because a hotel tax places the "burden" of repaying the debt on tourists, not on city residents. Who is more likely to be able to back an arena, a telecom giant and Ticketmaster or a department store? One corporation assuming the entire risk and cost for a municipal project then explaining that to its shareholders. Yeah, good one.
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:45 PM
 
3,849 posts, read 7,588,679 times
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Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
I what world do corporations solely fit the bill for any municipal stadium project?
Um, the Giants and Jets just did with MetLife Stadium.
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Old 08-25-2012, 02:06 PM
 
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Steelers10, thanks for the history lesson.
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