Posted on September 10, 2012 at 5:50 PM
Monday, Sep 10 at 6:01 PM
VIRGINIA BEACH--A new 18,500-seat arena in Virginia Beach could mean more than just bringing in a big time sports team, it could mean the area could see a lot more major entertainment acts.
"There's a misconception right now that this arena is solely to attract a professional sports franchise, but in reality it's a multi purpose arena," said councilman Glenn Davis.
Residents like Rex Cate say it would save them the long drives to see concerts in DC, Raleigh and Charlottesville. Cate says he drove to DC three times in the last two months for concerts.
"Most of the time, options are limited for the people I like to listen to," he said.
Virginia Beach's largest entertainment venue is Farm Bureau Live, the outdoor amphitheater that holds up to 20,000 people, 7,000 of which are reserved seating.
Live Nation Michael Evans said Madonna, Lady Gaga, the Rolling Stones, One Direction, U2, Garth Brooks, Pink and Bon Jovi have skipped Virginia Beach.
"Simply, the market just not big enough to accommodate the production," stated Evans.
Davis pointed out that most of the events at the new arena near the Convention Center would not be sporting events.
"Understanding an NBA team only puts together 44 home games a year, three out of every four events at this potential arena will not be NBA-related," stressed Davis.
Virginia Beach's mayor, vice-mayor and economic development authority are still in negotiation with Comcast-Spectacor and Live Nation on the terms of the proposal. It's estimated the arena would cost about $350 million.
More details on the cost to taxpayers could be available later this week.