VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The City Council here is hearing the preliminary plans to build an 18,000-seat arena that would house a professional basketball or hockey franchise.
While officials have said they have not identified a potential tenant for the facility, the proposal has sparked speculation that the city is trying to lure the Sacramento Kings.
For those who have watched Sacramento's arena saga play out over the past decade, today's hearing will seem familiar.
In a report titled "Bring It To The Beach," officials with sports and entertainment firm Comcast-Spectacor have included an economic analysis showing that Virginia Beach and the surrounding Hampton Roads metro area can support big league sports, based on its population and isolation from other major league markets. A site near the city's oceanfront has also been identified in the hopes that the arena would anchor an emerging entertainment district.
It's unclear whether the project's cost or financing package have been identified. Still, some council members here have already said they would vote against any plan that involves a significant contribution from the public.