Virginia Beach City Council approved a deal for $200 million arena on 19th Street, near the Oceanfront Tuesday night. The arena project passed in a 10-1 vote. Councilwoman Barbara Henley voted against the project. The deal calls for the city to work with developers from United States Management (USM) for the project — which would be the largest sports and entertainment venue in the state. USM would pay for the $200 million facility and the city would take care of the infrastructure costs of about $76 million.
USM President and CEO Andrea Kilmer thanked city council and her team after the vote. Kilmer also thanked residents for being part of the process.
“The citizen input and the business community support has been invaluable,” Kilmer said.
Since the city and USM came to a tentative agreement one month ago, there have been several meetings where residents have given input. Residents have shared comments and concerns on parking, traffic, public safety, and the Tidewater Veterans Memorial. Members of the Virginia Beach Hotel Motel Association have expressed support, saying they want the business during the off-season.
USM managers have said that the venue could be used for a variety of events including concerts, religious conventions and college sports tournaments. The arena would be built on nearly six acres of what is largely a parking lot near 19th Street. The city would then lease the land for 60 years, paying $76 million in infrastructure improvements.
The project is expected to be completed by 2019. However, project managers for USM have said they hope to have the project completed by 2018, with the first event happening in the fall. Click here to read the resolutions voted on by city council.