We should hear more tomorrow about the financing status of a new Virginia Beach arena, as United States Management will update the City Council on attempts to privately finance the $210-million, 18,000-seat facility.
United States Management is teaming with The Export-Import Bank of China, which has committed $170 million toward the project, to attract $40 million in additional private financing for the arena. The project would not receive any direct city funding, but the current plan calls for tax revenues generated by the arena to go back to the developer. In addition, the city has committed $76.5 million from hotel and discretionary taxes to infrastructure improvements in the arena area.
Mayor Will Sessoms said the developers have been working hard to secure the financing, and he looks forward to hearing how things are going at Tuesday’s meeting. He said he doesn’t expect the company to announce it has secured the loan.
About a week ago, Andrea Kilmer, president of United States Management, said her company plans to close the deal by the end of the summer, with construction starting before the end of the year. The developers set a goal to open the venue by 2018. Kilmer could not be reached for comment late last week or on Monday.
The agreement approved by the council gives the arena developers until September to secure the loan and until May 2017 to close on it. The city could also grant extensions on those deadlines if the developers request more time.
The new arena would be located on 19th Street across from the Convention Center, allowing for both facilities to share parking.
The new facility is designed to host a number of event as well as professional sports. In the past locals have discussed the building of a new arena central to attempts to land an NHL team, but given Quebec City’s inability to land a team with geography being one of the main issues, Virginia Beach’s place in line might have slipped a notch or two.