The results of a preliminary study show it is possible to expand the Norfolk Scope arena, though some key details remain unknown.
A potential Scope expansion is being studied by Oak View Group, and the company has partnered with the architecture firms Populous and Moseley on the report. Local officials have previously expressed an interest in expanding Scope, raising the possibility of lowering the arena’s floor to increase the seating capacity to about 15,000. Currently, the venue seats 8,701 for hockey and 10,276 for basketball, with the concert capacity coming in at up to 13,600.
According to a preliminary study obtained by The Virginian Pilot, the arena floor could be lowered to add around 4,000 seats. However, many of the details behind the project, including the cost and likely funding sources, are unclear at this point. More from The Virginian Pilot:
The study, provided by the city in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, shows the first renderings of what a larger Scope could look like. They envision the arena floor 4½ feet lower than it is now, though that figure could change slightly.
The city, which owns the arena, still has not decided when or whether the renovation will happen.
“Everything is going to depend on what the price of this project will be,” said John Rhamstine, director of SevenVenues, the city agency that runs the arena.
More details, including cost, are expected in another study by the end of the year.
Along with more seats, Scope could receive an expanded concourse, improved HVAC system, and other amenities. In addition, the study suggests the the venue could close for 18 to 20 months while the renovation unfolds.
This is not the only discussion of a new or renovated arena taking place in the Hampton Roads area, as Virginia Beach officials could soon move forward with the construction of a new venue. Scope originally opened in 1971, and is currently home to the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals.
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