“Private” Virginia Beach arena could cost public $185m

The Virginia Beach city council found out last night how much a new “privately funded” arena would cost the public, and the answer is: a lot.

On Tuesday, City Council learned that it could cost $52.6 million to $78.8 million to pay for the utilities, road improvements, and traffic patterns in the area.

Add in $7 million a year in tax kickbacks that the developer would be demanding, and that’s a total public cost (in present value) of between $160 million and $185 million. For an arena that will cost $200 million to build.

City councilmembers, naturally, were taken aback by the high price tag:

Council members seemed thrilled with the idea and thought it was time to move forward.


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4 comments on ““Private” Virginia Beach arena could cost public $185m

  1. Just go with the new meme: Private companies are willing to subsidize a public building.

    Works every time. Sounds as though VB somehow didn’t get the memo.

  2. Now we’re objecting to cities paying for roads and other infrastructure when a new development goes up?

    I can see arguing against the tax kickbacks, though.

    What I’m really curious about is how this new arena will be built for $200M. Winnipeg’s arena went up for $140M about a decade ago and it is already lowly regarded because it was built on the cheap. Same with Milwaukee’s 25 year old arena that needs replacing.

  3. @Ben
    The general feeling is that — well, at least among readers of this site — is that infrastructure is good. Infrastructure that comes only because it is connected to a taxpayer funded sports arena…not so good. Sure, lots of short-term construction jobs come with the construction, but so what? Cities like the VA beach area need real, long term jobs, preferably from private employers. And while I am not familiar with the area, there are probably more urgent things that taxpayer $$$ can go for in the region. Schools, libraries, hospitals…these should all have priority over sports arenas, especially one that may or may not even have a team to play in it.

  4. Here the thing built the arena and repair the roads. The money va beach is gonna make from the arena is gonna be huge they so scared to take a lost up front but what they will make in the end will make up for everything. It be dumb not to build it a team will come and plus they have other events they can use it for which they suggested. Like concerts and monster trucks plus via a tournment.

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