“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.

Sigh.


3 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.

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