Residents react to Virginia Beach arena plans

Posted at 5:32 PM, Nov 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-11 17:46:53-05

Virginia Beach, Va. - Bill Bort has lived in Virginia Beach since 1973.  During that time, he has seen some major changes come to the city. Now, a new change is on the horizon.

The Virginia Beach City Council is moving forward with United States Management, LLC to build an arena that can fit as many as 18,000 people.

"I've got mixed feeling about it, I understand what the city is trying to do but I question if it's going to draw the clientele or teams that they say they were," Bort said.

"To me, this is a game changer for this city," Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms said.

But Bort has some questions about the proposal.

"Can we benefit from it? Will the city benefit from it? Will the community benefit from it?" he said.

According to the city council, the arena will not cost local tax payers any money.  The arena is to be paid for by United States Management, LLC.

The city will contribute by using tourism taxes to pay for road improvements and necessary utility line changes near the project.

Even though residents won't have to pay for the area, they will have to deal with the traffic that comes with it.

"It could be extremely crowded you know," Bort said.

But not everyone is bothered by potential crowds.

"Those are part of the growing pains that you go through, so as long as you have a plan to deal with it then it's just a few more cars," said Tony Fegin, who is for the arena.

The public will have a chance to weigh in on the project in front of the city council on December 1.  The final vote is scheduled for December 8.