At the Virginia Beach The State of the City address, Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms announced that City Council has made a deal to move forward with a proposed Oceanfront arena. The arena will be managed by AEG and will have debt of no more than $150 million.
“Exciting times are upon us, and we are looking at the potential for some incredible transformative projects,” the mayor said in a news release Monday. The mayor said in his speech that the deal will have debt of no more than $150 million, and $70 million in equity. Sessoms tweeted Wednesday that the arena deal will “help revitalize the 19th St. corridor” in the city.
With expansion and other NBA teams looking to move, the agreement has the (limited) potential to possibly bring one of those teams here.
While the immediate news of the venue is exciting, it also highlights a branding issue that has existed in the area for some time. Efforts to move away from the regional moniker ‘Hampton Roads’, which replaced ‘Tidewater’ some time ago, to ‘Coastal Virginia’ have been ongoing. The new arena could provide even more impetus to make this happen. Hampton Roads Magazine, which has been re-branded to ‘Coastal Virginia Magazine’, is a positive effort to build momentum for this effort.
From a branding standpoint, Coastal Virginia plays into the Eastern Shore’s own tourism efforts, highlighting our outdoor attractions of beaches, fishing, kayaking and bird watching. What area is more ‘Coastal’ than the Shore?
While the new arena may be at the Oceanfront, it should still have a positive impact on many of our tourism efforts here on the Eastern Shore and for Cape Charles in particular.