"I have met with various officials with the NBA and NHL just to make them aware that this may be a possibility and that we'd be getting back to them with further detail," Comcast-Spectacor president Peter Luukko said after Tuesday's meeting. "Really the detail was in selling the marketplace and this is a big market that is underserved right now."
It's unclear exactly who would pay for the arena's construction, although it would be built on city-owned land. Warren Harris, the city's director of economic development, suggested it would involve state and local funding. City officials say a stadium could be built with a pro basketball or hockey team playing in it as early as 2015.
Virginia Beach officials have quietly been pursuing a major sports team for the past year. Harris said he met with NBA and NHL officials this spring to tout the area as a viable marketplace and was told that once an arena is built, a city becomes very attractive to teams looking to move. He said he's been told of several teams that could relocate to the area, although he declined to specify which ones or say which NBA or NHL representatives he met with.
Virginia Beach and Richmond areas together represent a designated market area of 3 million people.