Virginia Beach council rejects Oceanfront arena deal

Photo courtesy: WAVY/Joe Fisher
Photo courtesy: WAVY/Joe Fisher

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The city council squashed a proposed deal Tuesday night for the construction of an 18,500 seat arena at the Oceanfront.

Council members Louis Jones, John Moss and Barbara Henley all voted against the proposal to transfer the land to the developer, United States Management, which resulted in an 8-3 vote. The item needed a super majority of nine votes to pass.

Virginia Beach releases details of arena project

It was reported last week that plans by United States Management (USM) to build the arena could be in jeopardy due to changes involving the financing of the project and its unrated bond. Some council members shows dissatisfaction at the instability of the project.

Still, Andrea Kilmer, president and CEO of USM, tried getting the council’s support Tuesday at an informal work session and again at the council meeting.

“The entire development could spur redevelopment of the entire Oceanfront, and it really is a travesty for the city,” said Kilmer, of the rejection by council.

Photos: Va Beach Arena Update

Kilmer told the council Tuesday that USM inked a contract with AEG Worldwide to operate the arena. AEG currently operates 120 venues, including L.A. Live in Los Angeles and T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Kilmer says the concert promoter would have helped to bring popular musical acts and sporting events to Virginia Beach.

Kilmer says she wants the council to reconsider the proposal. She adds she is not ruling out the possibility of taking her arena plans to another city in the Hampton Roads region.