Virginia Sports Hall of Fame may leave Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum could be leaving Portsmouth.

Chairman of the Board Joel Rubin told WAVY News that the nonprofit is in talks with the City of Virginia Beach to possibly relocate to the Oceanfront.

Rubin said that state and local subsidies have been diminishing over time. Portsmouth is set to cut funding altogether in the next fiscal year.

“We’re now at the point where we just cannot be sustained in this location,” he said.

Rubin said that the increasing toll costs haven’t helped the situation, but they aren’t the biggest factor.

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“It’s a challenge to run a standalone non-profit museum anywhere without some taxpayer support. It becomes even more challenging when you have tolls that may preclude some people from coming to your attraction.”

Rubin said that Virginia Beach “brings a lot to the table,” including a sports marketing department, and facilities that could house the museum.

“Portsmouth had a vision for the Hall of Fame being part of a vibrant museum district downtown,” Rubin said. “It just hasn’t worked out exactly the way everybody thought it would, and so that’s why we’re in this situation right now… we have nothing against Portsmouth, we love Portsmouth, we’ve just got to look out for what’s sustainable for the Hall of Fame going forward.”

Virginia Beach City Council is expected to be briefed on a proposal about the relocation next week.