Another proposal for a sports palace in Virginia Beach has surfaced.
This one claims that, even in the absence of a big league franchise of some sort, the deal would be a money maker and would cost less than the last deal that the local Developer Party tried to sneak through city council.
Lawson declined to provide financing details about the proposed public-private partnership that would be used to build it. He said that information will come out later. He did say in an email it would be “substantially” cheaper.
The previous deal called for the city to put in $241 million, the state $150 million and a private company $35 million. That money included $80 million to be paid to the Kings for relocation. The city and its Economic Development Department spent about $1.2 million on the previous arena plan.
As far as I can see–and the experience of many cities supports this–when developers want the government to pay for their projects, it’s a good sign that the project will not be a money-maker. Rather, the government will end up holding the bag, stranded on base, and saddled with debt for a building that stands empty most of the time.
Support a sports palace on the grounds of civic pride or public service and you may have a legitimate argument–but profit and economic development? That’s a con and a scam.
Addendum, Later That Same Day: