Comcast-Spectator president Peter Luukko on Tuesday told the Virginia Beach City Council that his company has not spoken with the Kings about plans for a new arena, reports Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee. The media company has met with NBA and NHL officials to let them know they are trying to get an arena built in the city, Luukko said, but few other details about the plan emerged in Tuesday's meeting.
Comcast-Spectator would lease and manage the arena for 25 years should an NBA or NHL team commit to playing there, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. The arena would be built on city-owned land and could open as soon as 2015. Virginia Beach director of economic development Warren Harris said he, like Luukko, has met with NBA and NHL officials, and they've told him the city would become an attractive destination for teams if an arena were in place, according to the Daily News.
Lillis says Luukko and city officials didn't specify the cost of the arena or who would pay for it, though according to George Warren of News10.net, the estimated price tag is $350MM. No developer is a part of the plan. There was talk of letting the public vote on whether to build the arena, Lillis writes, which would present another hurdle to its completion.
Four of the 11 council members had comments about the arena Tuesday, and two of those four were critical of the plan, according to Lillis.
The Kings sent an email to their sponsors last week, distancing themselves from rumors that the team was considering a move to Virginia Beach. According to Lillis, part of the email read, "Any information you have heard connecting the Maloofs, the Kings, and the city of Virginia Beach are false and have no validity. The City Council in Virginia Beach and Comcast have both publicly acknowledged that they have not spoken to the Maloofs or anyone from the Kings organization or any NBA officials and rather are in discussions to create a new facility that could accommodate either an NHL or NBA team down the road."