From today's Sacramento Bee (Virginia arena subsidy sought):
- Including relocation costs, the project would be 90 percent publicly funded – a hefty subsidy that is already sparking some opposition from public officials. The state's share would require approval from lawmakers and the governor.
- (City Councilman Bill) DeSteph is among those who is skeptical about the public subsidies. "We're going to put in $195 million and we can't afford it," he said Wednesday.
- Eric Rose, a spokesman for the Maloofs, declined to comment.
- At least one member of the Partnership's board said he'd be surprised if the state would approve the $150 million request.
"It's very doubtful. It's just too much money in these economic times," said board member Hugh Keogh, a retired president of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
- (economic development director Warren) Harris added that "this project cannot move forward" without the state's subsidy.
The latest from the Virginian-Pilot (Lawmakers react to Va. Beach pitch for arena funding):
- Del. Bob Tata of Virginia Beach, an appropriations committee member, called the arena concept “pie in the sky.”
“This is a beer and pretzel town,” he said. “Realistically, if I had to vote on it, I’d vote no. I just can’t see. Pro sports, it’s a tough racket. It’s here today, gone tomorrow.”
He said he doesn’t think an NBA team could be successful in Virginia Beach if it can’t make it in Sacramento, the capital of California.
“The lobbyists alone ought to be able to fill up the arena every game,” he said.
- “My initial response is, I’m not in favor of it,” said Del. Chris Jones of Suffolk, also an appropriations committee member. “In tight economic times, taking away from other core functions of government, I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do.”