Virginia Governor denies Virginia Beach and Maloofs $150 million in arena/relocation subsidy

Michaele White - Virginia Governor's Office

Per Brock Vergakis of the Associated Press, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell today denied Virginia Beach's request for $150 million in public funds to help fund a new sports arena and to help with relocation costs for a prospective sports franchise, widely believed to the Sacramento Kings.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) had this to say regarding Virginia Beach's request:

"Should the city have a detailed financing plan, or alternative plans, that provide more clarity on what the revenue sources are for building the arena and how they will be applied to retire the city's debt obligation, this would certainly be helpful for the administration to receive"

From the Virginia Pilot, McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin made this statement:

"The Governor has long supported efforts to bring a professional sports franchise to Hampton Roads," McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said in a statement. "However, any state involvement in economic development proposals must make clear and sound financial sense for the Commonwealth's taxpayers and be economically justifiable."

While that statement doesn't rule out a future possible subsidy, Virginia Beach's arena plan is likely dead in the water. The state budget will be submitted Dec. 17th, and approved January. Virginia Beach had hoped to get the process approved by February or March, in time for the NBA's relocation deadline of March 1st, and that was heavily reliant on state assistance.

Comcast-Spectacor, the driving force behind this potential arena deal, has only offered to put in $35 million. Virginia Beach's city council will vote Tuesday on whether or not to continue negotiating with them to try to lure a team. But it's looking less and less likely that that team would be the Sacramento Kings.

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