I Don’t Like Basketball. I Like Even Less The Idea Of Being Forced To Pay For It

So Virginia Beach wants a basketball team. Now isn’t that special? They just want the rest of us to pay for it.

Sure, tourism revenue is a good thing. But us general, average taxpayers should not be funding it. Rick Boucher was famous for bringing in bike trails and such in the name of tourism, but he didn’t have to pay for them. He made the rest of us do it.

So Virginia Beach now wants an NBA team? Great! Go get you one. Virginia Beach can even grant them the land to site the arena on. Just do not ask the rest of us to fund it.

Where did this idea come from? That we should build the very infrastructure for some team owner to then make revenue from? It’s madness.

I don’t even want to research how much our local soccer arena cost us. Or who is getting a paycheck from it. (Although now that I’ve asked the question I will do the research.) It’s way past time for such foolishness. We have far too many real financial difficulties ahead of us in Virginia to even consider such stuff.

Ask Clay Earles,(Martinsville Speedway), the Sawyer family,(Richmond International), Carl Moore, Larry Carrier and R.G. Pope,(Bristol, the track is located in Tennessee, it still brings big tourism bucks to Virginia). Please include the original owners of Virginia International Raceway, just outside Danville, when you ask how much their facilities create in tourism dollars and how many tax dollars have gone into their development.

Just like the Redskins practice facility, this is not something for tax dollars to pay for. If Virginia Beach wants it, Virginia Beach should get it and pay for it. Or better yet, make the NBA franchise pay for it just like those aforementioned racetrack builders did.

(Note: Paul Sawyer and family did lease the fairgrounds, known at the time as Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, before purchasing the track property in 1955.)

  • What a shame you did not bother to find out the specifics of this proposal. Your post is profoundly inaccurate and simply wrong. I wonder if it is worth two minutes to tell you why.
    The deal is like most of the 43 NBA/NHL arena deals around the U.S and Canada. In essence, no local tax money is used to build nor operate the arena. Taxes spend by users are within the arena are captured to pay the debt service on the bonds used to build the facility. Further, the operator, Comcast Spectator, will guarantee rent sufficient to pay all operating expenses.
    So before you condemn a deal your don’t understand, ask someone who does. Republicans/conservatives used to understand investment and business; now, they seem only willing to scream about public investment, not understand nor appreciate its value. The private economic development for the Beach and Hampton Roads because of this Arena would also be significant, so investment a minute of your time to reconsider your ill conceived post.

    • My point is why should the state have any stake in the facility? Just because others do it this way makes it right for Virginia? I also pointed out 4 other tourism generators that did not go begging for government bonds. And one other that did.

      • Well, the reason the state should consider an investment is that the estimated annual state tax revenue within the confines of the Arena for concerts conventions, and sports, is $11 M in the first year. That is enough to service the bonds that would be used to finance the state’s share.

        None of this state tax revenue would be generated if there is not an arena with events therein, so truly if this performs as planned, the users will pay for it; that is, the cost of operations, maintenance and repair, and debt service. Now it is a legitate question about whether the Arena will perform as predicted, but to condemn it out of hand before understanding the business case is just plain wrong.

        • So you would favor reimbursing those track owners who have brought in many times that in tax revenue?

          • No, of course not. Every business owner is required to pay their taxes.

          • I’m sure they’ve all paid their taxes. They just didn’t ask the state to build or fund the facility.

          • That applies to outside infrastructure Bruce.

          • Sorry, Bunkie. Government money is government money. Whether it’s highway money for road improvements or tourism money for promotion, it’s still government money. Clay Campbell & ISC aren’t ashamed to take their fair share of government cash. Heck, they’re not even afraid to play the “It sure would be a shame to the local economy if we were to lose a race weekend” game. Lookie there, it worked!

          • Norfolk Southern can also be so credited.

        • Guest

          If it’s enough to service the bonds it’s enough to service a private mortgage. The state and city should not be involved.

        • Nathan Miller

          Poor Mikey….Sessoms just announced a tax hike to pay for this stupid arena…..thought it was such a brilliant idea that it was going to pay for itself??

  • Tim J

    Mike, given that the rest of us are ignorant, what’s your personal or Runnymede’s stake in this deal?

  • When did we, as a nation, start down this stupid path anyway?

  • To me this is just wrong on principle, because the government is choosing winners and losers. Every business should be able to should stand and succeed on its own merit. I realize we aren’t even close to that, but I still won’t support it.

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