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Beach arena could mean more than $502 million for state

Posted: October 16, 2012

The statewide economic impact of an 18,500-seat arena with an NBA franchise in Virginia Beach would create more than $502 million a year and support 3,712 jobs, according to a study conducted by Chmura Economics & Analytics in Richmond.

The report released Tuesday after it was presented to the Virginia Beach City Council says that an NBA franchise would be comparable with other major economic development projects in the state, including the Rolls Royce manufacturing plant in Prince George County in 2008, which resulted in an annual average economic impact of more than $200 million. The estimated economic impact of the arena and team is more than double the Rolls Royce project.

If the arena opens in 2015 with an NBA franchise, from that season onward, the study says, the Virginia state government can receive $10.9 million tax revenues from team/arena operations and visitor spending, with $4.4 million in sales tax, $5.2 million in individual income tax, and $1.3 million in corporate income tax.

The study focuses on the potential impact of a professional NBA team and a new arena on the state economy. Outside the 44 NBA games -- three pre-season, and 41 regular season games, the arena can potentially host more than 150 other events per year, the study says. The economic impact is based on a conservative estimate that 85 percent of the seats would be utilized for the NBA games at the proposed 18,500-seat arena.

An earlier study, prepared by James V. Koch, Board of Visitors Professor of Economics and President Emeritus at Old Dominion University, estimated the economic impact of a new arena as more than $98 million to Hampton Roads alone.

For the full report, visit