It’s no surprise there are many other sports fans in the area jonesin’ for this same sort of major franchise action to move into the area.
It’s been almost seven years since I packed my bags and left my hometown of Chesapeake.
Why give up on the proverbial “home is where the heart is” adage, not to mention the glamour of living on the beach and leaving all my friends and family behind, you ask? Because I felt like things were calling me in other cities – most notably professional sports teams.
First it was the Miami Dolphins, then the Houston Astros (now I’m a freelance sports writer, where it helps to live in a city with an NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS and even AHL team). Sure Norfolk has the Admirals (I’m a big fan) and the Tides, but as far as nationally recognized and truly appreciated teams with superfluous crowds, the Hampton Roads area was virtually desolate as far as the sports world was concerned. And it still is.
According to the Bring It VA website, “Southeastern Virginia is already larger than 22 other markets around the country that already have arenas, and a new arena would represent a game-changer for the Virginia Beach market, creating new jobs and sustainable economic growth through new events and new visitors to the city.”
It’s no surprise there are many other sports fans in the area jonesin’ for this same sort of major franchise action to move into the area. Here are some additional thoughts from other serious fans of not only sports, but the Hampton Roads area as well:
Lifelong Virginia Beach resident Jamie Turnbull is excited about the chance of a pro team coming to Hampton Roads, “There are many passionate but sadly conflicting sports fans in Hampton Roads. We produce some of the finest athletes yet don’t have a pro team for aspiring ones to see firsthand? This potential NBA team could unite the seven cities like nothing else has yet been able to do and provide family-friendly activities that fathers would go out of their way to take their sons to. Not to mention, this arena would push much needed infrastructure improvements at the beach along.”
Chris O’Brien, creator of the Bring the Kings to Virginia Beach FB page, which gained over 5,000 fans overnight is clearly, one of the biggest supporters for this venue, was asking Santa to bring an NBA presence to his hometown, finally. “Being a huge sports fan, I’ve always wanted professional sports here in Hampton Roads. This area loves basketball, so I believe the NBA will be a natural and much welcomed fit.
The main reason I started the FB page was to have a place to discuss the possibility of the Sacramento Kings coming to Virginia Beach. The responses the page has received have been mostly positive. If nothing else, I believe our page shows the city of Virginia Beach that there is support for this possible move. Even if this page only sways city council in the slightest amount, then it did its job,” O’Brien said.
It’s clear – this proposed arena is creating excitement. Whether it’s a terrified form of excitement over the fear of the unknown or the potential for higher taxers, I think residents of the area need to continue to voice their concerns and keep their minds open. The city and everyone involved are doing their due diligence to ensure that not only is Virginia Beach the spot for this 18,500 seat arena, that the residents and sports fans can get behind what it stands for – the new jobs, the great boost for local tourism and all that jazz. The higher ups (whoever the heck they might be at this point) are also working on a team that will bring a major sports franchise (yet again, TBD) to the area and create the local loyalty that so many folks, myself included, have grown a lifestyle without. For the time being, check out BringItVA.com for all the news and updates, and join the conversations on FB at facebook.com/bringitVA and Twitter @bringitVA to stay up to date and get that fan enthusiasm at an all time high. At least until the first game that is…
The potential for this unprecedented public-private partnership between two big-time leaders in the entertainment industry, Comcast-Spectacor and Live Nation, is just what Virginia Beach ordered. Stay tuned Hampton Roads (said in a Ron Burgandy voice?).
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