The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce has long been a strong supporter of the development of an Oceanfront arena, a venue that would be an incredible opportunity for our region, and thus we are disheartened by the outcome of the Virginia Beach City Council vote. Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Bryan Stephens was the first to testify on behalf of the business community at the October 4th City Council meeting. “I believe this arena project is an important part of moving this region forward to a world-class region,” said Stephens, “A region that has the capability and capacity to host large top-tier performances and events that can enhance the quality of life of its citizens, help the economy grow and generate jobs. I believe this arena project will do all of that and then some.”
The development of the 18,000 seat Oceanfront arena was rejected by a vote of eight to three during the October 4th meeting. Nine votes were needed for passage. Andrea Kilmer, HRCC member and president of United States Management, the company trying to build the arena was quoted in the Virginian Pilot as saying, “We will regroup... it doesn’t mean the deal is over. We still are under the existing development agreement.” The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce sincerely hopes a new deal, one that will garner the approval of the City Council, will appear in the future and we will be able to take the next step to bring a spectacular performance venue and catalyst of economic prosperity to our region.