Virginia Beach and Bellevue Join Seattle in the Arena Race


While the Seattle City Council has been on its summer vacation; the Virginia Beach City Council has cobbled together a $350 million dollar arena proposal designed at bringing NHL and/or NBA to North Beach. This plan is the second plan that has risen up in the last six weeks as Chris Hansen and the Seattle City Council go through negotiations to create a $490 million plan in South Downtown. The other city that has tossed its hat into the arena ring is the city on the East Side of Lake Washington, Bellevue, Washington.
Don Levin currently owns a minor-league hockey club in the Chicago area; but he wants to take a step into the bigs and bring an NHL team to another city, preferably Bellevue (actually the Seattle Metropolitan area). Rumors of Levin trying to bring an NHL Team to the Seattle Metropolitan Area have been in existence for about a year now. Until now Levin and his attempts to bring a NHL team to the Seattle Area have just been a rumor. 
But now the Don Levin has spoken and that makes his attempts to bring a team to the Seattle Area official. Levin has $100 million in cash that he is willing to spend it on bringing an arena and a team to the City of Bellevue.  They are looking at two sites along the interstate that would facilitate easier traffic access and egress. These two sites are located in the Wilburton and Bel-Red areas, both of which will also be sites of future Light Rail Stations. 

This man wants to bring the NHL to a town near you.
The thing is with Levin’s plan is that it isn’t completely dependent on the deal going through in Bellevue. He is also willing to pair up with another investor, it seems like all he really wants to do is become an NHL owner. So if Hansen gets the SODO Arena Proposal through, I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see Levin jump in with both feet. After all it is probably his best shot at a good NHL Ready Arena. 
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Virginia Beach is the largest city in the State of Virginia and it is now looking at joining the ranks of cities with NBA/NHL sized arenas. On August 28th, 2012 Virginia Beach’s economic development officials came forward with an arena proposal that would put a $350 million, 18,500 seat arena in their city. The arena would be managed and leased by Comcast-Spectacor. Comcast-Spectacor has agreed to run the prosed arena in Virginia Beach for 25 years.  
While both of these deals have some serious legs behind it, I highly doubt that Virginia Beach would be able to land a NBA team. Let alone secure a NHL squad. The City of Virginia Beach is smaller than Sacramento (which is the city most in danger of losing their NBA Squad) and therefore smaller than the other city in this whole arena mess, Seattle. And if Levin does end up joining forces with Hansen Virginia Beach’s proposed arena is going to have to face stiff competition from a city that proudly supported NBA basketball in the past.
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Can we do unto another city what has been done to us?
With all of this arena news and speculation, the possible return of the Sonics, the possibility of a Virginia joining the ranks of States with a major league team; there is a group of people who aren’t 
getting much press. Those people would be the fans of the beleaguered Sacramento Kings. They have been stuck in a situation even worse than what Sonic’s fans experienced four years ago. Their ownership is inept; they have run themselves into the ground financially and are looking for a way out. The Maloof Brothers (owners of the Kings) and it feels like they think that the only way to fix their financial troubles is to move out of Sacramento (they city loaned the Kings $70 million).
The Kings fans aren’t in a particular pleasant place. It’s not like they had any real fore warning about this situation, unlike Sonics’ fans. The Maloof Brother’s financial woes just exploded on them and their team. So as Sonics’ fans get all excited about the possibility of bringing our team back, I ask you to keep in mind how we all felt when the Sonics were yanked from our city and our hearts four years ago. 
If you want more information about the arena issues in Sacramento, click here.
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