The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Multi-million dollar sports complex approved by Virginia Beach Council !

It was an 8 to 2 vote that carried the $68 million project forward.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) — On Tuesday, the Virginia Beach City Council approved the multi-million dollar sports center proposed at the oceanfront.

It was an 8 to 2 vote that carried the $68 million project forward. Councilman John Moss and Councilwoman Jessica Abbott voted against. Moss said he didn’t think the sports center is a priority for the city, but flood plans should be.

Dozens spoke during a public comment period. Many told council they supported the plans.

“The proposed addition of the sports complex is in perfectly in line with the city’s objectives,” said one man with Virginia Beach VISION.

“The RAC believes this project will be a unique, progressive enhancement to our oceanfront and assist in bringing more families and sports-related tourism in the resort seasons and the shoulder seasons,” said a representative from the Resort Advisory Committee.

Those against were just as passionate. They were unhappy about the cost because the project went from $40 million to $68 million after the plans showed an added indoor track and parking.

“On the surface, it sounds like a great deal but this seems like an awful lot of money and an awful lot of chances to be taking,” said a Virginia Beach resident.

“I don’t want anything in here that’s going to raise the taxes anymore,” said a woman who lives in Virginia Beach.

There were some like David Nygaard, a Virginia Beach resident who is also running for city council.

He said the sports arena, in the big picture, is great for the city and tourism, although he is concerned about the price jump. But, thinks there should be more to this discussion.

“We do have some serious issues at the oceanfront in terms of safety, shootings, other issues. I mentioned the human trafficking issue and I think we need to apply resources to that and when we do big projects, I think public safety needs to be part of the conversation,” said Nygaard.

With the plans now passed, the site is expected to start being cleared next month so the project can get underway.

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