Sports Authority of Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads,

Arena Feasibility Study And Nhl Franchise Negotiations

In 1994 the localities within the Hampton Roads region of Virginia formed the largest metropolitan statistical area in the country without a major league professional sports franchise. The region-wide Sports Authority of Hampton Roads began considering the development of a 20,000-seat, multi-use arena as a joint venture with Old Dominion University. The Sports Authority sought to leverage the proposed facility to enhance the quality of life and improve the region’s national image by attracting a major league professional basketball or hockey team, while the university sought to provide a home for its varsity basketball programs and events. B&D was hired to conduct a market, financial and architectural feasibility study for this proposed facility. Our findings indicated that the two interested parties had concepts divergent to a degree that they should be treated as separate projects. We demonstrated the viability of an on-campus facility of 7,000 to 10,000 seats for Old Dominion, which was subsequently developed. Separately, we demonstrated the feasibility of a 20,000-seat arena as home to an NBA or NHL franchise. Those results were later used as the basis for an effort by the Hampton Roads region to security an NHL expansion franchise and an effort to relocate the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets to Norfolk.