Sports Authority of Hampton Roads

Norfolk,

National Hockey League Expansion Franchise Bid

In 1995 the National Hockey League announced it would expand by four teams and the Hampton Roads region of Virginia undertook an effort to apply for one of the franchises. Hampton Roads at the time was the largest metropolitan statistical area in the nation without a major league professional sports franchise and a feasibility study B&D did for them in 1994 had demonstrated the viability of a 20,000-seat arena. We were selected as the region’s consultant and our work consisted of a financing plan, an economic analysis of the NHL, and negotiations with a prospective owner. Unfortunately, the NHL selected other markets for the new franchises. However, the significance of this effort was the financing plan which ultimately passed into state law. It provided for the capture of all new state and local tax revenues that would be created by the development of the arena and the introduction of the team to the market to be captured and channeled into the funding for the facility. Thus, tax revenues ranging from sales tax on concessions and merchandise to state income tax on player, team, and arena payroll could form a large and steadily growing revenue stream sufficient to retire the majority of facility debt. This plan was replicated in a parallel statute developed by the state for the funding of a Major League Baseball stadium in Northern Virginia.