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Everything We Know Or Can Reasonably Surmise About The Virginia Beach Threat

By | 0 Comments | Feb 20, 2019

The dooyaks in Virginia Beach will unveil their whizgargle at 3 p.m. ET, and presumably the City Council will discuss it later on at their flimflampoozle. Hands will be rung! So let's prepare by laying out all we know or can surmise based on the information that we have.

* Virginia Beach does not have a current NBA-ready building. There cannot even be a temporary stay in V.B. right now. It's not tenable. This is unlike Anaheim, Kansas City and, if you want to get really creative, Seattle (KeyArena stands!), Vancouver (GM Place stands!) and Las Vegas (though that'd be inordinately dicey).

* It takes time to approve, fund and build an arena. Remember: people thought Sacramento was playing with fire by promising an arena in time for October 2015 when approvals came through in early 2012. Barclays Center in Brooklyn took about two years from the end of legal wrangling to completion. (Completion is right around the corner.) If Virginia Beach becomes a real threat, we're looking at the 2016-17 season as a reasonable target, unless the state and city fast-track it. Then, it's 2015-16. Still two years away.

* George Maloof has made no effort to move forward on private renovation of ARCO Arena. Remember back when the Maloofs blew up the downtown deal and George pitched renovation of ARCO? The city and specifically the mayor killed him for it, and rightfully so. There would be no public funding if Kevin Johnson had anything to do with it. So has Maloof investigated further to see whether privately-funded renovation would be feasible? Of course not. Greg Van Dusen tells Ailene Voisin he can't even get a meeting with George to discuss it.

* The Maloofs want everyone to stop paying attention. The Maloofs aren't trying to cover their tails with their mealy-mouthed Eric Rose statements refusing to comment on rumors and everything else. They are just trying to let the rumors burn out on their own, because every second of TV news broadcast, every column inch of newsprint and every blog post dedicated those rumors reminds Sacramento that we have disastrously bad owners who will leave as soon as allowed.

* We don't know how serious or unrealistic Virginia Beach is just yet. Comcast is a major player. Live Nation is a major player. (This, in fact, may be a proxy war between Live Nation and AEG.) Virginia Beach is a credible major league city in terms of population and location. Virginia Beach, unlike Seattle, is not requiring an ownerless team. Seattle, Anaheim, Kansas City — they all have problems we know about. We don't quite know V.B.'s problem yet.

* We don't know the city's politics. Is the vice mayor, who has hurfed and durfed about public financing, V.B.'s Sandy Sheedy … or a real threat to any project? I have no idea. We'll get a better idea as we move forward. Remember: Sacramento's arena deal only got through because of the incredible determination of Kevin Johnson. I'm not sure V.B. has anything close … but we'll find out.

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