Virginia Beach voters rebuff arena in poll

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 6B
Last Modified: Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 - 12:11 pm

Virginia Beach, Va., voters don't want to build an NBA arena, throwing more cold water on the prospects for luring the Sacramento Kings.

A poll released Tuesday by the Virginian-Pilot newspaper, WVEC-TV and Christopher Newport University showed that voters oppose a proposed arena by a 45 percent to 38 percent margin. When asked if they support public funding for the arena, opposition rose to 58 percent, with only 32 percent of respondents in favor.

City officials responded to the survey's findings by saying their own poll in August showed 51 percent of voters support building an arena, while 43 percent oppose it, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

Media reports in Virginia in August said the Kings were negotiating to move to Virginia Beach. The Kings wouldn't comment publicly but told sponsors the reports "are false and have no validity."

Officials with Comcast-Spectacor, which would run the proposed arena, said in August they hadn't held any discussions with the Kings or their owners, the Maloof family.

The Kings' future in Sacramento has been considered iffy since April, when the Maloofs walked away from a deal for a new downtown arena. The Maloofs, however, have said they're committed to Sacramento and just announced a five-year deal to rename their current arena after Sleep Train Mattress Centers.

Sleep Train can renegotiate or opt out if the team leaves.

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Read more articles by Dale Kasler

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