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Norfolk Seeks Out Corporate Heavyweights; Charlotte Waits
Published December 28, 2001
Former VA State Secretary of Commerce & Trade Barry DuVal "is among those working to secure corporate sponsorship in Norfolk's quest to lure" the Hornets, according to Dave Fairbank of the Newport News DAILY PRESS, who notes DuVal and the Norfolk pursuit group "are looking for a corporate deal worth at least" $60M toward naming rights for a proposed downtown arena. Duval said that he "does not expect to receive an answer from potential candidates until after" January 1. DuVal: "Given the time of the year, the overall national economy and the overall corporate economic climate, we're well aware that this is a very difficult undertaking" (Newport News DAILY PRESS, 12/28). However, in Charlotte, WSOC-ABC's Kim Brattain cites Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim as saying that a naming-rights deal for a new arena "could be announced any day now. That city is expected to release financial details on a naming-rights plan next week" (WSOC-ABC, 12/28). In VA, Christopher Dinsmore wonders if the Norfolk corporate community can support luxury suites in a new arena. Dinsmore: "Does the region have the corporate clout to support the necessary number of luxury boxes? Norfolk's proposed $276[M] downtown arena for the Hornets would have 68 luxury boxes leasing for an average of $90,000-$100,000 a year plus an average $500 a game for food, beverage and service" (Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT, 12/28).
DON'T GO: A CHARLOTTE OBSERVER editorial states of the Hornets' situation in Charlotte: "Staying here is a win for all concerned. The bottom line is this: There's a lot to recommend keeping the Hornets in Charlotte, but that's unlikely to happen unless something in the financial mix changes. The City Council can't be expected to revive a deal voters rejected. Waiting is never easy, but that's about all the public can do now ... If the team commits to Charlotte, fans will come back. We think that's in everybody's best interests, if the price is right" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/28)