Attracting a professional sports team to Hampton Road and the Virginia Beach area would have a better chance of succeeding with local fan support and local owners with enough financial resources, according to Ballard Spahr partner Travis Leach. Mr. Leach, who represents professional and university sports teams, also said that government support is important because it shows the region has the ability to build an arena.

He added that building an arena first could help attract a sports team, but the facility may not meet the goals of the team being courted unless it is well done and state-of-the-art. "I think the biggest thing is the commitment to do it," Mr. Leach said. "I don’t think you need to have the stadium built, but you need to have a firm commitment to build, like local governing bodies adopting an initiative. Also, say if you’re looking for an NBA team, it’s important to show what the deal would look like. Have a plan on paper, get it adopted and then market the plan."

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