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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Sport Management Students to Present Projects to Arena Backers

After working all semester on projects connected to the proposed Virginia Beach arena project, students in Old Dominion University's graduate Sport Marketing class will present their work to United States Management, LLC (USM) - the firm spearheading the project.

On Wednesday, Dec. 9 at Clark Nexsen's offices in Virginia Beach, the students will share their work on subjects such as local sponsorships, premium seat marketing, convention center - arena collaboration and bidding for major events.

"This semester has provided a great opportunity for our graduate sport management students to receive real-world experience developing marketing initiatives that could be incorporated into USM's project and planning," said Stephen Shapiro, associate professor of sport management and the Sport Marketing course instructor. "Our students are really excited to put their best foot forward on Dec. 9."

The six student groups will present their findings to USM team members, along with representatives of the Virginia Beach Hotel Association and Convention and Visitors Bureau, officials with Clark Nexsen and City of Virginia Beach staff. As many as 200 attendees will watch the presentations, which will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Clark Nexsen's 14th floor boardroom.

USM, one of the ESG Companies, plans to develop an approximately 18,000-seat capacity, multi-purpose entertainment and sports facility using private financing. USM/ESG and the City of Virginia Beach are currently negotiating final details of an agreement on infrastructure, traffic management, parking and other issues prior to an expected vote by Virginia Beach City Council. The Arena would be built in part of the existing parking lot across from the city's convention center on 19th Street near the oceanfront.

Throughout the semester, Sport Marketing students have met with project leaders, and other proponents, to receive an inside look at the preparations to promote and (with approval) develop a multi-use facility.

For the students, it has resulted in a front-row seat for a project similar to the type of work they hope to do as professionals.

"We are very thankful for the opportunity we have been given by USM," Shapiro said.

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