City works out deal on amphitheater’s non-compete clause to clear the way for upcoming arena

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An artist's rendering of the proposed sports and entertainment arena in Virginia Beach. (Photo Courtesy City of Virginia Beach.)

An artist’s rendering of the proposed sports and entertainment arena in Virginia Beach. (Photo Courtesy City of Virginia Beach.)

VIRGINIA BEACH – As the city worked toward an amphitheater in the 1990s, it dreamed of a music venue that could attract big acts like Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam.

The city representatives who crafted the deal didn’t expect the Beach to land a second major venue that could also draw such acts for the foreseeable future. So they agreed to a 30-year non-compete clause with the amphitheater’s private operator in 1995 that barred the city from participating in “any show, performance or event which could reasonably be performed at the amphitheater,” according to the parties’ lease.

Now Virginia Beach has a $210 million arena that is expected to open in 2018 at the Oceanfront and host major concerts. That prompted questions at city hall over how the amphitheater’s non-compete clause, which runs through 2026, could affect the new arena.

The amphitheater, now named the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach, hosts shows in the warmer months, and the arena has been cast as a winter venue, but the potential conflict prompted action nonetheless.

Live Nation, the amphitheater’s operator, agreed to ignore the non-compete provision in return for a five-year extension of its lease.  The City Council approved the agreement this week and extended the lease until Dec. 31, 2031.

“All other terms and conditions set forth in the Facility Lease remain unchanged and in full force and effect,” the council’s ordinance said.

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