NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Mayor Kenny Alexander says he’s committed to bringing a new arena to Norfolk. 

During his State of the City address Friday afternoon, Alexander said the region needs a new, state-of-the-art arena. Alexander said in his first address in 2017 the city would explore options to renovate Scope.

“We’re missing economic opportunities by not providing artists and events with a modern, high-capacity venue,” Alexander said. “Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth of Virginia are bypassed completely.”

His 2018 address was filled with announcements and discussion of future developments — which included the city’s plan to buyout Greenies bar in Ocean View, a 12-story ferris wheel for Waterside District and a new Tidewater Community College visual arts center

Alexander also touched on jobs, saying the unemployment rate is at 3.9% and more than 1,400 new businesses started in Norfolk last year. 

“With expected continued growth and diversification of our economy, improving services, an engaged community and sound financial performance, it is clear that the state of our city is strong,” said Alexander.

Alexander also mentioned the city’s focus on education: building five new schools in the past seven years and increasing public education funding by $8 million over the last two years. 

He also welcomed the Pamunkey Indian Tribe during his speech, which plans to build a casino and resort along the Elizabeth River.

“The location, the leadership is very pro-business and we just see, the city is welcoming us,” said Pamunkey Indian Chief Robert Gray.  “It’s a great city.  We just sat there and listened to Mayor Alexander and it was fantastic.”

Alexander also mentioned that the airport continues to add new flights and its looking into the feasibility of international destinations.