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New Richmond Arena in the Works?

Richmond Coliseum

A new Richmond arena could be in the works, as a local publication is reporting on a potential plan to construct a placement for the Richmond Coliseum as part of a larger development effort.

City officials have long seen the Richmond Coliseum as being an aged facility, not capable of hosting larger events that are being lost to Charlottesville’s John Paul Jones Arena. Though event managers would rather host events in Richmond, the larger capacity in John Paul Jones Arena as well as a more modern layout ends up luring events from the Richmond Coliseum.

A group led by Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell is in the planning stages for a new Richmond arena in the downtown area, reports Richmond BizSense. The arena could be part of a larger redevelopment effort that would include the long-dormant 6th Street Marketplace and Blues Armory property, as well as a new hotel. From BizSense:

In addition to the 6th Street Marketplace property, for which the city has been working to gain clear title, other related improvements could include construction of a hotel that would serve both the new arena and the neighboring Greater Richmond Convention Center….

A spokesman for the investor group declined to comment. Dominion spokesman Ryan Frazier did not return a request for comment on the company’s involvement.

The whole plan, should it materialize, could unlock for revitalization much of the acreage bound by North Fifth, East Marshall, North 10th and East Leigh streets.

In endorsing the construction of a new arena, the study – by Barret Sports Group, Populous Sports Architects and Weston Sports & Entertainment – found the Coliseum required “significant infrastructure improvements” and “lacks modern amenities/quality finishes.”

A new Richmond arena would open possibilities to a wide option of events, including NCAA tournament games, a WNBA or an NBA G-League team, minor-league hockey and larger concerts and events.

Image courtesy Richmond Coliseum.

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