Discussions of replacing the Richmond Coliseum continue, as a private group has selected two firms to consider options for a new arena.
In June, news surfaced that a group led by Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell was in the planning stages for a new Richmond arena. The project could be completed in the city’s downtown area, and be tied to a larger redevelopment effort that featured other amenities, including a new hotel.
Those discussions are continuing, as the group has now selected two firms to consider options for replacing the Richmond Coliseum. One is the Los Angeles-based Future Cities, while the other is the Fairfax-based Concord Eastridge. A representative confirmed the selection of those firms, and emphasized that the group is still sorting through its options. More from The Richmond Times Dispatch:
“They’re currently involved in identifying possible ways to replace the Richmond Coliseum, which is costing the city about $1 million a year,” said Jeff Kelley, who confirmed in late June that Farrell, Altria CEO Martin J. Barrington and Virginia Commonwealth University are part of a coalition that is seeking to replace the 46-year-old arena as part of an ambitious downtown redevelopment plan.
However, the group says it’s not ready to go forward with details of the plan, which also would involve construction of a hotel to serve visitors of the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
“A private team of Richmonders continues to study options, perform due diligence and ensure a pathway to success before publicly discussing details,” Kelley said.
The redevelopment plan is likely to include the historic Blues Armory, in what was 6th Street Marketplace, and some form of tax-increment financing that would use future revenue from increased property values to service the project’s debt.
The Richmond Coliseum originally opened in 1971. As we have noted previously, replacing the Coliseum with a more modern venue could open up some event possibilities for Richmond, 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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