Chatter about replacing the aging Richmond Coliseum is nothing new. Much like talk of plans to replace The Diamond, it’s an ongoing discussion that’s played out for years without making much headway. News out today, however, could change that as far as the Coliseum is concerned.
Richmond BizSense first broke the story that plans are underway to replace the facility, and that Dominion Energy may be leading the charge. The 13,500-seat arena opened in 1971 and was built at a cost of $24 million–$157 million when adjusted for inflation.
Details are somewhat sparse at this point, but sources told BizSense that parties familiar with the preliminary negotiations are eyeing a 17-acre site surrounding the current Coliseum site, which includes a city-owned parking deck and lot, the now-shuttered Sixth Street Marketplace food court, and the historic Blues Armory.
Recent reports have indicated that Richmond may be losing out on major music and sporting events due to the deteriorating conditions inside the Richmond Coliseum, and NBC12 reported back in April that the facility has been operating at a loss of over $800,000 per year since 2014. The City of Richmond, which owns the building, sustains it with $1.6 million in funding annually. That funding includes payments on a loan for recent renovations and needed repairs.
Richmond BizSense has all the details, including the proposed building’s name, speculation on how it could be financed, contemporary examples of recent public-private partnerships around the state that have successfully funded new arenas, and more.
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