The Greater Richmond, Virginia Area May Be Getting An Arena

This building is not going to house an NBA or NHL team.

The Richmond, Virginia metropolitan area is not getting a National Basketball Association or a National Hockey League franchise but the market could be getting a 17,000-seat arena. The proposed building will be located outside of the Richmond city limits. ASM Global will operate the building, partnering with Henrico County, Virginia. The county will issue and sell bonds to finance the arena, and on-site revenue will be used to pay off the debt of the estimated $2.3 billion project. The arena-village project will include two hotels with 600 rooms, about 2.2 million square feet of office space, 280,000 square feet of retail space, 2,100 residential units and green space and plazas. The development is expected to be finished in 2033 or 2034. The city of Richmond was planning to replace the 53-year-old Richmond Coliseum that has been shuttered since 2019. In 2016, the Virginia General Assembly passed a bill that would have allowed the Richmond Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build an arena to replace the Richmond Coliseum but nothing has happened.

It appears the proposed Henrico County building, which will be located off of Interstate 95 and Interstate 295 will go after concerts. Henrico County could seek an early National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s College Basketball Tournament regional round. The last major league team that called Richmond home was the American Basketball Association’s Virginia Squires. That team operated between 1970 and 1976 and played home games in Norfolk, Hampton, Richmond and Roanoke. The Squires franchise had some big-name players including Julius Erving and George Gervin. Squires’ ownership had money problems and shut down before the NBA took in four ABA teams in June, 1976, charging the franchises $3.2 million each which then was a large sum of money. The Richmond area may get a preseason NBA game with a new arena.

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San Antonio was part of the ABA.