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Why not a world class arena for Richmond?

Posted at 11:57 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 23:57:52-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Can we agree the Richmond Coliseum is done?

It's crumbly, leaky, mildewy, the wrong size and configuration with unfortunate feng shui and acoustics.

Big shows have been skipping us for the larger, nicer and newer John Paul Jones arena in Charlottesville.

It has lost money. One of its biggest events is this weekend - the Jehovah's Witness Convention, which every year has helped save the Coliseum.

For years, the Coliseum has been like Richmond's ballpark: new ideas and plans are dangled in front of us like piñatas that get smacked around and then fall apart.

But now, it appears, Dominion Energy might help to lead the way with naming cash and some energy to wire up some regional cooperation and corporate sponsorship.

But what should we replace it with, even if Dominion is ready to pay up, let's say, a fifth of the $200 million price for a big one?

A nicer version of John Paul Jones or something like Virginia Beach's planned behemoth?

Or are giant arenas becoming the entertainment version of shopping malls, with fewer huge acts (like the circus or The Rolling Stones) and younger people seemingly more attracted to outdoor festivals?

Do we want a big basketball/other sports venue?

And don't just say we'll mess it up, like the Sixth Street Marketplace and the accompanying Richmond Centre.

Back then, people were fleeing Richmond in droves. Now they're flooding into the city and are ready to rally.

We deserve a world class arena. We can do it.

The word is Richmond is a sweet place to be.

We can act like it and figure this out.