RICHMOND, Va. — The Richmond Coliseum would be torn down and replaced by an outdoor plaza big enough to hold concerts and other community events. That is just part of the new draft small area plan for Richmond City Center released by the city.

The 52-page draft plan lays out how the city would like to change downtown Richmond following the rejection of the $1.5 billion Navy Hill project.

That project, announced in 2019 and voted down in 2020, would have seen the aging Richmond Coliseum replaced by a new arena.

That new arena will now be built in Henrico and Richmond’s latest plan has no coliseum at all.

“The Draft City Center Small Area Plan proposes tearing down the Coliseum and replacing it with hotel, office, entertainment, and residential uses – all surrounding a series of outdoor plaza/green spaces – the largest of which would be a flexible space that could accommodate outdoor concerts and events,” Maritza Pechin, Deputy Director within the Planning & Development Review Department, said.

City of Richmond

The draft plan’s focus is on “City Center” which the city defined as E. Franklin Street to E. Leigh Street and from N. 10th to N. 5th streets.

On page 30 of the plan, the city describes what it called the Signature Open Space (which is roughly the same location as the current Richmond Coliseum):

The main plaza at the intersection of 6th and Clay Streets can be programmed for various activities and serve as a citywide convening space.

The space can host concerts, festivals, outdoor movies, and holiday events including ice skating and tree lighting.

The park also is active with everyday uses such as outdoor dining through movable seating, active and passive recreation, and amenities for families including water features and playgrounds.

The main plaza can also host events programmed by the Convention Center to expand their offerings to potential conference organizers.

The Richmond Coliseum, which opened in 1971, held its final event in 2019.

Plan to replace Richmond Coliseum in the works

Kieran McQuilkin

A 7-acre plot houses the city-owned Coliseum.

The city is looking for feedback on the new plan. There will be a series of community meetings in June to discuss the plans.

Click here to read the plan and provide feedback.