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7 hours ago, Downtowner said:

Well at least your not a Detroit lions fan like me. Losing for the last 60 plus years is absolutely horrible with no super bowl appearance or as bad as I hate saying it y’all were the last team we last to during the year we won our last playoff game. After the 1991 season we have been the laughing stock of the nfl. Dan Snyder may be bad but at least he isn’t the Ford family. Literally the worst owners of any sports franchise in the world. 

The Browns are in the same boat with you - in fact the Lions and Browns last won titles in the '50s - and I recall that '91 NFC Championship game at RFK to which you refer. That was the season Washington started 11-0. They were HORRIBLE in the pre-season -went 0-4 and lost to a horrific Jets squad in the final pre-season game. I didn't have a lot of confidence going into the regular season. I was working at a radio station in 1991 - and I was on the air that Sunday night that the Capitol Defense shut out the Lions (the first of three consecutive home shutouts - which mean three shutouts in their first five games).  I remember the scores coming up over the AP wire - 7-0 ... then 14-0 ... then 21-0 - and it was still in the FIRST QUARTER!  It was 35-0 at halftime and both teams coasted in the second half of a 45-0 blowout.

I knew the Lions - with the great Barry Sanders - were a pretty good team - and when we won 45-0 - I started to wonder if Gibbs was hiding his hand all pre-season only to unleash it on the NFL over the first 11 weeks. The Burgundy and Gold came within five points of an undefeated regular season - losing 24-21 at home vs Dallas in a game they led but let slip away in the second quarter ... and 24-22 at Philadelphia when Gibbs rested his starters in the second half and the Eagles scored 17 in the fourth quarter and kicked a FG at the final gun to win.

8 hours ago, DowntownCoruscant said:

Seems as though there’s been pretty much radio silence on this since it was announced, but yes - Henrico is different than the city, and John Vithoulkas gets things done.

Slim to none RVA gets the ACC tourney regardless of size. If it’s going north of North Carolina, it’s going to DC. But CAA, A-10, and opening weekend NCAA tourney games are all possible, so why not go for 19,000-20,000, right? (It would be Virginia’s largest even at 17,000, though.)

Even with a 20K arena, you don't think the ACC would come to RVA? If I recall, it's never been played in Virginia - DC & Landover don't count.

I'm wondering if the NCAA would consider regional games in a 20K RVA arena?

Is the issue hotel capacity? I'm curious to know why - if we build a big enough arena - RVA might not get higher-level marquee events.

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I wanted to make sure that I waited about a full day to react to this situation since my gut reaction to the council request was going to be much uglier than after giving it some more thought.  I also

Yea - that $800 million in private equity funds (never to be paid back by the city) pouring into downtown is a total rip off.     Your not fooling us you shysters - take your $800 million and find som

I guess this could go in a few forums, but CoStar has announced they will anchor the new 400,000 sf tower adjacent to the Arena.  Plans to double the workforce to 2000.  Huge news! https://richmo

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A 20,000 seat arena could attract the ACC tournament at least once.  UVa has never been the "host" school in the way that other classic ACC schools have, save Clemson (who couldn't care less about basketball).   It's also an easy drive from DC and Tobacco Road (which really matters in ACC thinking).  That's how it would have to be marketed.  Still a longshot though.

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Maybe. I just suspect if it’s not Greensboro, it’s Charlotte, and if it’s not Charlotte, it’s DC, and if it’s not DC, it’s NYC. That sort of thing. I also suspect that if Virginia Beach ever built one they’d get it before us.

Never say never, though. 

NCAA regional would be an outside chance. There is a limited history of mid-markets getting a regional. Birmingham 1997, Albany 2003, Syracuse 2005, Omaha 2018, to name a few off the top of my head. Omaha would have to be the best hope for a comp. It was a new arena showcase.

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10 hours ago, DowntownCoruscant said:

Maybe. I just suspect if it’s not Greensboro, it’s Charlotte, and if it’s not Charlotte, it’s DC, and if it’s not DC, it’s NYC. That sort of thing. I also suspect that if Virginia Beach ever built one they’d get it before us.

Never say never, though. 

NCAA regional would be an outside chance. There is a limited history of mid-markets getting a regional. Birmingham 1997, Albany 2003, Syracuse 2005, Omaha 2018, to name a few off the top of my head. Omaha would have to be the best hope for a comp. It was a new arena showcase.

Mid-markets get first/second rounds frequently - Columbia, SC, and Boise have also hosted recently. With a new arena we’d definitely get NCAA tourney games imo.  

h

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1 hour ago, Icetera said:

But they were tired..  So tired.

Oh, and don't forget that they were "swinging for the singles and doubles instead the homeruns!"  I couldn't believe me ears when I hear that.  I wanted to slap somebody!

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35 minutes ago, eandslee said:

Oh, and don't forget that they were "swinging for the singles and doubles instead the homeruns!"  I couldn't believe me ears when I hear that.  I wanted to slap somebody!

I still get so angry..... 

If you're tired of doing your elected job then let someone else, and maybe it's idealistic but shouldn't we aim for and expect the best. If you aim for mediocrity then you will be lucky to even achieve that. 

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39 minutes ago, eandslee said:

Oh, and don't forget that they were "swinging for the singles and doubles instead the homeruns!"  I couldn't believe me ears when I hear that.  I wanted to slap somebody!

If anything, it's almost like we've been trying to lay down a bunt with the bases loaded, two out, bottom of the ninth and we're down by 3. 

Ummm... 

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15 hours ago, georgeglass said:

One of my big concerns with moving the arena out of downtown is the lack of synergy with the convention center. It makes no sense to me that the city let this facility go to complete waste. I worry that once Green City is built and if the casino is built in S Richmond that it takes so much business away from downtown and potential convention business. There is no reason that this area isn't a lively active district. The city failed to maintain what it already had and all of council and the mayor should be held accountable. I know Navy Hill didn't go through as the mayor planned, but shutting the coliseum should not have been an option. Lastly, even if Green City comes to fruition the citizens of this city should not be without an arena for 5 years just because council gave up.

I hear you and it's a valid concern. But let me play devil's advocate for a minute: To your point that there's 'no reason' that downtown isn't a lively/active district; actually, there IS a reason whyit's not - and it's a huge reason.

Downtown was absolutely ROCKING for (in the 20th century alone) close to 70 years before the Coliseum was built. Retail along Broad was firing on all eight cylinders (I can remember how crowded the sidewalks were alllllll the time back in the late '60s when I was really small & we'd go shopping downtown - my mom LOVED Thalhimer's and Miller & Rhoads. And that was with downtown already in decline by then. Which means that prior to then, downtown was humming for DECADES. The Financial District was always buzzing with activity and commerce. Farmers markets on 6th Street near the armory and on 17th Street in the bottom were always busy. Downtown was a happening place! 

What was the driver?

People living there. As has been discussed elsewhere on these forums, downtown had a population of about 28,000-to-29,000 as recently as the 1940s. That all changed starting in the '50s - particularly when I-95/64 decimated the northern portion of downtown's residential areas - Jackson Ward, Gilpin, etc. As recently as 20 years ago, downtown's population was only a few thousand at best. (I should have saved the articles that were quoted in the discussions on here.)

When I was in undergrad at VCU in the early-mid '80s, my urban planning professors stated unequivocally that it was absolutely critical for downtown to have a population of AT LEAST 30,000 residents - and preferably significantly more than that - for it to be a vibrant, thriving, 24/7 location. The 30K figure was merely a baseline. The larger the downtown population, the better.

Fast forward to today - with downtown's population definitely on the rise, having rebounded from almost ghost-town status - things are starting to move. The key to downtown coming into its own is people. Not just visitors/tourists/concert/sports/show goers... but residents. 

With that in mind, I've started becoming increasingly okay with a new arena moving out to Green City. While having a sports venue downtown is great - and yes a lot of cities have moved back in that direction - there are still plenty others which don't have an arena in the middle of downtown, particularly connected with the convention center. Here in Chicago, McCormick Place is the big downtown (really it's south of downtown) convention center. But there is no arena attached to it at all. It sits pretty much by itself on Lake Shore Drive (there are nearby hotels and residential developments). Yes - Soldier Field is nearby (not IMMEDIATELY nearby, however) ... but how often is Soldier Field an active venue for anything? Perhaps 8 weeks of the year in the fall and winter? Maybe a few big-name concerts in the summer? And the nearest indoor arena - the United Center - is quite a few miles away on Madison Street on the West Side.

And yet ... the convention center (well, pre-pandemic anyway) was constantly booked for events - all year round. The annual car show(s) ... comic con ... you name it. Stuff was happening at the convention center ALLLLLLLLLL the time. Most of what sits near McCormick Place is either hotel (lots of rooms), some mixed use, some office, and a LOT of highrise residential.

What's the takeaway? Maybe jettisoning the Coliseum isn't such a bad thing after all. We'll still get our arena - okay, it'll be in Green City. Fine! It's not like RVA has DC-level traffic to thwart efforts of folks going to and from - or for out of town folks coming to, say, major college basketball tournament games, to trek downtown. ALL OF THAT SPACE currently occupied by city-owned buildings - all of which the city is actively unloading/looking to unload - once freed up, could -- and should - be the garden in which developers come and plant a bumper crop of residential buildings - specifically high-density highrise buildings. As one city planner noted - for Richmond -- being a landlocked city -- to really grow as it really should, there is only one direction to go - and that direction is UP! New development must go VERTICAL! Imagine block after block of clusters of high-density residential buildings of varying heights - hopefully plenty of them quite tall. Imagine planting a few major convention hotels immediately around the convention center (that 23-story Hyatt Regency is STILL on my "must-have" list - only I want it more like 40 stories tall!!) ... And hopefully, this spurs other high-density, highrise residential development downtown - particularly in Monroe Ward, where an ocean of surface parking has been crying out for decades to be converted into a dense forest of highrise residential buildings.

I'm becoming increasingly convinced that an arena downtown may not be the highest and best use for those blocks. High-density residential development - which can and will support a LOT of other things - retail, restaurants, clubs, theaters, just to name a few - is the key to downtown's future. Let's get downtown's population back up to 30,000 - and push for 40,000 ... and 50,000 even! THEN we will see what kind of an amazing part of the city downtown can really be.

Edited by I miss RVA
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7 hours ago, georgeglass said:

One of my big concerns with moving the arena out of downtown is the lack of synergy with the convention center. It makes no sense to me that the city let this facility go to complete waste. I worry that once Green City is built and if the casino is built in S Richmond that it takes so much business away from downtown and potential convention business. There is no reason that this area isn't a lively active district. The city failed to maintain what it already had and all of council and the mayor should be held accountable. I know Navy Hill didn't go through as the mayor planned, but shutting the coliseum should not have been an option. Lastly, even if Green City comes to fruition the citizens of this city should not be without an arena for 5 years just because council gave up.

I am with you 100%.  
 

I am ill that a major arena for our region and state will not be in the core of the city.  This will inconvenience residents and visitors alike.  
 

I envy the synergy that can be found in cities like Charlotte and DC when events are happening.  It helps hospitality and retail alike.  

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On 7/12/2021 at 1:16 PM, Richmonopoly said:

I am with you 100%.  
 

I am ill that a major arena for our region and state will not be in the core of the city.  This will inconvenience residents and visitors alike.  
 

I envy the synergy that can be found in cities like Charlotte and DC when events are happening.  It helps hospitality and retail alike.  

There are a few advantages that Charlotte has and has had over Richmond in being able to build and support a major downtown arena & stadium. Perhaps the most important among them is the fact that Charlotte did not have a deep, well-defined, built-out urban core like Richmond has. Yes -- there have been buildings that have needed to be knocked down, and streets/roads reconfigured. But downtown Charlotte has been growing relatively holistically for the last 30-plus years. It's been able to do that mainly because there was not much of a traditional legacy urban center that had to be worked around or incorporated into development. I remember one of the first times I visited Charlotte in the late '80s - the Panthers were not in existence yet - nor was Bank of America Stadium. The 60-story BoA tower was just under construction - and the Hornets had started in the NBA - but were playing in the old Charlotte Coliseum, several miles away from what is now "Uptown Charlotte".  I remember seeing old buildings being demolished - and signs for shiny, new towers situated at various points around downtown. Over the years, that "painters canvas" has been something akin to a live-action version of "City Skylines" - where the city and developers have been able to work to grow downtown Charlotte in a way that makes sense in terms of integrating very well the various sports venues they have there. Having MAJOR LEAGUE professional teams - the NBA and NFL - is HUGE in terms of the draw of people downtown during events. It absolutely works in Charlotte in ways that are not necessarily so workable in Richmond.

So Charlotte has enjoyed a more open/available painters canvas for development. Richmond, on the other hand, has enjoyed a very strong legacy urban core/footprint, both downtown and more broadly across other parts of the city (something Charlotte has NEVER had). But because Richmond has lacked a sufficient downtown population (that had been on a precipitous decline for DECADES since its zenith in the 1940s) -and because it has been so EXTREMELY car-centric as a result, clearing out land from the hard urban core downtown and plunking an arena surrounded by a sea of parking lots - didn't build any kind of synergy at all for the area-  and certainly nothing  similar to the way the current sports venues do in Charlotte. Part of it was certainly attributable to straight-up poor design. A big, round coliseum sitting in the middle of a grid-street system simply lent itself to being secluded and set apart - particularly since there was little of anything north of Broad for it to connect to. Unlike Charlotte, Richmond was already well established in the fashion of a more traditional Northeastern city. Yet, locating the Coliseum north of a slowly withering retail core amidst parking lots and government buildings was not the way to build any kind of momentum for that part of downtown. Basically, it was shoehorning a round peg into a square hole. It really didn't work. I can recall even as a kid going to Virginia Squires and Richmond Robins games in 1971 and for the successive years that both franchises played games at the Coliseum wondering exactly why the area seemed SO desolate. Like - it wasn't connected to ANYTHING. Well, that's because it WASN'T. When I was older - in undergrad at VCU - and attended (and eventually, even covered for both the school paper and for the AP) VCU games at the Coliseum - and even later, attending Richmond Renegades games - I had the same sinking sense of the Coliseum feeling so "cut off" from the rest of downtown. Even the failed Sixth Street Marketplace did little to fix that.

For downtown sports venues to work - they have to be built into the fabric of their surrounding urban environment. It works in places like Charlotte and Raleigh - because the venues have been built while the urban fabric itself has been in the process of being woven together. Richmond's urban fabric, on the other hand, was established long before any sports arenas would be built downtown. Not only that, I would tend to think that Uptown's borders are somewhat fluid - obviously there is tremendous new development happening in all quarters of the district. A big plus too is that even though Charlotte was/is car-centric, there has been plenty of residential development - much of it vertical -in the immediate downtown area - and the city has been enjoying its own burgeoning light rail system (something MANY of us here on these forums wish would happen in Richmond). On the other hand, Richmond's downtown borders are hard fixed - downtown (like the city as a whole) is landlocked. (And city planners have recently addressed this in advocating for VERTICAL development.)

From an urban design standpoint, the NH project got a LOT of things right. It integrated an arena CORRECTLY into a brand new urban fabric that would mesh well with and enhance the existing urban core. It included mixed use, highrise office, highrise hotel, high-density and highrise residential. In essence, it was a holistic approach that was more compact and more concise than - but not unlike - what Charlotte has been doing for at least the past 35 years. Obviously the biggest stumbling block was money - who would pay for all of it.

Can a sports arena be an asset downtown? Absolutely!! Something with the kind of good, deep, comprehensive design that was demonstrated in the NH project can integrate a sports venue very well into downtown. Would I like to see something like a new Coliseum downtown? Of course! A big part of me laments even the thought of an arena going to the suburbs. But the bigger question would be - how would something like that ever come to pass strictly via private development? The likelihood is that it won't. At least not here. Not now. Grow Richmond and get her bigger -- a LOT bigger - and that might happen. But then again, by that time, it may not even be necessary - because downtown just might be humming along just fine without it... just like she did for most of the 71 years (of the 20th century) prior to the Coliseum's opening.

Just my two cents from the devil's advocate files.

Edited by I miss RVA
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22 hours ago, georgeglass said:

I still get so angry..... 

If you're tired of doing your elected job then let someone else, and maybe it's idealistic but shouldn't we aim for and expect the best. If you aim for mediocrity then you will be lucky to even achieve that. 

If one aim for mediocrity, then one have no business sitting that seat (or any of that matter).

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3 hours ago, DalWill said:

If one aim for mediocrity, then one have no business sitting that seat (or any of that matter).

Still waiting on that promised second Dominion Tower that was to finance the whole thing....

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22 hours ago, vaceltic said:

Still waiting on that promised second Dominion Tower that was to finance the whole thing....

Don't hold your breath. I shudder to think just how long we'll continue waiting.

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5 hours ago, I miss RVA said:

I shudder to think just how long we'll continue waiting.

Remember the lawyer who suggested a couple weeks ago to turn the Coliseum into an outdoor theater? Let’s view the Dominion implosion pit as an opportunity. If we get a good rain, it’s a nice public swimming pool.

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14 hours ago, DowntownCoruscant said:

Remember the lawyer who suggested a couple weeks ago to turn the Coliseum into an outdoor theater? Let’s view the Dominion implosion pit as an opportunity. If we get a good rain, it’s a nice public swimming pool.

Taking the term "Olympic-size" swimming pool to an all-new level!

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Items  that bug me about the 2 projects in Henrico - The Sports Complex at VCC and then the arena at Parham.

They're right there next to 95, seemingly visible from the interstate and both locations are where the density starts in earnest as you approach the city, the plots of land are just off to the side of the interstate.

But, both locations have a decent tree buffer and will likely never be that visible and will probably be driven by and never seen or best case, oblique views in winter.  

I've settled with the fact, in particular the arena,  that it's not downtown, but seeing a mass of buildings, etc., as you approach,  sure would go a long way to creating a dense urban corridor.

Unfortunately, I believe it may just be a sign "next right" Arena and some trees or if we're lucky, a building is tall enough to see the top of it, and that's too bad...

Maybe I'm wrong and hope so, perhaps there's some tree pruning coming with it to allow views into these.  

 

Edited by Hike
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1 hour ago, eandslee said:

I gotta say that I feel the same exact way!  How is it that these outstanding facilities will be completely hidden by the foliage that lines I-95?!  What a travesty!  Seriously!  The only thing you might see of Green City driving down the interstate may be a high rise that is proposed near the arena (while great, it's somewhat anti-climatic).  I hope, like you Hike, that they knock down a lot of trees so that you can see these buildings from the Interstate.  It's a form of advertisement to actually see the building IMO.  If they do or don't remove the trees, I can still visualize a large "smart board" type sign on the Interstate advertising the next major events...but actually seeing the building puts out a sort of presence that would give some credence to Richmond.

Agreed on all points 100%. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
19 minutes ago, 123fakestreet said:

https://richmondbizsense.com/2021/08/05/greencity-developers-file-rezoning-request-for-2-3b-project/

 

Green City moving forward.

I've said this before but this is just such a colossal failure by the city and region, project could have been downtown.  Navy Hill was a great project, unbelievable how the NIMBYs killed it with their misinformation campaign and City Council bungled it away.

I’m still pissed off about it!!!

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58 minutes ago, 123fakestreet said:

https://richmondbizsense.com/2021/08/05/greencity-developers-file-rezoning-request-for-2-3b-project/

 

Green City moving forward.

I've said this before but this is just such a colossal failure by the city and region, project could have been downtown.  Navy Hill was a great project, unbelievable how the NIMBYs killed it with their misinformation campaign and City Council bungled it away.

Misinformation? Still waiting for Dominion to start building their second tower that was promised...

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