‘Public liability’ keeping Richmond Coliseum’s doors closed


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As questions arise about the progress of Mayor Levar Stoney’s Navy Hill redevelopment project, 8News has learned more about why the Richmond Coliseum has been sitting empty.

It’s been six months since the Richmond Coliseum opened its doors and hosted an event. The mayor’s office told 8News the former concert venue is closed because it’s a “public liability.”

Mayor Stoney’s office said it would cost more to keep the coliseum open than closed entirely. The building reportedly needs millions of dollars in renovations to meet safety compliance and operational standards. Meanwhile, the future of redeveloping the area is unclear.

According to the city, negotiations for the proposed $1.4 billion Navy Hill project are ongoing and progressing. An attorney in Richmond recently sued the city to obtain legal documents about Navy Hill.

Stoney’s office told 8News the Navy Hill project has nothing to do with the coliseum closing.

“It’s not too much to ask for us to be absolutely sure how this thing is gonna go down,” Paul Goldman, the lawyer who sued Richmond for the Navy Hill documents, said. “Cause once you’re committed to it, you’re committed to it.”

8News was told the Richmond City Council is set to discuss applications for a planning commission for Navy Hill on Monday night.

Six months without any events at Richmond’s event venue has not gone unnoticed. In just the next two months, venues in Washington D.C., Charlottesville and Raleigh will welcome headliners like The Backstreet Boys, Cardi B and The Jonas Brothers.

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