Henrico County Approves New Arena for Sports Events

GLEN ALLEN, Va. – A new arena is part of a $50-million investment that was approved by Henrico County’s board of supervisors for the Virginia Center Commons mall site in Glen Allen, near Richmond.

The proposed 220,000-square-foot, 4,500-seat indoor sports arena will be constructed on the site of the former Sears department store, which closed early in 2019. Officials cite a need for indoor space to host high school basketball and other sports tournaments, as well as local recreation sports leagues.

Henrico County estimates that the more than 170 tournaments hosted throughout the region in 2018 accounted for $54 million in local economic impact. The entire project, which also includes a hotel, would take about five years to complete, with the arena project finished by mid-2022.

In November 2019, the board authorized purchasing the 25-acre site and entered negotiations with Richmond-based constructors The Rebkee Co., which submitted an $8.3-million proposal.

Proponents say the arena could generate about $17 million in annual visitor spending. The county expects to finish the facility planning by the end of 2020, and the operator will be chosen in the first quarter of the year.