7,500-capacity riverfront amphitheater planned for downtown Tredegar hillside

An eastward view of the amphitheater as it would appear on the hillside between Tredegar and NewMarket Corp. (Rendering courtesy of 3North)

The centuries-old stonework at Historic Tredegar could soon form the framework for Richmond’s version of Red Rocks.

Plans are in motion for a 7,500-capacity amphitheater on the hillside behind the Tredegar Iron Works complex on the downtown riverfront.

The outdoor venue, which would host concerts as well as community events, would be fitted between Tredegar and the filled-in portion of the Kanawha Canal, which follows a curve in the hillside that forms an amphitheater-shaped footprint.

Behind the proposal is a group led by Coran Capshaw, a music industry executive and Virginia native who’s involved in the ownership or management of similar venues across the country and got his start managing the Dave Mathews Band, a role he continues today.

Capshaw led the development of the Charlottesville Pavilion, the 3,500-seat amphitheater on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall that was renamed Ting Pavilion last year. His Red Light Management group, headquartered in Charlottesville, also co-manages the 6,800-capacity Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tennessee.

Capshaw’s Red Light Ventures would lease around 4 acres of the Tredegar parcel from owner NewMarket Corp., which is headquartered atop the adjacent Gambles Hill property. NewMarket would retain ownership of the site through a long-term lease with Red Light, which would be responsible for funding and developing the amphitheater project.

Bruce Hazelgrove, NewMarket’s chief administrative officer, described the project as in keeping with the company’s long-term vision for its hillside campus, which has attracted development interest over the years.

The hillside site as it appears today from Second Street. (Jonathan Spiers photos)

“The company has been on portions of this site for 135 years, and we’ve been committed to making it a safe, beautiful, vibrant riverfront for all of these years,” Hazelgrove said, listing efforts such as its restoration of Tredegar and development of the nearby Foundry Park site, where CoStar Group is now based and is planning a new high-rise.

“All of these things add up, and this project is just one more step in fulfilling our vision for the riverfront,” Hazelgrove said. “It’s going to be an amazing asset for the community, and I believe it will be one of the coolest venues in this entire region if we can pull it off.”

The project has been five years in the making. Hazelgrove said discussions with the group came about as it was searching for suitable sites across Richmond. Sites considered included Brown’s Island, which was deemed to be too narrow, and the nearby Tredegar Green hillside site, which hosts a stage for the annual Richmond Folk Festival and once was floated for a smaller amphitheater project.

“They preferred to be downtown and they were looking at a site not downtown,” Hazelgrove said. “I asked them, ‘If y’all want to be down here on the river, why aren’t you looking on the river?’ One thing led to another, and we landed where we are.”

The venue, referred to as the Richmond Amphitheater, would consist of a covered main stage framed against Tredegar, with three sections of fixed seating, pit seating and a lawn providing a total capacity of 7,500. Group representatives compared the venue in size to Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater and the Live Oak Bank Pavilion in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The representatives, who asked not to be named in this story, would not provide a cost estimate for the project but said the amphitheater would be similar in scale to Wilmington’s Live Oak Bank Pavilion, which opened last year and cost upwards of $30 million.

Tredegar’s existing Company Store building, a one-story structure closer to Fifth Street, would be used as the venue’s box office, and the towpath beside the filled-in canal would be turned into a walkway with entrances off Fifth and Brown’s Island Way. Existing parking is expected to accommodate the venue.

The existing Company Store building would be used as the venue’s box office.

The venue would also showcase the site’s historic features, including stonework along the canal and other ruins on the site that would be preserved, said Jay Hugo, whose 3North design firm is the architect on the project. 3North was also involved with the Tredegar restoration that created the American Civil War Museum and offices where the firm was once based.

“Not only is it on the riverfront, but it has some of the most dramatic views of the city skyline,” Hugo said of the site. “We really want to capitalize on that and knit it into its setting.”

Hugo added, “It’s going to be a modern building that really does celebrate the energy and the momentum of the city, but it’s also going to be knitted into this historic context. So, it’s going to be sympathetic to all these existing structures and very thoughtful about how it integrates with the site.”

The group is aiming to open the venue by May of 2024, a timeframe that they said would require construction to start by Thanksgiving this year. The site is zoned DCC Downtown Civic and Cultural District, which the city code describes as intended for large spaces or buildings meant for public assembly.

The group said the project would not require rezoning or special-use approvals from the city, though it would still require building permits and other reviews that have gained a reputation for slow turnaround times in Richmond.

The representatives and Hazelgrove stressed that they would need the city’s support to meet their 2024 goal. The group said they met with city officials last week for a pre-application meeting to present the project.

“We’re going to have to have a lot of support from the city,” Hazelgrove said. “Absent their support, I’m not sure that we’re going to be able to pull it off in 2024.”

NewMarket’s headquarters building atop the adjacent Gambles Hill property.

The group said it has also presented the project to Venture Richmond, which puts on the folk festival, Friday Cheers and other events around the site.

The representatives said Venture Richmond is supportive of the amphitheater. Venture Richmond CEO Lisa Sims could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

The group said the amphitheater is intended to be used by the folk festival and other community events. They said it could also serve as a type of town square and would have flexibility to host 10,000 people or more. The site would also provide room for potential expansion.

The group expects to host 25-35 concerts per year. Concerts would be put on by Starr Hill Presents, Red Light’s promotional arm. Red Light Management is a primary owner of Starr Hill Brewery, which has an outpost in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition neighborhood.

Naming rights would be an option for the venue. The group expects to enlist contractor Martin Horn, a Charlottesville-based firm that built the amphitheater there.

The group plans to launch a website with more information about the project in the coming days.

With a capacity for 7,500, the group said the amphitheater would meet demand from musical acts that currently pass over Richmond for other venues in Charlottesville, Virginia Beach and Northern Virginia.

Richmond’s Altria Theater seats 3,500, while The National’s capacity is 1,500. The Richmond Coliseum, which used to host larger acts, is shuttered and in line for demolition.

The amphitheater would be the second to be built on the hillside beside the Lee Bridge. Uphill and across Second Street, the Virginia War Memorial added a small amphitheater as part of a $26 million expansion completed in 2020. The Red Light group said their venue would not obstruct that amphitheater’s views.

An eastward view of the amphitheater as it would appear on the hillside between Tredegar and NewMarket Corp. (Rendering courtesy of 3North)

The centuries-old stonework at Historic Tredegar could soon form the framework for Richmond’s version of Red Rocks.

Plans are in motion for a 7,500-capacity amphitheater on the hillside behind the Tredegar Iron Works complex on the downtown riverfront.

The outdoor venue, which would host concerts as well as community events, would be fitted between Tredegar and the filled-in portion of the Kanawha Canal, which follows a curve in the hillside that forms an amphitheater-shaped footprint.

Behind the proposal is a group led by Coran Capshaw, a music industry executive and Virginia native who’s involved in the ownership or management of similar venues across the country and got his start managing the Dave Mathews Band, a role he continues today.

Capshaw led the development of the Charlottesville Pavilion, the 3,500-seat amphitheater on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall that was renamed Ting Pavilion last year. His Red Light Management group, headquartered in Charlottesville, also co-manages the 6,800-capacity Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tennessee.

Capshaw’s Red Light Ventures would lease around 4 acres of the Tredegar parcel from owner NewMarket Corp., which is headquartered atop the adjacent Gambles Hill property. NewMarket would retain ownership of the site through a long-term lease with Red Light, which would be responsible for funding and developing the amphitheater project.

Bruce Hazelgrove, NewMarket’s chief administrative officer, described the project as in keeping with the company’s long-term vision for its hillside campus, which has attracted development interest over the years.

The hillside site as it appears today from Second Street. (Jonathan Spiers photos)

“The company has been on portions of this site for 135 years, and we’ve been committed to making it a safe, beautiful, vibrant riverfront for all of these years,” Hazelgrove said, listing efforts such as its restoration of Tredegar and development of the nearby Foundry Park site, where CoStar Group is now based and is planning a new high-rise.

“All of these things add up, and this project is just one more step in fulfilling our vision for the riverfront,” Hazelgrove said. “It’s going to be an amazing asset for the community, and I believe it will be one of the coolest venues in this entire region if we can pull it off.”

The project has been five years in the making. Hazelgrove said discussions with the group came about as it was searching for suitable sites across Richmond. Sites considered included Brown’s Island, which was deemed to be too narrow, and the nearby Tredegar Green hillside site, which hosts a stage for the annual Richmond Folk Festival and once was floated for a smaller amphitheater project.

“They preferred to be downtown and they were looking at a site not downtown,” Hazelgrove said. “I asked them, ‘If y’all want to be down here on the river, why aren’t you looking on the river?’ One thing led to another, and we landed where we are.”

The venue, referred to as the Richmond Amphitheater, would consist of a covered main stage framed against Tredegar, with three sections of fixed seating, pit seating and a lawn providing a total capacity of 7,500. Group representatives compared the venue in size to Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater and the Live Oak Bank Pavilion in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The representatives, who asked not to be named in this story, would not provide a cost estimate for the project but said the amphitheater would be similar in scale to Wilmington’s Live Oak Bank Pavilion, which opened last year and cost upwards of $30 million.

Tredegar’s existing Company Store building, a one-story structure closer to Fifth Street, would be used as the venue’s box office, and the towpath beside the filled-in canal would be turned into a walkway with entrances off Fifth and Brown’s Island Way. Existing parking is expected to accommodate the venue.

The existing Company Store building would be used as the venue’s box office.

The venue would also showcase the site’s historic features, including stonework along the canal and other ruins on the site that would be preserved, said Jay Hugo, whose 3North design firm is the architect on the project. 3North was also involved with the Tredegar restoration that created the American Civil War Museum and offices where the firm was once based.

“Not only is it on the riverfront, but it has some of the most dramatic views of the city skyline,” Hugo said of the site. “We really want to capitalize on that and knit it into its setting.”

Hugo added, “It’s going to be a modern building that really does celebrate the energy and the momentum of the city, but it’s also going to be knitted into this historic context. So, it’s going to be sympathetic to all these existing structures and very thoughtful about how it integrates with the site.”

The group is aiming to open the venue by May of 2024, a timeframe that they said would require construction to start by Thanksgiving this year. The site is zoned DCC Downtown Civic and Cultural District, which the city code describes as intended for large spaces or buildings meant for public assembly.

The group said the project would not require rezoning or special-use approvals from the city, though it would still require building permits and other reviews that have gained a reputation for slow turnaround times in Richmond.

The representatives and Hazelgrove stressed that they would need the city’s support to meet their 2024 goal. The group said they met with city officials last week for a pre-application meeting to present the project.

“We’re going to have to have a lot of support from the city,” Hazelgrove said. “Absent their support, I’m not sure that we’re going to be able to pull it off in 2024.”

NewMarket’s headquarters building atop the adjacent Gambles Hill property.

The group said it has also presented the project to Venture Richmond, which puts on the folk festival, Friday Cheers and other events around the site.

The representatives said Venture Richmond is supportive of the amphitheater. Venture Richmond CEO Lisa Sims could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

The group said the amphitheater is intended to be used by the folk festival and other community events. They said it could also serve as a type of town square and would have flexibility to host 10,000 people or more. The site would also provide room for potential expansion.

The group expects to host 25-35 concerts per year. Concerts would be put on by Starr Hill Presents, Red Light’s promotional arm. Red Light Management is a primary owner of Starr Hill Brewery, which has an outpost in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition neighborhood.

Naming rights would be an option for the venue. The group expects to enlist contractor Martin Horn, a Charlottesville-based firm that built the amphitheater there.

The group plans to launch a website with more information about the project in the coming days.

With a capacity for 7,500, the group said the amphitheater would meet demand from musical acts that currently pass over Richmond for other venues in Charlottesville, Virginia Beach and Northern Virginia.

Richmond’s Altria Theater seats 3,500, while The National’s capacity is 1,500. The Richmond Coliseum, which used to host larger acts, is shuttered and in line for demolition.

The amphitheater would be the second to be built on the hillside beside the Lee Bridge. Uphill and across Second Street, the Virginia War Memorial added a small amphitheater as part of a $26 million expansion completed in 2020. The Red Light group said their venue would not obstruct that amphitheater’s views.

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Jeff Ensley
Jeff Ensley
1 month ago

Fantastic news for downtown and Richmond’s music and entertainment industry. Hope City government gets behind it and doesn’t end up stalling it indefinitely.

Will Willis
Will Willis
1 month ago

Love this with an amphitheater in the heart of downtown. I kind of wish they would have planned to build it under the bridge on Brown’s Island and restored that portion of the canal to look like the rest of the canal walk with flowing water especially with the new Costar building going up the extension of the canal walk right there would have been so beautiful. Either way this is a huge plus for downtown and the river front.

Robbie Asplund
Robbie Asplund
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Willis

That would be really incredible, but a lot of additional work would have to be done to reintroduce flow from upstream, and then rebuild one of the millraces to flow back into the Haxall. That would be one hell of an aqua-feature for the venue!

Will Willis
Will Willis
1 month ago
Reply to  Robbie Asplund

Even just build it as a large pool or fountain for the look of the canal walk and put in water agitators or fountains to prevent the water from stagnating. would be a great water feature and recycle the water so no need to pump a full flow from the river/canal back to the river/canal. Get the same look at less cost.

Katie Michelle
Katie Michelle
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Willis

Unfortunately doesn’t look like that is happening – New Market Corps filled in the historic canal with dirt and put grass over top of it. You can see the grass and the top of the canal in some of these photos.

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
1 month ago

Coupled with the smaller indoor venue of CoStar as part of its 24 story tower, this is bringing Richmond back to the Rivah.How things are changing for the better in Downtown Richmond.

Eric Viking
Eric Viking
1 month ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

Don’t scare me Bruce…I think the tower will be 26 stories unless you know otherwise. Would hate to hear that the tower was reduced in height.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
1 month ago

They’re gonna need a bigger parking deck………

Dustin Richardson
Dustin Richardson
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

Or, you know, let people get there by other means.

Matt Merica
Matt Merica
1 month ago

He was making a joke – this is from Jaws:

We’re gonna need a bigger boat

Do you follow? Sheesh

Robbie Asplund
Robbie Asplund
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

Folk Festival has been hosting larger gatherings since 2005. With safer pedestrian and bicycle access improving with the proximity of the upcoming Fall Line Trail, additional automobile parking does not need to be a consideration.

Ann Myers
Ann Myers
1 month ago
Reply to  Robbie Asplund

I respectfully disagree. Depending on where you are coming from, your mobility, kids, what time it is when you plan to return home, there are always parking issues in the city.

Chris lofgren
Chris lofgren
1 month ago
Reply to  Ann Myers

Agree 100 Percent. There is no place to park that many people! Its a 2 mile hike to be able to head to bell isle on a Saturday

Fred Squire
Fred Squire
1 month ago

I will start to count the ways the city gov will screw this up.

First up, maybe pause it for a taxpayer funded casino feasibility study at that location?

Richmond needs this desperately, I hope the City can do something right for a change and actually support those with the means and drive to better the city and leave this alone and fast track permits.

They can take the extra time they save by not nitpicking and help rebuild schools.

Michael M. Garrett
Michael M. Garrett
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred Squire

It isn’t a city project. It’s privately funded, according to the article.
All the city has to do is stay out of the way, and expedite permits, road closures, etc.
Also, f*k the casino.

Scott Burger
Scott Burger
1 month ago

Looks like they are determined to blast remaining wildlife and longterm Oregon Hill residents out of the riverfront. This area, with James RIver Park, Belle Island, and Hollywood Cemetery, is an important place for migrating birds. Say goodbye to them. Since the 1970s, the continent has lost 3 billion birds, nearly 30% of the total, and even common birds such as sparrows and blackbirds are in decline, U.S. and Canadian researchers report this week online in Science. https://www.science.org/content/article/three-billion-north-american-birds-have-vanished-1970-surveys-show

Last edited 1 month ago by Scott Burger
Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Burger

Another good reason for the city or state to buy Mayo Island and turn it into a passive recreation and wildlife refuge.

Scott Burger
Scott Burger
1 month ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

Bruce, you just don’t get it.

Scott Burger
Scott Burger
1 month ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

If you split up these natural areas, they lose their resilience and draw for the wildlife and birds. But you all only care about business and real estate and you figure its a public problem, hence the government’s problem, and private corporations bear no responsibility. You all are idiots.

Last edited 1 month ago by Scott Burger
Scott Burger
Scott Burger
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Burger

It is also about the noise levels and human activity. We knew this area was going to get developed somehow, but an amphitheater is really harmful.

Justin W Ranson
Justin W Ranson
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Burger

More harmful than a concrete jungle? Not hardly.

Matt Merica
Matt Merica
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Burger

By all means, please chain yourself to the nearest tree or bird in protest

Peter James
Peter James
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Burger

With all due respect, Mr. Burger, please open your eyes. You live in a CITY. Not some backwater wide spot in the middle of southwest Virginia. But an actual CITY. And CITIES are known for their “noise and human activity”. If you don’t want the noise and human activity, there are plenty of places wayyyyy out in the country, well beyond the sprawl of the metro area, where you can find peace, quiet and solitude. But you choose to live in a CITY. And I’m sorry — but whether you like it nor not, CITIES come with CITY LIFE. That’s… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Peter James
Lee Thomas
Lee Thomas
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter James

I wouldn’t encourage him/anyone to go live in the country or the burbs if they care about preserving wildlife habitats. That kind of human outmigration just leads to more wildlife habitat destruction, no? Seems better to build closely and densely if we want to preserve natural land.

Jamie Ficor
Jamie Ficor
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Burger

If you would like for others to see your point of view, you might want to think about not calling everyone idiots. I am sorry that the world does not rotate around your precious Oregon Hill. I’m sure the birds are still unhappy when they lost their habitat to your neighborhood a century ago.

Joey perry
Joey perry
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Burger

Hey man I mean no disrespect to you I know you love nature and I know you love your oasis of a neighborhood but are you always this miserable? I’ve seen your comments for years and I’ve got to say you may want to find some other means of happiness because it makes the others that much more depressed hearing you whine and complain all the time what you don’t like and then call out everyone like we are a bunch of morons. A lot of people need to cut that crap out. The im right and your wrong so… Read more »

Thomas Nelson
Thomas Nelson
1 month ago
Reply to  Joey perry

It’s not only miserable but it’s also dishonest, most NIMBYs don’t actually care about wildlife, nature, the planet, etc. If they truly did they’d be out fighting suburban sprawl and car culture. Yet ironically most of the NIMBY comments here are talking about ‘what about parking’ and ‘habitat destruction’.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Burger

This is Richmond BIZSENSE, not Richmond Virtue Signal or an environmentalist site — you want to do something good, give some money to the Nature Conservatory, like my wife does occasionally.

Justin W Ranson
Justin W Ranson
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Burger

This is why we can’t have nice things. The birds will be fine. 35 concerts a year out of 365 days won’t interfere too much.

Steve Fox
Steve Fox
1 month ago

I was gonna say the same thing. smh. Sadly enough, the loudest minority usually wins

Jamie Ficor
Jamie Ficor
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Burger

We’re talking about converting an no-tree open grass lot that gets mowed to an amphitheater. I’m no biologist, but I’m gonna make a bet that this is not going to be a major incremental contributor to avian habitat loss.

Matt Faris
Matt Faris
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Burger

That’s an average of ONE BIRD per every three acres per year.

Denis Etonach
Denis Etonach
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Burger

I understand your concerns. The truth is that for most bird species, lawns like the ones currently at this site are almost the equivalent of pavement. That’s why you see the #nolawns movement growing.

If this project were to incorporate an abundance of native planting in its landscaping, it would be a win for wildlife.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 month ago
Reply to  Denis Etonach

Yeah, I have never been a fan of most lawns…

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Burger

Scott what the Hell is wrong with you? You seem to hate people who actually get stuff done in a very small minded way. I’ve been up the James River all the way past Lynchburg and let me tell you: There is PLENTY of undeveloped land on the James — developing this site is not going to keep birds, or hipsters, away from the River — I have been back there and it is nothing special other than some historic junk and bumps and stuff. Building stuff in a city (and NOT on the river, even) is not the sort… Read more »

Dr. Abe C. Gomez
Dr. Abe C. Gomez
1 month ago

Glad to see this idea moving forward! I saw it on paper a few months back and thought is was a great plan.

Chris Roberts
Chris Roberts
1 month ago

Parking! Weekend river goer’s can’t find parking now. Can’t wait for for another 7.500 to descend downtown looking for parking!

Robbie Asplund
Robbie Asplund
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Roberts

Oh my gosh, it’s like we’ve never ever done a festival along the riverfront before…!

God forbid people have to walk a few blocks or *gasp* take public transit…

Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Robbie Asplund

“A festival” and 24-25 a year are very different. So yes, exactly, parking is an issue.

Michelle Reynolds
Michelle Reynolds
1 month ago

Parking is an interesting consideration for a 7500 seat venue. The example cites similar amphitheaters built in Wilmington NC and Nashville TN. The Nashville one is just across a pedestrian bridge from all the parking at the Tennessee Titans football stadium. So it had a built-in advantage not present at the RVA site. I’ll never be one of those people who rage about parking for a small urban infill residential or commercial project in a city. But for a regional amenity intended to attract many thousands of suburbanites the continued lack of displaying any forethought for parking for Navy Hill,… Read more »

Chris Crews
Chris Crews
1 month ago

Having been here in RVA for over 30 years, and having attended many riverfront events each year, I’ve never had a huge issue with parking. Is it as easy as the parking deck next to The National or the lot across from The Carpenter? Nope. But you bike in, carpool, Uber, or find someplace to park. Think bigger.

Michelle Reynolds
Michelle Reynolds
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Crews

Chris – I would probably Uber since I am only 3 miles from the site. But when we are talking about 7500 people coming from around the entire region you’re being naive if you think providing no parking is just fine. My main concern is that this project gets fast tracked with no parking planned and then down the line backroom crony capitalism deals have the city financing or subsidizing $80 million dollar parking garages. If the facility will need additional parking to operate it should be planned for upfront and the developer should fund it rather than pass the… Read more »

Michelle Reynolds
Michelle Reynolds
1 month ago

I will also say that planning for parking could potentially be as simple as Red Light Ventures demonstrating a firm agreement with the parking operator of the nearby office buildings that their garages will be available for paid parking during weekend events and marked with appropriate signage.

But having no plan or forethought is not acceptable.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
1 month ago

We need to get rid of parking minimums. This venue is less than a mile far from thousands of parking spots, thousands of downtown residents, and multiple mass transit lines. It would make sense for this area or the vendor to coordinate with GRTC/the city for transit given the special event, but they don’t need to promise specific amounts of parking when we already have plenty of underutilized parking as is.

Michelle Reynolds
Michelle Reynolds
1 month ago

Getting rid of parking minimums for a commercial space or a 10-unit apartment building is one thing. Acting like a 7500 capacity venue or a 10000 baseball stadium needs no parking plan in this city is just being willfully ignorant. And I say this as someone who lived totally car free in my late 20’s in downtown DC for 6 years… And just to highlight you’re naivete a bit. You tout that downtown has thousands of residents? What does that prove in the context of a live music venue? How big a population do you think a venue needs to… Read more »

Arnold Hager
Arnold Hager
1 month ago

I like what you say. The way I see it is this is intended more for the VCU crowd. In Spring/Fall, they can easily walk down from their dorms/fan apts. Sounds like a fun time. As for the summertime, that’s a whole different story. It might work. I’m old enough to remember The Cherry Blossom Festival at Richmond’s City Stadium. That did not work so well. lol.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
30 days ago

Michelle, it’s funny how you cite living in DC and say we need to approach this like a suburb instead of advocating for being more car-free like you claim to have been (and yet I’m the Naive one? Haha). we cannot solve a parking issue by always building more parking. We need to seek out transit options, improve walkability, and let the free market provide needed parking. Have you ever been to the Folk Festival? We have a shuttle, we have people walking from all over downtown, and we seem to make it work. I agree parking isn’t always convenient… Read more »

Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
1 month ago

The anti parking sentiment shared across the city is perplexing, and frankly illogical. Thanks for pointing it out with detailed examples.

Thomas Nelson
Thomas Nelson
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashley Smith

Anti parking sentiment shouldn’t be surprising given this is an urban area, not a suburban area. Too much surface area is dedicated to automobiles, be it storing them or driving them. It’s a result of the sorry planning policies of the mid-20th century. Only now are we just starting to reverse it. Improving public transit and access to alternative transportation modes would be a good start

Jackson Joyner
Jackson Joyner
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Nelson

Yes. Hopefully the Pulse will run past there.

Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Jackson Joyner

The pulse. Which has zero commuter parking spots associated with it. Genius.

Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Nelson

Thomas, we built a 7 mile bus system and allocated/built zero parking spots for the project. So dumb. I love to not use my car, but living downtown for 18 years has also allowed me to live the parking nightmare and it’s very clear that those who downgrade the need for parking visit the city, they don’t actually live and work here. We love our visitors, but come on now, we still need parking.

karl hott
karl hott
1 month ago

Oregon Hill residents probably won’t support this.

Justin W Ranson
Justin W Ranson
1 month ago
Reply to  karl hott

Not really much they can do about it- This would be a by-right project. Since there is no re-zoning or special use permit required.

Brett Hunnicutt
Brett Hunnicutt
1 month ago
Reply to  karl hott

I live in Oregon Hill and can’t wait to walk to more concerts! Perhaps the traffic on Belvidere will be enough of an insulator to those worried about the noise pollution.

Bruce Anderson
Bruce Anderson
1 month ago

This looks like a great project! A little small, at about 75% of the size of Red Rocks, but probably big enough to bring some decent acts to RVA.

Jeff Stein
Jeff Stein
1 month ago

All this talk about needing more parking. Richmond doesn’t have a parking problem, it has a walking problem.

Mark White
Mark White
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff Stein

Amen to that…a little walking will not hurt anyone. There’s plenty of parking garages in the city…besides, park your car and hop on the GRTC to downtown.

Brett Hunnicutt
Brett Hunnicutt
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff Stein

It’s a lttle difficult to walk to the river with your kayak under your arm. I can understand not having capacity parking for concerts, but something must be done about those looking to enjoy the river. They don’t take the chain off the parking area until 9am, so you can’t even go before work. The whole thing is ridiculous.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
1 month ago

What you say is valid but it’s not related to this amphitheater, which doesn’t need new/amphitheater specific parking. We have too much parking downtown as is.

Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
1 month ago

It is related because they would most definitely be sharing the minimal parking spots that exist.

Andrew Pike
Andrew Pike
1 month ago

Will be interesting to see what the National Park Service thinks about this right in the backyard of Tredegar.

Brian Glass
Brian Glass
1 month ago

Adequate parking for 7500 people? I don’t think so. Unlike the Folk Festival where people come and go people will arrive and leave close to the same times for a concert. The Flying Squirrels average about 6300 per game with surface parking at the present time. This venue will have the same issue with parking that a replacement for the Diamond will have. Parking decks are choke points for concert goers, as well as baseball games.

Jeff Stein
Jeff Stein
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

There are plenty of parking garages sitting empty after working hours in downtown AND at VCU that people could walk from, ASIDE from all of the on-street parking available on practically every downtown street.

People should stop being lazy and WALK a quarter-mile. It IS possible.

Michael P Morgan-Dodson
Michael P Morgan-Dodson
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff Stein

It will be interesting if Co-Star and the Richmond Federal Reserve (not building but across the street) parking will be open to the public for these events.

Last edited 1 month ago by Michael P Morgan-Dodson
Brian Paller
Brian Paller
1 month ago

My wife works at the James center. I think her building would potentially play ball on offer paid parking for events on the weekend if the amphitheater made it worth their while. But I am less convinced they would want to get involved in supporting weeknight shows. Weeknights would have an early evening conflict between their primary users (office workers) and event goers. Mitigating that conflict for garages not necessarily designed for competing uses may be a headache they won’t want

Lee Gaskins
Lee Gaskins
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff Stein

I think the issue is that it’s not very clear to those who don’t go downtown often *where* to park. It’s not always clear. If you’re not used to it, you’re just not used to it! Maybe the issue isn’t the number of parking spots, but the information about where to safely park. Just an idea. All that aside, this is wonderful news! We need venues!!

Last edited 1 month ago by Lee Gaskins
Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

If people want to attend a concert they’ll figure out parking without needing it to be directly next to the venue. There are tons of parking facilities free during the evening and weekends when concerts would occur.

Michael P Morgan-Dodson
Michael P Morgan-Dodson
1 month ago

Doesn’t Virginia Credit Union Live at the Raceway seat 6,000 with additional space for lawn seating above the official count. It is also managed by AEG Live which is a national promoter. I am sorry I do NOT think acts are passing Richmond by because of 1,500 or so seats.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
1 month ago

Have you been to that venue? It has no character and it’s not in an area people want to visit.

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
1 month ago

Been to shows VaCU Live and this spot doesn’t encourage one to linger. This is not NYC. Zero restaurants, zero retail, zero zero attractions..National center closes at 5pm most days . No active attractions with any reasonable walk of the venue either; only passive spaces. People will come for the act and 95% will then go home: And this is from a user of the canal walk and TPottt.

Last edited 1 month ago by Michael Morgan-Dodson
Jackson Joyner
Jackson Joyner
1 month ago

Hunh?!?! What is “National center” and “TPott”?

Michelle Reynolds
Michelle Reynolds
1 month ago
Reply to  Jackson Joyner

TPott – T. Potterfield pedestrian bridge
National Center? I’m less clear on that one. But I’ll guess the American Civil War Museum at Tredagar Iron Works

mark brandon
mark brandon
1 month ago

… but NO fireworks, this is a park …

Rick Mangione
Rick Mangione
1 month ago
Reply to  mark brandon

I hope ther will be enough parking….

Thomas Nelson
Thomas Nelson
1 month ago

Quickly move it through before the Oregon Hill NIMBYs can get organized!

Bill Sweeney, BoundaryLess Living
Bill Sweeney, BoundaryLess Living
1 month ago

I agree with those commentors that have written what great news this is for Richmond. My fervent hope is that its designers have all eyes focused on inclusion for all. Let’s make Richmond the most livable city in the world!! #LivabilityRVA.

Bill Sweeney, CEO
BoundaryLess Living

Stan Maupin
Stan Maupin
1 month ago

If you don’t know the name, take a few minutes to learn about Coran Capshaw. Then consider whether you think he knows what he’s doing regarding all aspects of a development like this………. including parking.

Joseph Berselli
Joseph Berselli
1 month ago

What about parking?!? Wait where do the hundreds of Costar employees park? Where will the CoStar employees in the planned new tower park? Now, I don’t know perhaps CoStar could decide to sell employees monthly Monday through Friday passes since they 0 are more of a normal business hours company with free people working weekends. Then Friday evening through Sunday offer pricing to the public at some shocking price like $3 an hour like The Current in Manchester does. So concert parking could be $15-20… Honesty, the SunTrust complex on the other side of the river in Manchester should install… Read more »

Jackson Joyner
Jackson Joyner
1 month ago

I agree. This idea that now parking isn’t a factor for new development is based on fantasy. Everyone can just ride a Lime scooter to and from the next concert here?

Brian Ennis
Brian Ennis
1 month ago

Leave all this other mess to the side…. Richmond does not need another outdoor social space that is not covered.

Put a sail on it, please! I’m begging you! This is Virginia, not Saskatchewan. It’s hot. The sun is brutal. Sometimes it rains. A lot.

Please cover it!

Michelle Reynolds
Michelle Reynolds
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Ennis

You have a strong point. When they redesigned Kanawha Plaza without any shade structures that was a major head scratcher and ensured the Plaza would never reach its potential. The decision makers here don’t really understand what makes a good urban park. Its not open space for open spaces sake. Its programmed space and shade cover.

That said the other amphitheaters this company has built in Wilmington and Nashville have no covered seating. So this one definitely won’t either…

Michael M. Garrett
Michael M. Garrett
1 month ago

It’s such a shame that the city has gone to h*ll and lost so much investment and business since the precious monuments were removed from the Avenue.
lololololololololololol!!!!!!!

Flora Valdes-Dapena
Flora Valdes-Dapena
1 month ago

I’m not here to argue about parking. I’m just here to share a fun train fact: this site is also where the C&O’s 2nd Street Yard was located, which interchanged traffic with the ACL at their freight depot where the Federal Reserve Bank stands today.