Wheels rolling on Henrico arena
Plans for a 17,000-seat arena in Henrico County are rolling forward, now with an international operator, ASM Global, on board. The centerpiece of the $2.3 billion GreenCity development, the venue is expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2026.
Although the project’s design is being finalized, developers say it will be the nation’s greenest arena. With net-zero energy impact, the arena will capture rainwater for future use and process organic waste on-site.
Primary developer Michael Hallmark, a GreenCity Partners LLC principal, says he expects many environmentally minded music artists will be interested in performing there. Rock band Coldplay played the debut concert at Seattle’s redeveloped Climate Pledge Arena to support its green mission, and performers such as Dave Matthews, Billie Eilish and Pink have made donations to climate organizations to offset the environmental impact of their tours.
“Sustainability is without a doubt a high priority” for performers, Hallmark adds. “I think it’s more and more getting to be that way.” As a result, the arena will likely attract more big concerts, and Hallmark also expects the venue to host first- and second-round NCAA men’s basketball tournament games and possibly a local minor league hockey team.
Liam Thornton, ASM Global’s executive vice president for strategy and development, said in early February that the company “believe[s] this is an optimal location for a new arena,” as it’s right off Interstate 95 and convenient for touring shows.
Construction costs for the arena are expected to range between $350 million and $400 million, says Hallmark, who expects a “pretty substantial core” of hotels, parking areas, office and retail space to open simultaneously as part of the mixed-use development.
GreenCity’s plans include two hotels with 600 rooms, about 2.2 million square feet of office space, 280,000 square feet of retail space, 2,100 residential units and green space and plazas. The entire development is expected to be finished by 2033 or 2034.
In January, Henrico supervisors established the GreenCity Community Development Authority to issue bonds and finance public infrastructure at the 204-acre property, the site of the former Best Products corporate headquarters campus.
ASM Global manages more than 350 stadiums, arenas and other venues around the world, including Charlottesville’s John Paul Jones Arena and Richmond’s Altria Theater and Dominion Energy Center. Hallmark says while ASM’s regional presence is nice, its international reach is “even more important.”