I haven’t really blogged about the Renegades’ impending demise because I said most of it when the Braves left town.
But, at least, I’m not the only one saying it – Richmond simply isn’t a sports town. This city does not support pro sports unless it’s played in Washington. It supports local colleges, and the ones with alumni to spare. But pro sports? Not so much. That’s why the only hope for the next baseball team in Richmond is to be the Nats’ farm club. Without that connection, the team simply won’t succeed.
So the fade of the Renegades is no surprise.
There aren’t enough hockey fans in town. And a good number of them are more likely watching NHL Centre Ice than trying to find a parking spot near the Big Brown Truck. And who can blame them?
The reality is that the Richmond Coliseum is a relic. The location is better suited to the business park that’s grown around it (and taken almost all of the parking). There’s far more value in a couple more office buildings on that land. So what needs to be done, and it’s the only thing that will save hockey (and indoor football, and the circus, and those summer-long Jehovah’s Witnesses conventions) for the long term is finding a way to trade the Coliseum property for a site for a new arena… and then, somehow, finding the money to build it. Yes, that’s the stumbling block.
Too bad nobody’s thinking of bundling the replacement for the Diamond with a replacement for the Coliseum.
Of course, it won’t happen. I would not be at all surprised, in my lifetime, if Richmond’s “arena” was the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. The Coliseum will wear out, and won’t be replaced. You heard it here first.