Coliseum and homelessness
7/29/2021, 6 p.m.
Re “Where are people to go?” Free Press July 22-24 edition:
Walking around the track of Lucia Bremer Memorial Field in Henrico County to clear my mind of the somber morning news, there was one news feature I couldn’t fully set aside.
That segment reported on the future of the Richmond Coliseum in Downtown. Because the site hasn’t been utilized for the past three years, homelessness inhabits the area around the venue nowadays.
With every lap came the surge of another Coliseum memory— hanging with a compadre watching Ric Flair and “The Ma- cho Man” Randy Savage wrestling matches in the early 1970s; a first date with my now-wife at a Doobie Brothers concert in the mid-1970s; and during the 1990s seeing many other bands there, including ZZ Top and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
Of course, those nostalgic flashbacks weren’t really my troubling issue. Because the homeless are now making use of the Coliseum’s outside area, why not embrace the message of Lucia’s epitaph shrouding the field’s fence, “BE THE LIGHT,” and revamp the Coliseum as a refuge-shelter for the homeless?
However, if my suggestion of converting the Coliseum to a homeless sanctuary was actually considered a possible venture, generating any revenue would probably be unlikely. Perhaps Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson, who are attempting to outdo one another spacefaring, could be persuaded to contribute some of their ventured-capitalistic millions.
Nevertheless, a perfect opportunity has just been served those elected officials representing Richmond regarding the referendum in a master plan forecast for the Coliseum: BE THE LIGHT.