Sports tourism is nothing new to Henrico County. Recreation and Parks has done a phenomenal job managing a variety of sports over the years, and the foundation is solid. The great news is that Henrico County has had an impressive increase in sports tourism which is why the newly- formalized Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority, HSEA, was created. While the authority and framework are new, it is not starting from zero. Henrico County has some incredible history that the Authority will use to help build its strategies going forward. The HSEA will retain and build onto the established framework plus develop an indoor sports tourism product. There are two ways to look at this new Authority: first, creating the Authority was the next logical step for the county to build upon the successes of what’s been done with Henrico’s outdoor facilities and sports. Second, the Authority provides a competitive opportunity to compete with other localities up and down the East Coast that have facilities similar to the new Henrico Sports & Events Center at Virginia Center Commons (VCC) and the future GreenCity Arena.
The Sports & Events Center at VCC is slated to be ready for use in the fall of 2023. It will have 12 basketball or 24 volleyball courts. This equates to 115,000-square feet of continuous playing space. This flexible space can be transformed for gymnastics, futsal, pickleball, cheerleading and much more. It will have a restaurant, lounge, meeting spaces and locker rooms. The facility will hold all Henrico County High School graduation ceremonies starting in June 2024 and beyond. This same space can be used for tradeshows and concerts with seating up to 4,500.
The HSEA is also involved in the planning stages of GreenCity, the largest ecodistrict east of the Mississippi. Plans for GreenCity include office space, housing, and a 17,000-seat arena.
The HSEA is excited to announce that Glover Park is expanding to accommodate more tournament play in the near future as well.
The Authority’s mission is to further develop and foster sports and entertainment tourism. It aims to attract local, regional and national tournaments and events to the County’s highly regarded athletic and event facilities
The website, HenricoSEA.com is currently under construction but keep an eye out for its unveiling.