Henrico names 1st leader of new ‘Sports and Leisure Authority’3 min read
HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) – Henrico County has located its new “quarterback” to enable travel sports tourism.
Richmond Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier will be leaving his present put up after more than 10 a long time to lead the new Henrico County Sporting activities and Leisure Authority.
The county proven the plan in April of 2021.
“Dennis Bickmeier is the absolute finest man or woman to lead the new Henrico County Sporting activities and Enjoyment Authority,” explained County Supervisor John Vithoulkas. “He knows Henrico and understands how sporting occasions, concerts and other enjoyment can not only catch the attention of site visitors and gasoline our neighborhood economic system but also elevate the good quality of life for our citizens and communities.”
Bickmeier will oversee the new system focused on growing sports activities tourism and taking care of the county’s non-public-community amenities, like the 180,000 square-foot indoor sporting activities and convocation middle under construction at Virginia Center Commons.
According to Bickmeier, he’s now on the lookout for methods to use it and latest facilities.
“To knock on doorways that maybe we have not knocked on ahead of or that we have not knocked on in a very long time,” he explained. “We are likely to go out and knock on some doorways to bring gatherings here to our facilities.”
Sports activities tourism is a driving issue in Henrico’s economic system.
In 2021, inspite of minimal indoor situations due to the pandemic, the county hosted 160 tournaments, producing approximately $60 million.
“Sports tourism is a get-get for our local community,” reported Henrico County Board of Supervisors Chair Pat O’Bannon.
“What we’re searching to do with this Athletics & Enjoyment Authority is genuinely consider it to the following amount,” Vithoulkas extra.
Vithoulkas hopes the method will tap into new options.
“Concerts… the entertainment component that we’ve been missing out on as a area,” he explained. “People are genuinely yearning to get back out into the true globe. I consider our timing is totally ideal.”
Bickmeier agrees with that eyesight for the Glen Allen facility, outdoors of accommodating basketball and volleyball tournaments, in addition to higher university graduations.
“It has the possibility to host concerts as effectively,” he explained. “We can do the outside game in the amphitheater when it is heat we can do the inside of live shows at that facility.
The facility is expected to open by September 2023.
In the meantime, Bickmeier has used a long time in the sporting activities marketplace formerly holding positions with Michigan Global Speedway, Car Club Speedway, Major West Meeting alongside with many big league athletics teams, which include the Los Angeles Angels (MLB), the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (NHL) and the Los Angeles Rams (NFL).
Utilizing the connections he’s constructed over the many years, Bickmeier believes there is a prospect to bring countrywide focus to Henrico County, even through March Madness.
“When you consider about the prospect of a large arena with a prospective to come right here with GreenCity, that’s a doorway we’re going to knock on,” he stated. “But it takes a good deal of partnership. It can take the regional universities as very well to have a seat at that table.”
The GreenCity advancement is a $2.3 billion personal, combined-use “eco-district” progress that would market financial progress and environmental sustainability and consist of a 17,000-seat arena for important concerts, sporting events, and other amusement.
The improvement, situated northeast of East Parham Street/I-95, would combine intensive parks, trails, and open spaces between about 2-million-square-feet of place of work room, 280,000 sq. toes of retail room, 2,400 housing models, two inns and a $250 million arena.
Bickmeier additional his cell phone is currently ringing off the hook from his connections, hoping to get concerned.
Meanwhile, tourism to Henrico can help decreased household taxes, in accordance to Vithoulkas.
“We have guests who occur in on weekends for sports activities tournaments, occasions they remain in our inns, take in in our places to eat,” he reported. “That is income to the county that offsets taxes that people would pay in authentic estate or private house. It is a substantial reward.”
As for who will lead the Richmond Raceway, Bickmeier said the team would go by means of a period of changeover from the management on the NASCAR aspect on what the future plans will be.
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