Thursday, September 19, 2013

Atlantic 10 Conference to Move Women’s Basketball Championship to Richmond Coliseum

The Atlantic 10 Conference announced Thursday it has entered a three-year partnership with the City of Richmond to bring the A-10 Women’s BasketballChampionship to the Richmond Coliseum beginning in 2014.  The announcement was made at a joint press conference held at the Richmond Downtown Marriott.
“The opportunity to establish a long-term home for our women’s basketball championship and partner with the City of Richmond was one we could not pass up. We selected Richmond because it gives us the ability to build on our record attendance from last year’s championship and provide a true March Madness environment for our women’s basketball student-athletes,” stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “I want to thank our head coaches and Directors of Athletics for their leadership in this selection and commend the City of Richmond, SMG and my staff for their commitment to making this a true win-win partnership for everyone involved.”
The 2014 13-team event will take place at the Richmond Coliseum March 5-9.   The championship will open with a play-in game on Wednesday the fifth, followed by four first-round games on Thursday. The four quarterfinal games will tip-off  Friday morning followed by the semifinal round on Saturday which will be televised live nationally on CBS Sports Network. The finals will air live on ESPNU beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday.  
When the championship tips off in Richmond, it will mark just the third time in its 32-year history that it will take place at a neutral site. Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Mass., played host in 2011, while Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md., served as host in 2010. The Atlantic 10 is one of only eight conferences (out of 31 league) where the women’s basketball championship will be played at a neutral site, separate from the men’s championship.
The Atlantic 10, one of the premier women’s basketball leagues in the country, has seen at least 50 percent of its membership participate in postseason play in four the last five seasons. The A-10 has earned three NCAA Tournament bids in six of the last nine years and 17 times overall. The league has also had at least seven of its teams advance to postseason play in each of the last five years.
“I am so pleased to be welcoming the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship to the city of Richmond. The A-10 is a phenomenal league and we are ready to welcome the players, the coaches and the fan base to our great city,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “This tournament has a very strong following that will strengthen our sports tourism draw and keep the city on the radar for future prestigious tournaments.” 
The City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities worked with SMG Richmond to pursue the event for the Richmond Coliseum.  SMG Richmond manages Richmond’s Landmark Theater, Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage and the Richmond Coliseum for the City of Richmond.
The Richmond Coliseum has offered quality entertainment to the Richmond Metropolitan area for over 40 years. The Coliseum averages 130 events annually with an average annual attendance of over 600,000 patrons The Richmond Coliseum seats nearly 12,000 for basketball and has extensive experience in hosting college conference championships. There have been three other leagues that have held their postseason tournaments at the Coliseum. The Coliseum also hosted the 1994 NCAA Women’s Final Four.
Last season, the first three rounds of the A-10 Championship took place at Michael J. Hagen Arena ‘85 on the campus of Saint Joseph’s before heading to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York where a finals record crowd of 4,436 saw SJU top Fordham 47-46 to earn its first A-10 title since 1999. The A-10 Championship game was the first women’s basketball championship game played in Barclays Center and the first Atlantic 10 women’s basketball championship game played in an NBA arena.
Following the success in Brooklyn, seven Atlantic 10 teams earned 2013 postseason berths. Dayton and Saint Joseph’s represented the Atlantic 10 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Five A-10 teams were also selected to take part in the 2013 WNIT. Dayton defeated St. John’s in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the second round.  
At the conclusion of the season, the A-10 ranked ninth out of 32 Division I conferences in the final RPI rankings.  Dayton paced the league, coming in 17th among the nation’s top teams, while four additional teams were ranked among the top 100.
About the A-10
The Atlantic 10 Conference was formed in 1976 and consists of 13 diverse members across seven states and Washington, D.C. The membership consists of University of Dayton, Duquesne University, Fordham University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, La Salle University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Rhode Island, University Richmond St. Bonaventure University, Saint Joseph’s University, Saint Louis University and Virginia Commonwealth University. The mission and goal of the Atlantic 10 is to provide an enhanced student-athlete experience through 21 nationally competitive championship sports, while securing strong brand, equity, and revenue resources for its member institutions. The conference is committed to integrity, educational excellence and providing quality equitable championship experiences for more than 6,000 student-athletes, coaches, and support staff. 
About Richmond
The city of Richmond is the capital of Virginia and is one of the most historic cities in America.  Richmond is centrally located along the East Coast, easy to access, offers extensive lodging and tourist attractions and is a strong supporter of athletic and cultural events. Richmond’s complete livability can be measured in numerous ways including its beautiful neighborhoods with striking architecture; a vast cultural and educational heritage befitting its more than 200,000 citizens, and noted historic prestige tracing back to the early English settlers. Nationally recognized for its vitality and New Economy embrace, Richmond's diversified employment base extends from chemical, food and tobacco manufacturing to biotechnology, semiconductors and high-tech fibers. The city consistently ranks among "Best Places to Live and Work in America" in several national publications.
About SMG
SMG Richmond manages Richmond’s Landmark Theater, Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage and the Richmond Coliseum. Since 1977, SMG has provided management services to more than 220 public assembly facilities worldwide, including arenas, stadiums, theatres and performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, convention, congress and exhibition centers, science centers, and a variety of other venues. Across the globe, SMG manages more than 12 million square feet (1.1 million square meters) of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million arena and theatre seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering company SAVOR, currently serving more than 83 accounts worldwide.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Officials Break Ground on Gateway Plaza in Richmond


New High-Rise Office Building Features Modern Technology, ‘Green’ Amenities

Officials with the City of Richmond and Clayco today celebrated the construction of Gateway Plaza, Richmond’s newest high-rise office building, during the groundbreaking ceremony for the project’s site in the heart of the downtown business district.

 “Gateway Plaza is becoming a reality. Its creation is cause for celebration by the City of Richmond, the area’s business community, the lead tenant McGuireWoods and Clayco. It represents an incredible commitment to the city by McGuireWoods, and we appreciate the confidence everyone has shown in Clayco. Gateway Plaza also offers a superb combination of the highest quality materials, technology and construction techniques to create a truly Class A business setting that is efficient, convenient, environmentally-sensitive and geared to the needs of 21st century organizations,” said Bob Clark, chairman and chief executive officer of Clayco.

Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones noted that Gateway Plaza brings new opportunities to the City.

“Gateway Plaza will be an attractive addition to the Richmond skyline and will offer significant benefits to the City of Richmond. Economic studies show that this project will generate 812 construction jobs with more than $50.7 million in wages; another 1,653 jobs, including retaining more than 630 at McGuireWoods; and new cumulative tax revenues for the City are estimated to be more than $117 million over the next 30 years,” the mayor said.

Gateway Plaza will be located on property bounded by 8th and 9th streets on the east and west, and Canal Street on the south. The 18-story building will have 315,000 square feet of office space, more than 14,000 square feet of first-floor retail space and a 506 space parking garage. The structure represents a combined investment of more than $110 million.

The formal groundbreaking ceremony commemorates finalizing the city’s economic development plan for the project and closing on the financing provided by an affiliate of New York-based Lexington Realty Trust.

Construction work on Gateway Plaza already has begun. Recently, the 8th Street Connector, which bisected the site, was closed. Street improvements, which are well underway, continue with completion slated in several weeks. Construction crews are installing the building’s drilled caisson foundation support system to be followed by work in the immediate future that includes constructing the concrete frame structure that will span the first six levels of the structure, underground systems installation and utility construction.

Anchor tenant McGuireWoods LLP has signed a lease to occupy 217,000 square feet of the structure’s office space, including a first floor office and a state-of-the-art conference center on the top floor.

Occupancy by McGuireWoods, with more than 630 attorneys, staff and consultants, should occur in 2015. The firm now is in the James Center, located on East Cary Street in the block adjacent to the Gateway Plaza site.

Colliers International is the leasing agent for the project and represented McGuireWoods in its search for a new office. Colliers now is engaged in discussions with other companies interested in moving to Gateway Plaza.

Gateway Plaza will set a new standard for office buildings in Richmond. The stunning all-glass tower and distinctive crown will set Gateway Plaza apart from every other building in the city. This sophisticated state-of-the-art building will incorporate the newest technologies and environmental sustainability in a way that will enhance the downtown central business district and should achieve at least a LEED Gold certification based on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design criteria. 

Celebrating the groundbreaking and actually beginning to build this exciting development project is the best part. With the project underway, Clayco very quickly will complete construction on a very fast schedule. The top piece of steel will be set by July 2014. The building will be substantially complete by the end of 2014, and McGuireWoods will move in by the summer of 2015.

Clayco is a full service, turnkey real estate development, architecture, engineering and construction firm that delivers clients around the world the highest quality solutions on time, on budget and above and beyond expectations. With revenue in 2012 of $872 million, Clayco specializes in “the art and science of building,” providing fast-track, turnkey solutions globally for commercial, institutional, industrial and heavy civil infrastructure related building projects. For more information, visit www.claycorp.com.

McGuireWoods LLP is an international law firm with more than 900 attorneys in 19 offices throughout the world. For more information, please visit www.mcguirewoods.com.

Colliers International is the third-largest commercial real estate services company in the world, with over 12,300 professionals operating out of more than 520 offices in 62 countries.

Learn more about Gateway Plaza online at -- http://www.gatewayplazarichmond.com/.