RICHMOND, Va. — A statement released yesterday announced that the competitive bidding war for contracts to renovate the Richmond Coliseum will be resolved through gladiatorial-style combat.
When it was first announced that the City of Richmond would be renovating the Coliseum, a prime example of 1970s industrial architecture, contractors all over the state began to eagerly prepare bids. The project will be one of the larger industrial works commissioned by the city this year and offers an incredible opportunity for a builder to leave a lasting mark.
When bidding first opened, the city clerk’s office was inundated with applications in a matter of minutes. Taylor Abernathy, head of Richmond City Improvement Projects, released the following statement as staff attempted to sift through the overwhelming amount of responses:
“While the City of Richmond is thrilled by the enthusiastic response from builders and contractors statewide, we simply do not have the hours or manpower to parse through all of these bids. This is not simply a matter of going with the most affordable and budget friendly bid, but also selecting a builder who has a passion for this great city and will go to any lengths to see it flourish. In order to hone our selection efforts we will be introducing a gladiatorial tournament in the ruins of the current Coliseum. We are sure the right person for the job will prevail in this bloody and fatal battle.”
More details of the trial by combat have since emerged. Contractors wishing to be considered will be asked to submit one of their strongest workmen to compete on their behalf. Those participating will be able to select from a variety of traditional gladiator styles, including the hoplomachus, murmillo, and cestus, which will determine their armor and weapons.
When one final victor prevails, the builder he represents will be granted the contract.
While completely unprecedented, this new process does seem a fitting end for Richmond’s first Coliseum. The city announced that tickets will be sold to the event, though it will not be broadcast.