Henderson council ease ice hockey arena plans


Vegas Golden Knights AHL Team Image: Vegas Golden Knights

The city council in Henderson, Nevada in US, has given its nod to $60m (£49m/€56m) in bonds to finance a new arena boasting 6,000 seats. The new facility would lodge the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate team of National Hockey League (NHL) franchise the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Vegas Golden Knights are a professional ice hockey team based in the Las Vegas metropolitan area in US. They compete in National Hockey League – a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and seven in Canada.

Todd Pollock, VP Ticketing & Suites, Vegas Golden Knights, US, is a member of the Coliseum Strategic Committee.

The Golden Knights revealed plans to come up with a new home for the affiliate team in February this year. The yet-to-be named affiliate would play its home games at the new facility, although it would be headquartered at the Golden Knights’ Lifeguard Arena complex on Water Street.

The arena would be built on the site of the Henderson Pavilion, which is presently being used to host musical shows. Though the Henderson City Council has given its stamp of approval as regards $60m in bonds for the arena, the development has met with its share of opposition.

Councilman Dan Stewart has questioned whether this is the best time to approve the bond funding – “If there is no immediate need for these bonds, why even consider the sale of them at this time?” Stewart questioned. Media reports stated that a Change.org petition opposing the funding was signed by 1,846 locals.

Change.org is a petition website operated by for-profit Change.org, Inc., an American certified B corporation which claims to have over 240 million users and hosts sponsored campaigns for organizations. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

However, Mayor of Henderson Debra March has come out in support of the project – “Now is the right time to be investing in the future of our economy. We need to be investing in projects now that will help with the economic recovery and create jobs in Henderson. That is just what these bonds will do: Help put people to work.”

The development still requires the construction nod, which will be taken up at a meeting to be held in the future.

The Golden Knights purchased an American Hockey League team on February 6 this year from Spurs Sports & Entertainment, operator of the San Antonio Rampage. Under the terms of the agreement, the Rampage would relocate to Henderson, Las Vegas. It is hoped the team can begin playing in the 2020-21 seasons, in the beginning at Orleans Arena, which is located at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The San Antonio Rampage is an ice hockey team in the American Hockey League based in San Antonio, Texas.

The Golden Knights have played at the multiuse T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, since entering the NHL in the 2017-18 seasons.

AHL franchise

In February this year, Vegas Golden Knights Chairman and CEO Bill Foley announced that the Golden Knights have purchased an American Hockey League (AHL) franchise membership from Spurs Sports & Entertainment (which currently operates the San Antonio Rampage in San Antonio, TX) and are applying for relocation of the franchise to Henderson/Las Vegas, Nevada. The purchase and relocation is subject to approval from the American Hockey League Board of Governors.

“Since our initial season ticket drive began five years ago in February 2015, we have witnessed first-hand the incredible passion and enthusiasm our community has for hockey,” remarked Foley.

Foley added, “By every relevant metric, the growth of the game here the last few years at all levels has been remarkable. We could not be more proud to bring a second professional hockey club to the Valley to accelerate this growth even further.”

Remarked Vegas Golden Knights President of Hockey Operations George McPhee, “It’s been a goal of the Vegas Golden Knights to have our AHL team located in our market since our team’s inception. We are now closer to realizing this goal than we have ever been before. Last season, more than 87 percent of all NHL players were graduates of the American Hockey League. Local fans will be able to track Golden Knights prospects as they progress through our system, advance to the American Hockey League and look to reach their potential as NHL players. This move will effectively centralize our hockey operations and streamline our processes in terms of player development, scouting, transfers and staffing.”

“By bringing an AHL franchise to the desert, our fans will have more opportunities to experience the sport they love in the place we call home,” said Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz.

“With our new community ice center under construction at Lifeguard Arena in Henderson, the club will have a world class practice facility as their team headquarters. We would like to especially thank our colleagues at Spurs Sports & Entertainment and the American Hockey League Board of Governors for their consideration and effort in continuing this process.”

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