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City Of Henderson Responds To AHL Arena Detractors

Photo credit: City of Henderson Virtual Town Hall on May 6th, 2020

Like it or not, the AHL is coming to Henderson and a 6,000 seat arena will be built on the site of the existing Henderson Pavilion. Many Henderson residents have voiced their opinions over the past few months since the project was announced. Yesterday, the City of Henderson conducted a “virtual town hall” in which they attempted to respond to as many of the concerns their citizens have over the project.

The two-hour town hall, which was hosted virtually using Cisco Webex, took on concerns over traffic, infrastructure, parking, job creation, timing, building operations, and a few more topics.

The most time was spent on traffic, an issue that was of major concern when the city hosted three consecutive public meetings back in March. The city’s presented solution was initially to build a tunnel to alleviate traffic coming and going from the arena, but that idea was nixed and now they believe any traffic congestion can be solved with the installation of new “adaptive” traffic lights.

An expert spent about 20 minutes explaining the benefits of the modern traffic lights that respond to traffic patterns in real-time.

Increasing people in the area drives an increase in traffic and congestion. The real solution to that is adaptive traffic signals which control the flow of traffic. The signals detect the presence of vehicles at the stop line and approaching the intersections. This system then allows progression through that road network. -Ian Machen, CEO of Ludian (traffic signal expert)

The other topic that took up the majority of the presentation was parking. A study showed that a 6,000 seat stadium would need about 1,200 to 1,400 on-site parking spaces to accommodate all attendees and arena employees.

They indicated that not only can they fit that number of spaces in the existing area, but they can do it without the construction of a multi-level parking structure and without disturbing the nearby library or multigenerational center.

Photo credit: City of Henderson Virtual Town Hall on May 6th, 2020

We looked at the event venue itself and the area around it as to what is the availability. We generally tested out the square footage and land area and determined that depending on landscaping and the configuration of the roadways that there is the feasibility in the planning level of obtaining 1,200 to 1,400 car spaces with the border of the site.  -Ken Ackeret, Principal of Kimley Horn (parking expert)

In addition to the town hall, the city released an economic impact study conducted by Applied Analysis to show the job creation that will result from the construction of the arena.

The study says the arena will generate $142 million in economic impact during construction and between $17 and $26 million annually when in operation. It also claims construction will create 1,017 full-time jobs paying more than $38 million and operation will create between 159 and 234 jobs annually paying between $6-$9 million per year.

The presentation also touched on the size of the building. Their hope is to retain as much of the open space and trails currently existing on at the Henderson Pavilion while accomodating the new building and parking lots.

The one piece of information that was absent from the presentation was the financial responsibility the city would be taking on. In April, the Henderson City Council approved the issuance of $60 million in bonds to finance, among other projects, the new arena. When asked about the bonds or anything relating to the finances of the project (aside from job creation and increase in surrounding property values) residents were pointed towards this three-minute video released prior to the meeting in which the bonds were approved.

Historically, publicly financed stadiums and arenas have not been viewed as strong investments for cities by economists.

From review.chicagobooth.edu. (Click the graph to see full article)

At the April 21st meeting in which the bonds were approved, many detractors challenged the issuance of the bonds via comment as the meeting was held virtually. The same occurred at yesterday’s virtual town hall.

Nonetheless, the majority of concerns held by Henderson residents were addressed in the town hall. Plus, the city has set up this website to update residents on news and answer any other questions surrounding the new arena.

The construction of the arena is set to be approved by the Henderson City Council on May 19th and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

 

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22 Comments

  1. "DOC"

    Way to much power at play here for this not to happen. Mr. Foley is a “God” in this valley. The Knights and anything they “touch” is gold. With the Raiders and now the Knights AHL team, Henderson has become a major sports player, like it or not. For me, I’m just glad they will be playing at the Orleans Arena the first couple years. Very convenient for me and lots of easy parking. My wife and I had season tickets in the first year of the Wranglers played there. (Still have the inaugural puck from 10/21/03 game against Bakersfield). Not a bad seat in the arena. Also I remember Deryk Engelland played part of that 1st season (03/04) and I think all of the next (04/05) with them.

  2. Douglas Stacey

    Most of the comments submitted at the “virtual town hall meeting” were NEVER addressed. The City cherry picked the questions they wanted to answer and disregarded the rest. Soon after the “virtual town hall meeting” started the electricity went out in the exact zip code the residents surrounding the Pavilion live. Coincidence or on purpose? Regardless, the citizens who will be most affected by the Hockey Rink located at the Pavilion did not see the presentation. Those closest to the Pavilion do NOT want the Arena built there. There a more suitable sites which offer much better public access and will have minimal impact on the surrounding area. Putting the Arena at the current site of the Pavilion is forcing a square peg into a round hole. It might be possible to do it, but the damage it will cause is incalculable.

    • "DOC"

      Don’t know anything about that Douglas … but man, the thing IS going to get built, wherever the Knights & city admin want it. Right or wrong, that’s the facts.

      • David S.

        Doc, Love Hockey, Hate that GVR Location. Find a better location and we’ll all get behind the AHL team.

  3. Laura Sanchez

    I am a member of a group actively opposing the placement of an arena on the Henderson Pavilion site. The City has NOT answered the tough questions about using this location. Here are a few: 1) the proposed arena is 6,000 seats which would make it among the smallest AHL arenas and smaller than the Orleans–why so small and will the number of seats change to a larger number? 2)There has not been an AHL stadium built since 2017. That stadium is in Quebec, home of the Lava Rocket, took 3 years to build and doubled in price during construction, how will taxpayers be protected from price overruns and construction delays.? 3)Will you show the traffic study with a evening event at the 2 schools and two little league games at the fields 400 yards away at the same time as a hockey game?

    The survey had incredibly biased questions. Here is an example:
    Question 7: The age and condition of the Henderson Pavilion requires that it be renovated. That said, the City does have options. If you were a city official, which option would you consider most appropriate from these two options:
    Statement #1: Invest the money required to enclose the Henderson Pavilion as it currently exists, which would not allow for larger entertainment options or creating a home for a minor league hockey team.
    Statement #2: Invest approximately 30 percent more in a public-private partnership that would result in the development of an enclosed 6,000-seat entertainment venue capable of hosting larger entertainment options and creating a home for a minor league hockey team.

    Gee, that’s our only two options? Way to look at the bigger picture, City Council. How about:
    Statement #1: Let Mr. Foley invest his money in an AHL arena as he repeatedly said the jobs of cities are infrastructure, not investing in sports buildings.
    Statement #2: The City should hold off on investing any further tax dollars until we see where our economy is six months from now.
    Statement #3: Entertain offers to invest in a premier Children’s Museum and surrounding park with outdoor exercise facilities and water features.
    Statement #4: Investigate other areas of Henderson which can easily handle the traffic needs of an arena/event center without infringing on a residential neighborhood.

    The City has underestimated the anger of their constituents.

    • JiLL Condon

      IN LIGHT of what is to become” the next New Normal”, HOW CAN THEY PACK IN the seats so close?? And discount any requirement for Distancing? Or DO THEY just Not Care…THE PANDEMIC is a hiccup . How DO they INTEND to address this CONCERN,and who will oversee compliance?

  4. THE hockey GOD

    best way to control traffic flow is to put traffic cop at key intersections, like they do for Knight’s games.

    they are great, they keep the traffic going great before each game, and after each game

    • Dave

      What about crime? When you bring in a sports arena you bring in the hood rats.
      That means more cars will get stolen, broken into, more home robbery’s and everything else that goes with it. Any homes that are near the arena with be directly hit the hardest when home values drop because of the crime and traffic.

    • Laura Sanchez

      The City made a point of saying that there will be NO police directing traffic because they are going to do such a “wonderful” job of squeezing 6000 people into 900 parking spaces that none will be needed.

  5. Rosemary DeHart

    I won’t repeat all of the opposing views that I also agree with

    When the question was asked as to why a more suitable location for this arena wasn’t considered the response was the land was too expensive in those areas….really!!!!
    Why doesn’t Mr Foley purchase that land instead and reap the profits. Why would he when he has a better deal at our expense….
    So instead we are to pay many dollars for 215 off ramp & tunnel, pedestrian bridges. widening the roads too …oh and let’s make a few more spaces at the pavilion by removing landscaping .
    GVR is currently a most desirable place to live…. But Henderson Mayor March and a majority of the council members (less one member so not unanimous) entered into a nondisclosure agreement.. secretly put together with Mr Foley for Golden Knights and totally without consideration of the negative impact it will have on our beautiful residential neighborhood …no transparency.
    I saw Robert Herr on May 2nd at the car ralley held at the pavilion against the arena being built there.
    I asked him directly why the March 9th presentations held at Macdonald Ranch did not allow for an open forum as he would then have heard firsthand how angry many local homeowners were. I reminded him many were aware of how he had skillfully derailed any opportunity of this opportunity.
    I also asked Mr Herr if he lived in GVR or close by the pavilion … He said no and refused to say by name of any council member who may live anywhere that would be affected by the arena if built at the pavilion..no transparency there either.
    The synchronizing of traffic lights was also discussed yesterday on line. This is not a new concept and traffic congestion is already apparent so why isn’t it already in place?
    Parking at the pavilion was discussed.
    So let’s review this. … on site at the pavilion. the library, swimming pool, multigenerational center employees and patrons all take up parking spaces…. so 6000 spectators and additionally employees, vendors will mostly drive into the facility and vie for maybe 800 spaces… many turn around and invade the District ( if that wasn’t already their first choice)
    Those vehicles at the District are then left for 3 hours….
    They take up spaces for hours while not frequenting restaurants, stores or markets.

    This pandemic has left so much uncertainty and is not wise to take out a 60 million dollar bond ..that will not profit we taxp8for 20 years. Indeed Mr Foley is a clever businessman.

    It’s a real possibility one can’t win the fight City Hall . All very disturbing.

    • Evelyn Weyrich

      I RECOMMEND THAT WE EXPOSE MAYOR DEBRA MARCH AND THE HENDERSON CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS (MINUS DAN STEWART ) AND MAKE ALL HENDERSON RESIDENTS AWARE OF HOW WE HAVE BEEN BETRAYED. REVEAL ALL THE EGREGIOUS TRANSACTIONS THEY HAVE PARTICIPATED IN, WHEN THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN LIVING UP TO THEIR FIDUCUIARY RESPONSIBILITY TO THEIR VOTERS, TO ACT IN THEIR BEHALF.
      I SUGGEST LISTING ALL OF THE UNDERHANDED TACTICS THEY USED IE -LACK OF NOTIFICATION AND INCLUSION, BIASED, MISLEADING AND UNTRUTHFUL SURVEYS, CLOSED DOOR MEETINGS, AND NON DISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS WITH GREEDY, MULTI -MILLIONAIRE, BILL FOLEY( WHO SHOULD BE EXPOSED AS WELL). ALL OF THIS WAS DONE WITH THE PURPOSE OF LINING THEIR OWN POCKETS AT THE EXPENSE OF HARD- WORKING TAX- PAYERS. IF THIS 20 YEAR , 60 MILLION DOLLAR, SWEETHEART DEAL GOES THROUGH , THEY WILL SINGLEHANDEDLY BULLDOZE OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR WAY OF LIFE.
      LET’S FIGHT BACK BY BRINGING OUR FIGHT TO EVERYONE’S ATTENTION.

  6. J Adams

    All of the City officials comments and responses to any and all questions are rote: either ‘the survey showed a majority approves of this’ or ‘hasn’t been determined yet’.
    All of our questions during the town hall were ignored, maybe because they were actually questions about issues that mattered. The only questions answered were redundant asking about traffic/parking….
    Why isn’t the question being asked ‘why should the citizens of Henderson pay for an arena when it’s for the benefit of a very wealthy Hockey Team? (and we are ALL fans of the VGK, so that’s not the issue!)
    Why, in an environment that sees Las Vegas and every other city in the country worrying about how to keep financially whole after this lockdown, is our city insisting on moving forward on a new project that gives millions of tax payer monies away?
    Why did the conversation change from ‘AHL Arena’ to Event Center?
    Explain to us how the VGK management will be handling all events at this location, stated to be experts at event management, and proceeds will go to???
    Was this an ‘easy solution’ to the Pavilion issue that the city jumped on without any consideration of it’s residents? Apparently so…they went from ‘no plans’ in Dec to an agreement in Feb?
    We are being fleeced, disrespected, ignored throughout this process the City is holding their hands over their ears and mouths and eyes so they can barrel through this project!

  7. "DOC"

    Not knowing about all this descent that exists about the AHL “arena” I do feel bad for those that may not being able to get their honest concerns voiced. So, I am just trying to look at this with a practical view. Meaning that when a billionaire and city “fathers” get in bed together on a project ….. it IS going to happen. It’s like an avalanche heading down the mountain … nothing is going to stop it.

  8. JR

    All these people complaining about the new arena are the same people who can’t be bothered to stay active in local government or voting until they perceive something they think negatively affects them. Then they are all up in arms. If you really care about your neighborhood, community city, state etc, then run for your HOA board, city council position etc. I’ve seen it too many times, people bitch about new projects, but are nowhere to be found when they sell their house for a nice profit. Just face it, the knights organization was better prepared to fight for this issue that the part time citizen warriors were.

    • Rosemary DeHart

      Speak for yourself…
      I became a USA citizen..to vote
      And
      I have been active as an HOA board member gor our gated community since I retired over 6 years ago.

  9. Tim

    Who cares what you do gooders say we are a progressive city and the fact is we’ll build it and they will come whether you like it or not. My wife and I have over 120 years in the Valley we’ve seen 50 thousand people to 2.2 million people from tumbleweeds to profession teams and your going to go against the grain. My answer to you is stick it if you don’t like the way we do things go back to where ever you came from. We need California transplants who have totally screwed up the greatest state in the union to come here and tell us what’s good for us.

  10. Benjamin

    I think it’s a great spot. Hotel casino right there, plus the first “town square “ style shopping center, and really plenty of room. However I do disagree that it’s enough room for parking without a multi level garage. If my math is correct I believe you can fit about 240 or so per acre.
    Anyway, I have already paid the holding fee for season tickets, and I live 45 minutes away on a good traffic day. Plus AHL hockey is awesome. Way more community.
    So if the good people of Henderson are so upset by this, maybe the good man Bill should strike a deal with the city of North Las Vegas and build in the Aliante area. That would be a nice 10 minute drive east for me..

  11. We bought a few blocks from the proposed arena 20 years ago under the expectation this was a residential neighborhood. We understand that the Multi Gen and Library are community recreation centers. Why is someone allowed to have a money making business facility here built here on public property and paid for by the residents? It smells like some council members are being paid off and for sure none of them live near here.

  12. Rosemary DeHart

    INDEED THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER YET……. ALTHOUGH THE ODDS ARE STACKED AGAINST THOSE NOT WANTING THE ARENA AT THE PAVILION LOCATION.
    THE VOTE IS ON MAY 19th.
    So if you are against this make sure your voice is heard

  13. EVELYN WEYRICH

    MAYOR DEBRA MARCH AND THE CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS ARE QUICK TO TOUT THEIR “ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY” TO THE MEDIA. BUT WHERE IS THE “ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY”?
    THERE ARE 33.000 RESIDENTS IN GROUND ZERO, ZIP CODE 89012, YET OUT OF THE 400 SURVEYED ,ONLY 12.5% OF THESE RESIDENTS WERE CONTACTED AND INCLUDED IN THEIR BIASED AND TOTALLY UNTRUE SURVEY . I’VE BEEN TOLD THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY WOULD TAKE ANYWHERE FROM 12 -18 MONTHS TO COMPLETE AND THAT THE COUNCIL IS SKIRTING THE ISSUE ALTOGETHER. I THINK THAT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO HAVE IT DONE AND WE SHOULD DEMAND IT FROM OUR MAYOR AND THOSE WE VOTED INTO OFFICE.

  14. It seems that the city has more than properly addressed the possible questions raised by citizens of Henderson. Traffic, check, parking, check, crime, check, green areas, check, multi-use, check, year round events, check, added fully time and part time jobs, check, people who just don’t want change, who cares. a positive for for the city, check, widespread community support, check, an alternative to an abandoned venue, check, alleviates the possibility of attracting the homeless, check.

    • Rosemary DeHart

      You have to be kidding
      This is absolutely not a positive for our residential neighborhood.

      Please do your homework then you would understand why the pavilion location is not the place to build an arena.
      A little advance information
      Let Foley pay for the land, build the structure and parking on his own $$$$$$ …He csn keeo all the profits because it’s then his business.
      This is not so….why should Henderson homeowners be on the hook for a way over 40 million dollar bond….sink or swim…
      .for a lousy $150,000 annual rent … and no revenue from ticket sales and concessions for 20 years.

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