HENDERSON (KTNV) — Henderson mayor and council unanimously approved a lease agreement on Tuesday night with the Vegas Golden Knights to build and operate an indoor ice hockey facility in downtown Henderson.
“We are just thrilled they have chosen to put a location here in our community,” says Mayor Debra March.
“I think downtown Henderson with what they’re putting here really just completely sets the bar much higher to create one of the most walkable livable communities in Nevada,” said one community member.
The Henderson hockey facility will be built on 3.2 acres at the southwest corner of Water Street and Atlantic Avenue, adjacent to Henderson City Hall on a site currently occupied by the Henderson Convention Center, which will be demolished this summer.
The new facility is tentatively scheduled for completion by July 2020 with an estimated construction cost of $25 million.
"The City's partnership with the iconic Vegas Golden Knights will be a catalyst for business investment and social activity in Henderson's burgeoning downtown area," said Mayor Debra March. "The team already has a huge fan base in Henderson, and their presence in our community will actively engage residents and the next generation of players in the sport of hockey."
Proposed facility amenities include two National Hockey League regulation-size ice rinks, retail space, a full-service restaurant overlooking the ice and Water Street, and approximately 5,000 square feet of meeting space.
The project will expand the recreational facilities available to the community through youth and adult hockey programs and leagues, youth and adult figure skating programs, free hockey play and open skate events, tournaments, and camps for hockey and figure skating.
The facility will also be home to five official watch parties annually and host player and team executive appearances.
"This project will be a game-changer for downtown Henderson," said City Manager Richard Derrick. "The entertainment venue we envision building in partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights will invigorate activity on the Henderson Events Plaza and attract people from all over the region to dine, shop and play in the Water Street District."
During the first three years of the agreement, the Vegas Golden Knights will award 20 grants of $500 each to Henderson residents younger than 18 years old who come from at-risk or lower-income homes to be used for any of the programming offered at the facility.
"Henderson is a hockey hotbed," said Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz. "The passion for the Golden Knights in Henderson has been remarkable, and we are grateful for the community's incredible support. We are confident the project will help contribute to the continued revitalization of the Water St. District. We would like to thank Mayor March and the Council for their leadership championing this project."
The agreement approved at Tuesday's City Council meeting is for a 20-year ground lease and development agreement with the Vegas Golden Knights with the option of two additional 10-year terms, according to a city spokesperson.
The annual rent for the first year will be $40,000 and will increase by 2 percent each year.
The City of Henderson will also contribute $6.7 million along with $4 million in Redevelopment Agency funds toward the cost of design, development, and construction, for a total contribution of $10.75 million.
“The ability to connect to those kids that are playing those kids and bring this great game of hockey to Henderson, its a natural fit,” says Kerry Bubolz, Golden Knights President.
Water Street business owners are thrilled as well for an opportunity to bring in more people and turn downtown Henderson into a true destination in the Las Vegas valley.
The city will acquire the building at completion of the lease.