Proposed Henderson Arena Draws Concerns From Residents
From sold-out games on the Strip to capacity crowds at practices in Summerlin, people can’t seem to get enough the Vegas Golden Knights.
But a proposal to build a new arena in Henderson for the Knights’ future minor league team hasn’t been received as well.
The plan -- to replace the Henderson Pavilion with a 6,000 seat venue on a very gridlocked part of Green Valley -- was announced in March.
Residents became angry and packed three consecutive public meetings organized by the City of Henderson. Their concerns included additional traffic, noise, safety and what the new facility might cost them.
John Dalrymple is the president, chief operating officer, and managing partner at Geary Company Advertising. He has lived in the neighborhood for years.
He told KNPR's State of Nevada that he's a Golden Knights fan and supports the idea -- he just believes the proposed site is the problem.
“It’s a misfire on the location. I drive that intersection there at Green Valley Park and Paseo Verde every day," he said "I can tell you that it does get gridlocked. Beyond that, in the neighborhood itself, I have served as a traffic and parking supervisor for some of the major events that have taken place at the pavilion, and I can tell you there is not adequate parking in the area.”
Dalrymple said during large events, people would park anywhere they could in nearby neighborhoods because there was not enough parking.
He noted there are about 850 parking spots in the lots at the pavilion, but a 6,000 seat arena would need between 1,500 and 2,000 seats.
Besides the location, Dalrymple is not happy with the way the city of Henderson handled the announcement and public input. He said the city seems to have already made up its mind.
“The way that this has been rolled out is really unfortunate because it has really facilitated a feeling of anger and resentment rather than considering it on its merits itself,” he said.
Robert Lang is a professor of public policy at the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs and the executive director of the Lincy Institute and Brookings Mountain West at UNLV.
He thinks the idea of bringing a sports arena and events center to Henderson is a good one.
“It doesn’t surprise me that what passes for its downtown, which is really Green Valley and The District, would attach to something like Downtown Summerlin has, which has sports associated with it,” he said, referring to City National Arena and Las Vegas Ballpark.
However, there are some fundamental differences between Downtown Summerlin and the area around The District, he said. For instance, Downtown Summerlin was part of the community's master plan and homes are far from the main shopping area and the Las Vegas Ballpark.
“The fact is the residents of Henderson are right to be concerned because there hasn’t been the kind of sense of the staging that you would require and the buffering into the neighborhoods that you would require, which you get at Downtown Summerlin,” he said.
Lang said he hasn't studied the plans to know if adjustments could be made to roadways in the area for increased traffic, or if there are plans for more parking.
Overall, Lang said he understands where residents are coming from. For most people, their home is the largest and most important asset. If the plans for the arena are not done right, it could have an impact on home values.
“Everyone in that vicinity should make sure those plans are right to their satisfaction and the city should engage them as much as possible to have an open and transparent process,” he said.
As for a better place for the arena, Dalrymple said he would like to see it built near the new Raiders facility on St. Rose Parkway or near the Galleria Mall on Sunset Road.
Robert Lang, Professor of Public Policy, the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs and Executive Director of The Lincy Institute and Brookings Mountain West at UNLV; John Dalrymple, President, Chief Operating Officer, Managing Partner, Geary Company Advertising; Mike Prevatt, producer, Nevada Public Radio