Silver Knights: beneficial or disruptive

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Illustration by Ellis Sondrup

Pro Silver Knights

By Oliver Van Aken

In April, the announcement was made that the Henderson Pavillion, a small outdoor concert venue, was to be re-constructed into the Henderson Events Arena. Local residents had mixed opinions about the project, but according to a survey conducted by the City of Henderson, 71% of survey applicants (Henderson residents) thought the new addition to the community would be a good idea. 

As of now, the Henderson Events Arena has multiple intended uses once construction is complete. The arena will be home to the Henderson Silver Knights, a minor league hockey team that will give the neighborhood a sense of unity, similar to the Las Vegas Aviators in Summerlin. 

Other events such as Business and STEM conventions, along with concerts, are expected to take place in the venue as well. Since the new arena will be indoors, unlike the pavilion, noise will be greatly reduced, and features such as climate control will be in full effect during hot, Vegas summers. The city is also considering using the arena to host educational events/ceremonies that will elevate the learning environment for locals outside of schools. 

An influx of traffic is a main worry amongst the residents in close proximity to the arena. However, most of the people attending the games, events and conferences at the arena will be locals who would likely rather walk or ride bikes to the events. The city has also designed multiple ways to decrease traffic congestion for the attendees that decide to drive. Some of these plans include tunneling streets underground into the arena and building civilian bridges over streets. 

Parking is also an issue that the city has tackled. Using statistics from the Thomas and Mac Center (UNLV), it’s been determined that for full occupancy of 6,000 people, there needs to be 1,600 parking spaces. It is estimated that there will be 1,000-1,400 available parking spots onsite, and the city is negotiating with nearby businesses to use their lots to fulfill the remaining numbers. There will also be shuttles delivering passengers to and from the arena.

The new arena will improve the businesses, infrastructure and vibrancy of the community while also hosting our very own sports team. This is a monumental addition to not only the Green Valley area, but Henderson in whole. The city has planned this out thoroughly, and the site is under construction right now with plans to open by June, 2022.

 

Con Silver Knights

By Ellis Sondrup 

The announcement of the construction of the Henderson Events Center in April brought backlash from Henderson city residents, and for good reasons. Residents listed their concerns and brought their complaints to city officials but felt their voices fell on deaf ears. 

Among the concerns raised was the sheer cost of the arena. In a time where the COVID-19 pandemic had shut down businesses and was sending residents home from work, the country plunged into an economic crisis. Henderson was not exempt from that. The arena is set to cost 85 million dollars to build; that enormous amount of money is going to come from Henderson residents’ pockets in the form of tax dollars. 

The use of the building is another major issue for many residents. Henderson is leasing the land to SK Arena, who is then leasing the arena to the Golden Knights organization for $150,000. Because of this, the city will only get to use the building for 37 days out of the year. Most teams in the AHL play a total of 76 games, half of those being away games. With the new practice facility on Water Street for the Silver Knights, the Events Center will only be used for games. With 34 days being used for games and 37 for the city, there will be 294 days out of the year where that building will sit, not bringing in revenue for the city; rather will only bring in revenue for the Golden Knights organization if they so choose. 

Traffic was another complaint among residents, especially those in the direct vicinity of the location of the Events Center. Green Valley Parkway, which is already infamous to residents for being a high traffic area, is one of the few ways to get up to areas like Anthem and Inspirada from the I-215 freeway. It would be the freeway exit to get off for minor league hockey games, and with a potential 6,000 extra people commuting to the arena, along with thousands of local residents trying to make their daily commute, Green Valley Parkway would move at a snail’s pace and ultimately cause more backlash.  

Despite the good momentos sent by the city in the construction of this arena and the welcoming of a minor league hockey team, it is not the best idea. The residents opposed, and the city sold its soul to the Golden Knights organization, tying their own hands for the next 20 years.