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Henderson Symphony: Ditch the Pavilion, events center hits right note

The Henderson Pavilion is going away
The Henderson Pavilion is going away
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Hockey gets most of the attention.

The Golden Knights want the Henderson Pavilion to come down and be replaced with a home for their minor league team.

However, part of the sales pitch is this new, enclosed facility would also be a home for events and music, and that excites Sarah O'Connell, the Executive Director of the Henderson Symphony.

“We're excited to see that this is something that's going to accommodate something not only what our guests are used to, but even better. It's climate-controlled and it's gonna have a state of the art production value,” O'Connell tells me.

The 33-year-old symphony has called the outdoor Pavilion, built in the early 2000’s, home for years.

When the hot season arrives, O'Connell says it's been a challenge.

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“Not only for the audience and the musicians but for the instruments themselves,” she says.

The Pavilion, at Paseo Verde and Green Valley Parkway, is aging. That's one issue.

“It's a fun place to play. I mean, it's actually a different experience now that there's no roof on it,” says News 3’s own Tom Hawley, a member of the Symphony himself.

And Tom brings up the other issue: the Pavilion is now topless, thanks to a storm that ripped the roof in 2018. The city says it will take millions to fix.

Tom's neutral in this whole Pavilion debate, but tells me playing outdoors has both charm and challenge.

“You have to deal with the weather, occasionally that's been a problem. Music blowing off the stands,” Hawley says.

Opponents don't have a problem with an arena but they think putting it in residential Green Valley Ranch is bad for the neighborhood.

They worry about cars, traffic, and congestion and say other parcels are better suited. The city says since it owns the Pavilion land, a development there would save taxpayers money, especially since the Golden Knights would split the cost of the project.

The city says the footprint of the proposed events center/arena would be the same as the existing outdoor structure, with hundreds of fewer seats.

Sarah O'Connell says a new venue could help cement the symphony's future. Henderson will let it play there for free.

“If we had to spend money on rent for a facility to house an orchestra to perform or rehearse, we wouldn't be able to operate the orchestra,” says O'Connell.

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On April 21st, the Henderson City Council approved issuing $60 million in bonds, part of which will pay for the new facility. Approval of a deal with the Golden Knights and the Pavilion project itself will be taken up at future city council meetings.

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