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Henderson approves $60m in bond funding for ice hockey arena

The city council in Henderson, Nevada has approved $60m (£49m/€56m) in bonds to finance a new 6,000-seat arena that would house the American Hockey League affiliate team of NHL franchise the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Golden Knights unveiled plans to build the arena in February. The as-yet-unnamed affiliate would play its home games at the new facility, although it would be headquartered at the Golden Knights’ Lifeguard Arena complex on Water Street.

The arena would be built on the site of the Henderson Pavilion, which is currently used to stage music performances. The Henderson City Council has this week voted to approve $60m in bonds for the arena, although the project is not without opposition.

Councilman Dan Stewart has questioned whether now is the best time to approve the bond funding. “If there is no immediate need for these bonds, why even consider the sale of them at this time?” Stewart said, according to the Las Vegas Sun newspaper, which also notes that a Change.org petition opposing the funding was signed by 1,846 locals.

Mayor of Henderson Debra March has, however, been supportive of the plans.

“Now is the right time to be investing in the future of our economy,” said March. “We need to be investing in projects now that will help with the economic recovery and create jobs in Henderson. That is just what these bonds will do: help put people to work.”

The project still requires construction approval, which will be discussed at a future meeting.

The Golden Knights purchased an AHL team on February 6 from Spurs Sports & Entertainment, operator of the San Antonio Rampage. Under the terms of the agreement, the Rampage would relocate to Henderson/Las Vegas. It is hoped the team can begin playing in the 2020-21 season, initially at Orleans Arena, which is located at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The Golden Knights have played at the multi-purpose T-Mobile Arena since entering the NHL in in the 2017-18 season.

Image: Vegas Golden Knights