Knock on metal folding chair, this is it for Steven Goldberg.
The local all-ages show promoter raps his knuckles on the seat next to him, hoping for the best in a scene where he’s often seen the worst.
Goldberg’s sitting in a large, square, high-ceiling room with thick concrete walls and a stage nestled into one of its corners. It’s part of the Southern Nevada Sports Centre, which Goldberg says may be his final attempt at helping establish a viable, lasting all-ages venue in a city where they come and go almost as rapidly as the tourists who flock here.
“I’m going all in on this one,” he says, clad in a red mesh jersey with shiny silver dog tags and a backward ball cap emblazoned with his nickname, “The Jewish King.”
Nestled in an industrial complex off Valley View Boulevard near Russell Road, the Sports Centre (3585 W. Diablo Drive) used to be a metal sheet working shop.
Now, it’s home to a promising new teen-friendly music venue.
The Centre’s main room houses a hockey rink in addition to video games and vending machines. Next to it is another sizable room for shows, with a maximum capacity that has yet to officially be set, but which will probably be about 650 people, according to one of its owners, Joel Hoopaugh.
Already, nearly a dozen shows have taken place here, ranging from local bands to national touring acts such as From Indian Lakes.
“We never thought it would take off as much as it has,” Hoopaugh says. “We figured we’d do a couple of shows a month. It was a huge surprise to me and my business partner.”
For Goldberg, who has booked shows in town for almost a decade now, the Centre represents a chance for some stability in a scene where venues have routinely been shuttered by local officials for not following the numerous, time-consuming and expensive steps of getting an all-ages club up to snuff and finding a location far enough removed from any business where alcohol can be purchased, even if it’s just a beer cooler at a gas station.
“In order for it to be realistic, you have to have all the permits, all the licensing, and that’s become a big issue, especially as of late,” Goldberg says. “If you don’t have all that lined up, the county or city can come in at any minute and stop the show from happening. It’s a tough process.”
But they’ve made it this far — abetted by Tim Thurtle of Area 702 Concerts, another promoter of all-ages shows — and, like the room in which Goldberg and Hoopaugh currently sit, that’s no small thing.
“We’re not going to be another one of these places that’s open for a month and then gets shut down by the county,” Hoopaugh says. “There’s no real point to that.”
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.