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Henderson could spend more than $3M to upgrade AHL team HQ

Henderson officials want to spend an additional $3 million in public funds on an under-construction ice arena downtown.

Council members are scheduled to hear a proposal next Tuesday that would increase the city’s contribution by $3.2 million to cover additions that would accommodate the Vegas Golden Knights’ newly purchased American Hockey League franchise. The team would not contribute to the proposed improvements.

In May, the City Council voted to move forward on a community ice arena, later named Lifeguard Arena, in partnership with the Golden Knights. The city signed on to spend $10.75 million on the project.

The proposed added cost would cover improvements such as additional locker rooms, a treatment room, weight room, laundry room, equipment storage and administrative offices, according to the city.

“It is intended that the expansion will allow for a greater variety of recreational opportunities for the public such as hosting recreational hockey tournaments, collegiate-level hockey tournaments and club play, and providing sufficient facilities for the team, increasing the community benefits and economic development,” the agenda item reads.

The city’s redevelopment agency would cover $2.5 million of the upgrades, and the remaining $700,000 would come from special recreation funds, according to a separate agenda item.

Assistant City Manager Robert Herr said the full-time occupancy from an American Hockey League team will benefit the public. City spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said a team will bring the type of family entertainment officials want to provide residents.

Ultimately, the total cost of the building will be shared 50-50 after all necessary additions, Herr said.

Henderson has recently received criticism from some over a proposal to build a 6,000-seat arena on the site of the Henderson Pavilion. The arena would be home to the Golden Knights’ future AHL affiliate.

Mayor Debra March has said the city would pay for half the arena with up to $40 million in public money, but the city has since backed away from talking about financing, saying a cost has not been determined.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

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