After two rocky years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land is back, according to the venue’s general manager.

“As of today, it finally feels like we’re normal again,” General Manager Elyse Scally said during the venue’s first annual report since the 2020 at Sugar Land's March 21 City Council meeting. The Centre returned to live programming in 2021.

According to Scally, the Centre has brought back 100% of its full-time employees since before the outbreak of COVID-19 and is on track to host a similar amount of events as in 2019.

The Centre broke ground in 2014 and opened in January 2017. The Centre does not receive property tax dollars and hosts theatricals, concerts and comedy routines to keep the lights on.

Show numbers at a glance:
  • 2019 : 109
  • 2020: 11
  • 2021: 45
  • 2022: 86
  • 2023 (projected): 115
Year in review

According to Scally, the Centre sold 300,565 tickets and saw 303, 520 attendees. 65% of the events held in 2022 were concerts and featured artists such as Frankie Vallie and Alicia Keys. Comedy routines included Chris Rock and Tom Segura, which Scally said were among the top 25 comedy tours of 2022.

Scally also stated the Smart Financial Centre provides a regional economic impact, attributing regional growth to tracked ticket sales. According to Scally, 47.25% of all tickets sold in 2022 were to residents of Harris County, and 15.6% of tickets were sold to residents of Fort Bend County. At face value, these sales represent $5.3 million and $1.6 million in revenue, respectively. Attendees also traveled from as far north as Dallas, Scally said.

Moving forward, the Centre is in talks with the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation to place four murals in the Centre’s lobby and intends to improve involvement with local businesses, according to Scally.

“We’re going to continue working with Visit Sugar Land and businesses throughout the area,” Scally said.