“This construction plan is exciting for our team as it impacts some piece of the entire venue,” said Jeff Young, vice president of operations for the pavilion. “The updates will modernize the pavilion and provide an exceptional backdrop for future concerts and events.”
Updates to the venue include reconstruction of the VIP Club, a new operations building, updated concession stand canopies, new front gates and renovations in the dressing rooms.
“Being a nonprofit, all of our revenues that we make either go back into our programs, or we put it back into the building to renovate,” said Jerry MacDonald, president and CEO of the pavilion. “We’re excited about our new renovations keeping us new and fresh and someplace that the artists want to play and where our guests want to come to see a show.”
Seating in the new two-story VIP Club will more than double compared to the original club, which was built in 1997, MacDonald said. An upstairs patio area will be added as well.
The pavilion’s new two-story operations building will be a major upgrade from the construction trailer that has been there since 1990, MacDonald said.
“We’re [also] expanding the loading dock to be able to take additional trucks to unload,” MacDonald said.
On average, touring artists who come to the pavilion have a total of 16-20 buses and semitrailers in tow.
“We’ve always made the steps to grow and renovate when we can just to keep up with the times,” MacDonald said. “Our competition is the Toyota Center, Minute Maid [Park], NRG, and now there’s a new building opening up in Sugar Land called the Smart Financial Center. That’s about a 6,300-seat indoor venue that’ll be after the same kind of shows that we do here.”
The first show of the 2017 season is expected to take place in late March or early April. The VIP Club will still be under construction, but guests will be able to use the event center until it is complete. Construction will not interfere with the ice rink that will be housed in the event center for the first time this winter.