There's Room for Everyone to Play: how The Event Center Will Affect Local Venues and Sports Arenas

Several members of our community have voiced concerns about the proposed Grand Junction Event Center and whether or not it will take away business from local venues such as the Avalon Theatre and sports arenas such as the Glacier Ice Arena. We want to thank these members for their concerns. All of us want to see our local businesses thrive; healthy local businesses mean a healthy local economy for all of us.

We believe the Grand Junction Event Center will not hurt either local venues or sports arenas. On the contrary, the Event Center will drive business to their doors rather than take it away.

The Grand Junction Event Center will not directly compete with other local venues as it will offer different kinds of entertainment on a much larger scale. The Event Center will have the ability to seat 6,000+ attendees, four times as many people than the Grand Junction High School Auditorium, currently the venue with the largest indoor seating capacity in the Grand Valley (besides Two Rivers Convention Center which the Event Center will merge with if passed). With around 1,100 seats, the Avalon Theatre was never designed to accommodate larger events or draw regional customers. These smaller venues serve a different community purpose and provide a different type of usage on a much smaller scale than the Event Center.

Our purpose here isn't to downplay the importance of these spaces; they offer our town wonderful opportunities to enjoy more intimate events, appealing, in part, to those in our community who love good entertainment but who don't enjoy huge crowds. 

The Grand Junction Event Center will not hurt local sports arenas either. In many cases, the Event Center may even send them business. For example, watching hockey games at the Event Center could inspire attendees of all ages to want to play hockey themselves, driving them to Glacier Ice Arena to ice skate or join a local team. (Note: The ice rink at the Grand Junction Event Center will be reserved for its resident hockey league only and will not offer public skating.) 

We believe the Grand Junction Event Center will fill a pivotal role in bringing more culture and diversity to our town, and if it succeeds in that mission, everybody wins. Furthermore, we are far from saturating our local market with either entertainment venues or sporting arenas. Taking this into consideration, there is room for everyone to play.

Landon Balding