By Joe Southern
Although the attention over the weekend was on the grand opening of the Smart financial Centre at Sugar Land, the entertainment on stage was still much ado about nothing.
The $84 million arts and entertainment venue opened Saturday night with two performances by comedian Jerry Seinfeld, whose self-titled TV program in the 1990s was a show about nothing. He made fun of that fact, and poked jabs at the audience, the facility, Sugar Land and most anything else he could barb has he began what was for him another gig on the road but for Sugar Land the first step on a long journey to bring national acts to the old company town.
“Amazing!” said ACE SL President Gary Becker, whose company manages the center. “Everything has fallen into place. The weather is perfect, the building is ready and under budget and so far all the bathrooms work.”
Don Henley followed Seinfeld with a concert on Sunday. All the opening weekend shows had been sold out for months.
Several political leaders attended the opening show Saturday, including Fort Bend County Judge Robert Hebert.
“I think it’s a wonderful facility,” he said, noting that even though it is a Sugar Land facility that it will have a positive economic impact on the county and surrounding area. “This is really something for Sugar Land and Fort Bend County.
U.S. Rep Pete Olson was wide-eyed with excitement for the night.
“What a great day for Sugar Land!” he said. “It’s another example of what a great place this is in Texas to raise a family, start a business and have a life.”
Rhonda Jones of Sugar Land came with her family to see Seinfeld and the new facility.
“We get to see what it looks like on the inside,” she said. “It’s really nice.”
Sharon Galvan of Sugar Land enjoyed coming to see Seinfeld but hated leaving.
“The venue was beautiful and the seats were spacious and comfortable,” she said. “Seinfeld was spot on with his comedic timing! Leaving the venue was a nightmare! SLPD (Sugar Land Police Department) and Smart Financial need to figure it out. Similar to the traffic being directed on Saturday evening and Sunday for River Pointe Church at the intersection of (highways) 99 and 59, that needs to happen at University and 59. It was a bottleneck. It took us 45 minutes from the parking lot to that intersection.”
Up next for the Smart Financial Centre is Dirty Dancing on Jan. 20-22, followed by An Evening with Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds on Jan. 25 and Reba McEntire on Jan. 27.