Sugar Land becomes entertainment destination

Smart Financial Center at Sugar Land located of U.S. Highway 59 and University Blvd., soon to be open to the public.

Smart Financial Center at Sugar Land located of U.S. Highway 59 and University Blvd., soon to be open to the public.

ACE SL, LLC and the City of Sugar Land have partnered to develop the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, the region’s first state-of-the-art, indoor performance venue.

The $84 million project will further position the city as a destination location for culture and entertainment.

Located off of U.S. Highway 59 and University Boulevard, Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land is situated on a portion of 38.5 acres of city property. It will set a new standard for live performance venues and will be equipped to host a wide array of programming including national music and comedy artists, children and family entertainment, theatrically-staged productions and cultural and performing arts attractions. It will also be open to the community for local graduations and community theatre performances.

“This is a project unlike any other in the Houston-region, one that supports tourism and economic goals that have been identified throughout more than a decade of discussion- including support from a citizen-led Visioning Task Force and a public vote in 2008,” said then-Mayor James Thompson. “Along with a new 50-acre business site for Fluor, the Texas Instruments campus, the future expansion of Class A office space, and plans for a hotel/conference center and other amenities, the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land is the cornerstone of an exciting development that will increase tourism, provide unique destination activities for local and regional visitors, promote capital investment and create new jobs.”

Designed for flexibility, the 200,000-square-foot venue incorporates innovative moveable walls that can expand and contract to create four different seating capacities that range from an intimate setting of 3,400 seats to a maximum of 6,400. It also features 14 luxury suites, corporate hospitality areas, and the latest sound, light and video technology. Other offerings include space to house up to 18 trucks and buses, as well as 2,500 guest parking spaces.

“We are excited to provide the greater Houston area with a multi-functional, state-of-the-art performance venue located in Sugar Land, Texas,” said Gary Becker, ACE SL. “Its customizable features and flexible design allow us to easily transition from one performance to the next.”

In addition to its upscale design, ACE SL partnered with prestigious companies for sponsorships. In February 2015, Smart Financial Credit Union was awarded the naming rights of the performance venue, agreeing to a five-year term with a five-year option to extend. Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land is another notable sponsor as the official automotive sponsor. The luxury partnership includes a VIP lounge for suite and premium seat holders, the Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land concert series, automotive displays, audience engagement opportunities such as interactive kiosks and test drive events, and exclusive reveal events to showcase new Mercedes-Benz models. Other sponsors for the facility include Silver Eagle, Think Energy and PepsiCo.

“Smart Financial is proud to support Sugar Land as it develops into an entertainment hub for tourists and locals alike. We are a locally based Texas institution and we believe in giving back to the growing communities we serve,” said Gary Tuma, President and CEO of Smart Financial Credit Union. “We cannot wait to open the doors and welcome the community into this beautiful, state of the art venue.”

The Smart Financial Centre will fill the region’s void in attracting large-scale, national performances and position Sugar Land as a destination location for culture and entertainment. It follows the installation of Constellation Field, home to the Sugar Land Skeeters. ACE SL, LLC and the City of Sugar Land broke ground on the Smart Financial Centre in December 2014. Linbeck Group, LLC is serving as the construction manager for the facility, which was designed by Martinez + Johnson Architecture. It is projected for completion in fall 2016.

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