City officials of Frisco were able to meet and lay out the plans for the awaited Performing Arts Center that will cater to the students as well as the entire community but its seating capacity was discussed lengthily according to a Community Impact article from May 17 which reports,
“Frisco staff presented survey findings at a Frisco City Council work session May 17 that included cost estimates and a space analysis of the facility.
Early agreements among Frisco ISD, the city of Frisco and Hall Park specified a $67 million performing arts center at Hall Park that would include a 1,250- to 1,500-seat performance hall and an additional community theater with a minimum of 250 seats. The school district designated $43 million for the project from a 2018 bond. The remaining funds would come in the form of $14 million from the city and $10 million from Hall Group founder Craig Hall. Additional funds toward the project also stemmed from private fundraising efforts.
The presentation outlined cost estimates for three different seat counts at the performance hall. Based on cost increases, a 1,250-seat venue would cost between $135.7 million-$151.1 million. A 1,500-seat venue would cost between $146.1 million-$158.2 million, and a 1,750-seat venue would cost up to $181.1 million.
Cost estimates for each of the seat capacities include a community theater seat count of 400.”
Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney heavily supported the option where it can be increased to 1750 seats and he wasn’t alone in that idea according to a Frisco Enterprise article from May 19. They say,
“So (private partner) Craig Hall’s $10 million essentially buys the delta from going from non-commercially viable to commercially viable,” Cheney said.
Cheney expressed support for one option that allowed for 1,500 seats with the ability to expand to 1,750 seats and have a “VIP club.” Numbers presented indicate that on the low end, the option of having such a facility could cost $188.6 million with 2022 numbers and $206.9 million by December 2023.
“That version is probably the one that you can actually fundraise and sell sponsorships for and sell a vision for,” Cheney said. “So it sounds to me that (…) in the long run, that would actually be the cheapest of the three options. You get a better venue.”
Council members Bill Woodard and Brian Livingston also expressed support for the 1,500-seat option with the ability to expand, but both also agreed that the next question was how to fund it.
The City officials were reminded that they were still in the designing phase and while no actual construction is yet to begin, they must be careful and strict not only to the budget but to the actual needs and benefits it will yield to the community and to the city.