HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – On Friday, the Huntsville Havoc play their first home game.
On Tuesday evening, hockey fans lined up to greet the team and pick up their season tickets.
"It's kind of nice to get up close and personal with the players," Havoc season ticket holder Rheta Muniz said.
The Von Braun Center showed off some new features to hockey fans at Propst Arena. They also revealed the names and event lineup for the new music hall and restaurant.
Fresh off another championship season, around a dozen returning players from last year were happy to sign some jerseys, photos and sticks.
"They're a good bunch of guys, they've always been a good bunch of guys. And the ones who are back are some of our favorites," Muniz said.
"Every year I've been here, the attendance has gotten bigger and bigger and the front office does a great job of getting people to come to games," Huntsville Havoc defenseman Nolan Kaiser said.
But leaders at the VBC have spent the summer making some improvements, installing new boards, new glass and LED lights in the arena.
"It's going to enhance the game. It's going to enhance the fan experience," Von Braun Center executive director Steve Maples said.
But the VBC hopes to attract much more than hockey fans this winter, as they announced the concert lineup for their soon to be finished music hall expansion.
"Huntsville needed a music hall," Maples said. "There was a void there with millennials."
The Havoc will take the ice on Friday, the same day the VBC will start selling tickets at its new Mars Music Hall. That's expected to be finished before Christmas. And the first act coming to town is Jason Isbell, who'll perform on January 3rd.
"I anticipate will sell out the day it goes on sale," Maples said.
The new music hall will also feature a rooftop bar and restaurant, which Maples expects will open in January.
In a video presentation, updated renderings from the architectural firm, Matheny Goldmon, previewed Rhythm on Monroe – a full-service restaurant and rooftop bar. Rhythm, aptly named for the different types of musical performances hosted at the VBC on the corner of Clinton Avenue and Monroe Street, will serve locally-sourced ingredients and provide fresh urban fare. It will feature craft brews, a curated wine list, and handmade cocktails that guests will be able to enjoy while sitting near fire pits at the rooftop bar overlooking Big Spring Park.
“Rhythm will be the perfect spot for a pre-show dinner, after-show cocktails, or just a great dining spot without attending an event,” remarked Von Braun Center Executive Director Steve Maples. “The expansive open views on the rooftop bar will be a great place to watch the sunset over Downtown Huntsville!”
Rhythm on Monroe will open early 2020.
Changing the landscape of the music scene in Huntsville, the VBC’s newest venue Mars Music Hall will provide an open floor plan, with a balcony overlooking an oversized stage. With a 1,575-person capacity – this intimate setting will offer great acoustics for a variety of events ranging from concerts to comedy acts and everything in between.
“This is an exciting time, not only for the Von Braun Center, but for the Tennessee Valley region,” continued Maples. “The City of Huntsville is developing at a rapid pace and is constantly attracting out-of-market visitors and enhancing the quality of life for local residents. Adding this size and type of music venue to the heart of the city is an important step in continuing that growth, and we could not have made this happen without the support of Mayor Tommy Battle and the City of Huntsville.”
Jason Isbell will make VBC history by being the first performer on the Mars Music Hall stage on Friday, January 3, 2020. Also on queue for Mars are Black Jacket Symphony, Tig Notaro, Chris Janson, Graham Nash, Jo Dee Messina, and many others.
To see the full lineup of announced performances and to learn about purchasing tickets, visit marsmusichall.com.
The addition of these two new venues at the VBC is part of an ongoing expansion project, approved by the Huntsville City Council in June 2017, that will ultimately include a new ballroom and multi-purpose space; renovation of the existing North Hall; the addition of breakout meeting spaces and more.
Initial list of confirmed shows
- January 3 Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
- January 4 The Black Jacket Symphony Presents: Nirvana and Pearljam
- January 17 Riley Green
- January 23 Billy Strings
- January 24 Machine Head
- January 25 Corey Smith
- January 26 An Evening with C.S. Lewis Starring David Payne
- January 31 JJ Grey & Mofro
- February 1 Tig Notaro
- February 8 Rumours: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute
- February 25 Queensrÿche with John 5 and Eve to Adam
- February 28 Chris Janson
- March 13 The Molly Ringwalds
- March 15 Chippendales
- March 25 An Intimate Evening of Songs and Stories with Graham Nash
- March 28 Jo Dee Messina
- April 14 Victor Wooten and the Wooten Brothers
- April 26 Yacht Rock Revue
- May 16 Kathleen Madigan