Pictured to the right, the Laredo Energy Arena (LEA) is a first-class, state-of-the-art multipurpose facility developed by Arena Ventures LLC. This multi-use facility has introduced affordable, family-oriented entertainment to the South Texas and Northern Mexico markets, including major concerts, sporting events, family and ice shows, conventions, trade shows and civic events.
During the late 1990s, Laredo Energy's CEO, Glenn Hart, made frequent trips to Laredo and consistently took note of the city's tremendous growth. He also noticed that South Texas and Northern Mexico were missing a modern venue to attract sporting events, top-name concerts and family shows. At the time, area residents had to drive two or more hours to the nearest entertainment facility.
In 1999, Hart and five businessmen formed Arena Ventures partnered with the City of Laredo to build a world-class entertainment facility. The City of Laredo funded the $36.5 million project through a one-quarter percent sales tax increase that was approved by Laredo voters on August 12, 2000, with the facility's groundbreaking taking place in June 2001.
The Laredo Energy Arena was built in just 15 months at a cost of $36.5 million. The economic impact to the local community now exceeds $100 million dollars per year and LEA generates hundreds of local jobs.