The Center for the Performing Arts at The Woodlands, home of The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, is about to undergo a major renovation following damage sustained from Hurricane Ike in September. The renovation includes construction of approximately 2,000 new reserved seats behind the existing uncovered seating area and building a larger canopy structure to cover all 6,500 seats. Designed by Horst Berger, original architect of The Pavilion, Rey de la Reza Architects, Inc., and managed by Fretz Construction, general contractor, heavy work on the $9 million project is set to begin in December. Renovations are projected to be complete by April 30, 2009, in time for The Pavilion’s 20th season.

During Hurricane Ike, The Pavilion suffered severe damage to its Teflon coated Fiberglas fabric roof and support structure over the reserved seating area. A structural engineering firm hired to assess the damage determined that the venue should not be used for public gatherings until the roof system and its steel structure were repaired. As a result, Pavilion management had no alternative but to cancel the last 10 shows of its 2008 season. Other damage to the venue included the stage wall and roof panels, event tent, lawn concession stand and erosion on the back of the hill. Repairs to these areas are included in the renovation.

“We took a long hard look at our situation, considered several options and decided this renovation was the best course of action for us to take at this time,” said Jerry MacDonald, president and CEO of The Pavilion. “Although the damage from Ike was devastating, it presented us with the perfect opportunity to consider expanding our covered seating capacity to make our venue even more appealing to both artists and concertgoers. It’s a project we were planning to do in the next few years anyway. Hurricane Ike gave us a reason to do it sooner rather than later.”

Previously, The Pavilion had approximately 2,800 covered seats, including 224 box seats, and 1,900 uncovered seats. With the addition of nearly 2,000 seats and a larger canopy to cover all the seats, The Pavilion’s covered seating capacity goes from 2,800 to approximately 6,500 seats, including several additional boxes. Overall capacity of the venue will remain about the same, approximately 16,500. This number includes a lawn capacity of approximately 10,000.

“To remain competitive in attracting major artists to our venue, and to better serve the hundreds of thousands of concertgoers who enjoy live music at The Pavilion every year, we feel this seating reconfiguration is important to the future success of The Pavilion,” MacDonald said.

Live Nation, the national promoter that books the major contemporary concerts at The Pavilion, is partnering with the venue in the renovation.

“This is a prime opportunity for The Pavilion to make changes and improvements to the facility that will put it in the position of being more competitive for concerts in the Houston market,” said Bob Roux, president of Live Nation for Houston, Dallas and New Orleans. “We support The Pavilion and its efforts to remain one of the premiere venues of its kind in Houston and the United States.”

Contractors were given the green light to begin work on the renovation when The Pavilion’s Board of Directors unanimously voted in favor of the project at Tuesday’s Board meeting.

“We are excited about unveiling a completely new Pavilion in conjunction with our 20th season,” said Candice Glenn, chairman of The Pavilion’s Board of Directors. “Besides continuing to be a world-class, state-of-the-art facility, the expanded covered seating area will greatly benefit all of our educational outreach programs, including Musical Scores, Fine Arts Education Day and Children’s Festival. We will be able to accommodate thousands more children at each of these events which is an important part of The Pavilion’s mission as a nonprofit organization.”

Construction and expansion history of The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (numbers are approximate):

1990 Construction complete and grand opening in April
2,800 covered seats; no uncovered seating; 7,200 lawn capacity
Total capacity: 10,000

1995 Expansion and addition of more concessions and restrooms
2,800 covered seats; addition of 1,900 uncovered seats; increased lawn capacity to 8,800
Total capacity: 13,500

2001 Expansion and addition of new dressing room compound and storage facility
2,800 covered seats; 1,900 uncovered seats; increased lawn capacity to 11,800
Total capacity: 16,500

2009 Renovation, addition of 2,000 seats and conversion of both uncovered seats and new seats to covered seating
6,500 covered seats; lawn capacity reduced to 10,000
Total capacity: 16,500

Season seats and box seats are now available for The Pavilion’s 20th season. For more information, please contact JD Villasenor, director of premium seat sales, at 281-210-1121 or [email protected] For more information about The Pavilion, visit

Performing Arts Season Generously Sponsored By

Sponsors | Live Nation Sponsors / Huntsman Sponsors | The Howard Hughes Company Sponsors | Pepsi Sponsors | Texas Children's Hospital Sponsors | The Wortham Foundation Sponsors | Woodlands Township Sponsors | Pavilion Partners Sponsors | Woodforest Naitonal Bank Sponsors | Aramark Sponsors | Xfinity Sponsors | Sewell

Live Nation Venue Sponsors

Sponsors | Live Nation Sponsors / Huntsman Sponsors | Pepsi Sponsors | Woodforest Naitonal Bank Sponsors | Xfinity Sponsors | Citi Sponsors | Bud Light Sponsors | Saint Arnold Brewing Company Sponsors | Nissan