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Plans are coming into focus for a proposed 150-acre development including a multi-purpose domed stadium on the campus of UNLV. At a news conference this week, Silverton Casino Owner Ed Roski and Silverton President Craig Cavileer announced details of the proposal, with the full blessing of UNLV President Neal Smatresk and Athletic Director Jim Livengood. Roski is a noted developer in Los Angeles, where he spearheaded construction of the Staples Center in 1999. He is the co-owner of that arena, along with two of its primary tenants, the L.A. Lakers and Kings.
The proposal calls for Roski’s Majestic Realty to enter into a public-private partnership to develop the land. The university would donate the land, located at the southwest corner of campus near the Thomas & Mack Center. The project would be funded by tax revenue collected from a designated “enterprise district” encompassing the development. It would create a master-planned village-like development, including new student housing, restaurants, retail shops, student services, and a refurbished Thomas & Mack Center to host primarily non-sporting events. Adjacent to the T&M would be the 40,000 seat domed stadium to house UNLV football and Runnin’ Rebel basketball. Developers say the facility would be flexible to host football, basketball, hockey, concerts, boxing matches, and other annual events like the National Finals Rodeo. While the stadium would primarily be for UNLV athletics, developers say it would be able to host NBA basketball or NHL hockey.
What developers are missing so far is a cost estimate and a timetable. Cavileer said it’s too early to predict the cost since plans are only in the preliminary stages. Next up, developers are going before the Board of Regents on February 11th to ask for approval on the public-private partnership. If that happens, the project would still require approval from the Clark County Commission and the state Legislature. Cavileer estimated with all approvals, it could still be a year before any ground was broken.
Smatresk said he is very excited about the proposal and added that no university money will go into the project, so it has no impact on the current battle over proposed state cuts to UNLV’s budget. Smatresk also touted the development as a major boost to the university’s academic and research agenda, noting its ability to generate revenue and bring more students to campus. More details on the plan are available here