Does Vegas Need Multiple Arenas?

Projects in the planning stages include a Symphony Park arena; another near the Las Vegas Strip; a minor league baseball stadium, and a stadium at UNLV (l.). A local hockey team also wants its own home ice.

No major league teams yet

A billion dollars’ worth of arena construction is now being considered for the city of Las Vegas, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Projects on the drawing board include a football stadium at the University of Nevada Las Vegas; a $350 million stadium near the Strip proposed by MGM Resorts International and entertainment company AEG; a Downtown Las Vegas arena at Symphony Park, which would be built by Baltimore developer David Cordish; and a $690 million arena on the Strip next to the SLS Las Vegas, to be developed by former UNLV basketball player and Las Vegas businessman Jackie Robinson.

And that’s not all. The owners of a local baseball team, the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s, want the city, Clark County and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to sell $65 million in bonds to pay for a new ballpark near Red Rock Resort. South Point Arena & Equestrian Center is also building a $30 million addition. The Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team are headed to Downtown Vegas. The Wranglers will build a new 3,500-seat facility at the Plaza that will serve as their new home.

Jonathan Jossel, managing director of the Tamares Group, parent company of the Plaza, said the partnership “will be good for the Wranglers, good for the fans and good for Downtown.” He added that ticket prices are likely to increase, and parking fees also will offset the price of development.

“I’m real confident our fans won’t have that big of a change at all,” he told the Review-Journal. “We wouldn’t be doing anything that would price our fans out.”

The flurry of activity has architects, designers and contractors lining up for their share of the work.

“Certainly there have been many groups that have alerted us that they have great experience with designing, or constructing, or managing, or marketing stadiums, and so over the past year or so we probably have had cold calls from a couple dozen groups,” said Gerry Bomotti, UNLV senior vice president for finance and business.

MGM’s new arena will not have dedicated parking, but will utilize space in the CityCenter employee garage, the New York-New York garage, surface parking at the Excalibur and another small surface parking lot. The MGM-AEG partnership hopes to break ground this year and open the arena in 2016.