Once-Dormant Las Vegas Arena Project Announces New Funding

For nearly ten years, Jackie Robinson’s planned All Net Resort & Arena project (l.) on the north Strip has made little progress leading to pressure from local officials. Now, the development appears to be back on track, thanks to new funding from investor Todd Owen.

Once-Dormant Las Vegas Arena Project Announces New Funding

The 27-acre All Net Resort & Arena project on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, which has been up and down—mostly down—for nearly 10 years now, was recently injected with new life after its director, former professional basketball player Jackie Robinson, announced at a media event October 19 that he has secured new funding.

The $4.9 billion development, which is expected to include a state-of-the–art sports arena complete with a retractable roof, a pair of high-end resorts, convention space and more, has resumed construction, Robinson said at the event, which took place at the Stirling Club.

He added that he plans to seek extensions via the Clark County Commission next month. The expansive project is now slated to be completed by the start of 2026.

The plot, which is situated between the Fontainebleau and the Sahara, on a site that once was a water park, hasn’t been much more than a vacant, cleared site for some time—in fact, local officials have had to remove mosquitoes from the area after receiving complaints due to standing rainwater.

Todd Owen, head of an investment fund known as the Clearwater Perpetual Master Trust, was unveiled as the new source of funding for the project. Owen told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he was connected to Robinson through a mutual friend.

An attorney for the development, Torben Welch, said that Owen’s bond holdings make him more than capable of financing the long-dormant project. With Owen now on board, the total funding package is believed to have reached $6 billion.

Commissioner Tick Segerblom, who represents the district in which the All Net development is located, told the Review-Journal that he has pestered Robinson in the past about his inactivity, but now that the project appears to have momentum again, the future prospects are “so exciting.”

Segerblom also said that he is confident about Robinson’s ability to procure the necessary construction extensions, and that “everything I’ve seen to date looks very positive.”

The development was first announced in late 2013, with plans to open by 2017. Original budget estimates came in at around $1.3 billion. Clark County officials then gave the green light to construction in mid-2014, but ground wasn’t broken until three years later.

Robinson was then granted an extension in late 2017, but little progress has since been made. By the end of 2020, the commission told the former UNLV basketball player that he had six months to file the requisite paperwork. Segerblom himself told Robinson that it was “time to fish or cut bait.”

He fulfilled his obligations, and was subsequently granted another approval in April of last year.

Bureaucracy aside, Robinson has also struggled to secure the funding needed to complete his ambitious designs. Over the years, he’s announced Credit Suisse, the International Bank of Qatar and Active Capital Holdings as investors in the project, none of which came to fruition.

It’s the third arena planned or operating on the Las Vegas Strip. The T-Mobile Center is operated by MGM Resorts and is home to the NHL Vegas Golden Knights. The second arena, announced early this year at the south end of the Strip at Windmill Road, has also claimed to achieved the appropriate financing, and also features a mixed-use development of a resort and a mixed-use development. Developers claim to have a positive nod from the NBA to host a pro basketball team once Vegas is granted one.

And that’s not to forget the 18,000-seat MSG Sphere nearing completion behind the Venetian and the Palazzo. While it won’t host any sporting events, it will host high-profile entertainment in a state-of-the-art facility that takes full use interactive technology. The Irish band U2 has been announced as the opening act later in 2023.