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January 28, 2015

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At a glance: UNLV Now



Artist rendering of the proposed UNLV Now project.


Artist rendering of the proposed UNLV Now project. Launch slideshow »

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  • UNLV President Neal Smatresk talks about the importance of sports for the university
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The heart of the UNLV Now plan is a 50,000-seat domed stadium (or “mega-event center”), expandable to 55,000 seats, on the campus of UNLV. Also included in the project would be thousands of living units — described once as mini resorts — for UNLV students and faculty, and a retail area.

Principals behind proposal

This public/private venture brings together UNLV and California-based Majestic Realty Co., developers of the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Craig Cavileer, Silverton resort president, is Majestic’s project representative.

Support for or against

The Nevada Board of Regents has embraced the project. UNLV President Neal Smatresk calls it the “transformational step we need” for the campus. The project received a big boost this summer when longtime Las Vegas developer Irwin Molasky spoke on its behalf to the Board of Regents. Thus far, no organized opposition has surfaced.

Likelihood of attracting a pro team

Developers are thinking NHL or soccer, even rugby. The prevailing thought in Las Vegas is, “if you build it, the NBA or NHL will come.” Maybe even Major League Soccer.

Financing and/or enticements

UNLV would float bonds for long-term financing, leveraging sales tax revenue collected onsite. Majestic would provide private funding and is doing most of the planning.

Legal and legislative obstacles

Project developers are seeking a tax-increment finance district for the project, which would require legislative approval. If the district is approved, the project would be exempt from paying property, sales and live entertainment taxes for an estimated 25 to 30 years. Developers could still collect those fees and keep the money to help pay off the project’s debt. Proponents will lobby the Legislature to approve the tax-increment finance district early in the 2013 session. A similar attempt to allow tax dollars to be used to fund a stadium’s construction failed late in the 2011 session.

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  1. "NHL, NBA, MLB or soccer, rugby". NHL requires an ICE arena, NBA requires a hard or wooden court, MLB requires a large field, soccer or rugby requires grass. What will it be, or do they plan to exchange grass for ICE on demand?

    Dodger Stadium is a 55,000 seat arena. How many hockey games are played in Chavez Ravine each year? How many basketball games? Rugby? Soccer?

    Will there be an area for each one, inside a single stadium? How many 50,000 seat basketball arenas are there in this world? Are there 50,000 people in this valley who would pay $25 to watch a hockey game? Cheeze Louise.

    And with thousands of living units too? How big are those units - 15'x15'? including the bathroom and kitchen? That's a crash pad, not a living area. The bathroom would be just a toilet with a shower curtain around it and the shower a spritzer bottle.

    Time to put away the water colors boys and girls. Draw a scale model of the premises, show the dimensions to scale, including the parking lot and identify that street at the right. It looks like Anaheim in the 1950's.

  2. need to research this more...the answers to your questions have been given. With the T&M being one of the highest grossing revenue arenas in the world, this makes so much sense as the stadium could house even larger events....this project is the only one that is as full proof as it can will not only have the best chance of paying for itself (with an infrastructure already in place), but will do this while providing the upgrades the university needs to move to higher levels.... The people that don't want this, are the ones that don't care about our community.

  3. Best chance for a pro team would come from the MSL.Ticket prices will be to high for NBA and NHL. I for one think pro franchises here in Las Vegas are a waste of money lining the pockets of owners. UNLV football would be great the players don't get paid and they give it their all and represent the community. MSL ticket prices are affordable and we have a great local support for soccer in the small British community,Latin Community and the gringo community are playing it more.

  4. @SUNJON you should really make sure you know at least 1 thing about anything before you leave public comments. Most importantly at least read the article you are commenting on.. and try better not to misquote and misunderstand pretty much everything. Nobody ever said anything about baseball or the MLB. read the article again. Another thing you may be interested to know is that the stadium would employ hydraulic tracks to expand horizontally and vertically to hold 7,500 to 50,000 seats allowing the stadium to adjust its size based on the nature of the event. Oh.. also.. things like hardwood floors and ice rinks are interchangeable in almost any events center.. The Thomas and Mack hosts basketball on a hardwood floor, used to host the Thunder hockey team on ice, and picks all that up for all kinds of events such as high school graduations, concerts, fights, etc. Those things aren't permanent.. Like seriously, have you ever been to any sort of sporting event?.. ever?.. they even play hockey games on baseball fields once a year now for the winter classic.. cmon man.. And if you had taken any time to actually look into the plan you would understand that it is a plan that extends over the entire campus.. the living units are not part of the stadium. Please inform yourself beyond a short skim of this one short article before commenting in a public forum
    Thank you