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October 1, 2014

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At a glance: Las Vegas National Sports Complex (Henderson)

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Artist rendering of the proposed Las Vegas National Sports Complex in Henderson.

Las Vegas National Sports Complex

Artist rendering of the proposed Las Vegas National Sports Complex in Henderson. Launch slideshow »

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  • Developer Chris Milam talks about recruiting a NBA team
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The Las Vegas National Sports Complex is a proposed multibillion-dollar project that would be built on 485 acres east of Interstate 15, just northeast of the M Resort in Henderson. Developers envision the project launching with a 17,500-seat, $650 million indoor arena, followed by a 25,000-seat open-air stadium, a 63,500-seat domed stadium and a baseball stadium.

Principals behind proposal

Las Vegas National Sports Complex LLC, led by developer Chris Milam, is developing the project. The company is in discussions to secure a $650 million construction loan from China Security & Surveillance Technology, a company based in Shenzhen, China. Milam has attempted and failed to develop several other stadium proposals in Southern Nevada, including a complex west of Mandalay Bay.

Support for or against

The Henderson City Council has expressed tentative support for the project, approving a master plan agreement and supporting Las Vegas National Sports Complex’s purchase of 485 acres from the Bureau of Land Management. The project has received little resistance from the public so far. Dennis Porter, Henderson’s director of utility services, said the city has met with neighborhood groups and various other organizationsto explain the proposal.

“Sometimes when we start those meetings, they’re concerned about traffic and noise,” he said. “Once they better understand the project, the location, how we’re managing traffic, 99 percent are on board.”

Likelihood of attracting a pro team

Milam is confident he can attract a professional basketball team to the arena and said he’s been in discussions with two franchises for possible relocation, although he’s revealed few other details. Even without an NBA team, Milam has said the project could be successful.

Financing and/or enticements

If construction is finished, the arena would be given to the city and leased back to the developers to operate, allowing the city to issue bonds and implement several financing tools. Porter said three options are being considered: a standard property tax-increment area using increased revenue from rising property values to help pay for infrastructure like sewers, roads and drains; a tourism improvement district to recapture some sales tax revenue; and a user fee structure that would add a fee to ticket, food, beverage and other goods sold at the stadium.

Legal and legislative obstacles

The Las Vegas National Sports Complex faces no major legal or legislative hurdles, although establishing a tourism improvement district on the site would require approval by the state tourism commission and the governor.

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