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County commission OKs land deal for proposed UNLV stadium

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Artist rendering of the proposed UNLV Now project.

Updated Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 | 10:29 a.m.

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Clark County commissioners unanimously approved an agreement between the county and UNLV regarding some 60 acres of county property that UNLV needs to develop its mega-event center.

Tuesday’s action is another step toward realizing the 60,000-seat domed stadium is built on the UNLV campus.

The UNLV/Clark County deal is contingent upon UNLV gaining approval for its mega-events stadium from the university system board of regents, as well as obtaining funding for the development.

Commissioner Tom Collins said he saw "no harm" in approving the memorandum of understanding with UNLV because it's an initial step. Once UNLV obtains financing and university system approvals, the university will come back to the county as the plans go forward.

Commissioner Lawrence Weekly said he just wanted to make sure UNLV’s neighbors are involved. UNLV’s Don Snyder, who had previously led the effort to build the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, responded that he believed in "being inclusive."

"I'm committed to doing that. This needs to work for everyone. UNLV and the neighborhood around it is important,” said Snyder, dean of UNLV’s Harrah College of Hotel Administration.

The mega-events center, a joint venture of UNLV and Majestic Realty Co., is envisioned at the site of the current UNLV baseball facility, north of Harmon Avenue and east of Swenson Street. The baseball field would be moved south, between Harmon and Tropicana avenues.

The stadium’s cost is estimated around $800 million. UNLV and the developers earlier had said about one-third, or about $270 million, of the cost would come from long-term naming rights and numerous forms of advertising. Another third would come from revenue generated at the site; the last third would come in the form of a sort of tax-incremental financing plan, which would help developers obtain long-term financing.

The Legislature will be asked to approve the tax-incremental financing plan in 2013.

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  1. "This needs to work for everyone. UNLV and the neighborhood around it is important," said Snyder, dean of UNLV's Harrah College of Hotel Administration.

    It doesn't work for me if it includes "a sort of tax-incremental financing plan".

    And what exactly is "a sort of tax-incremental financing plan?"

  2. Chunky says:

    "60 acres of county property that UNLV needs to develop its mega-event center."

    There's a huge difference between "needs" and wants!

    Las Vegas NEEDS to be able to pay it's teachers better!
    Las Vegas NEEDS to put more butts in hotel beds!
    Las Vegas NEEDS to have the budget to crack down on crime!
    Las Vegas NEEDS to do a lot of things and maybe helping UNLV build their "mega-event center" is somewhere on the list but in Chunky's opinion it's way way way down the list from a lot more important things this city needs!

    This should be a private sector project and not a penny of the citizens taxes should be used to fund it!

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  3. UNLV and Las Vegas NEED a new stadium. UNLV will benefit because schools that have higher profile athletic programs bring in more money for their academic programs, and this facility will kick UNLV football upstairs (even if it's kicking and screaming:)). If UNLV athletics fall away, the entire school will be hurt
    Las Vegas will benefit for bringing more and bigger events - we are supposed to be the entertainment capital.

  4. The TIF plan sounds a lot like counting chickens and eggs before they hatch. But maybe I missed something there. I also think the opinion that having a grand facility like this will improve the UNLV football program might be a bit optimistic (wishful thinking?) as well.

    On the other hand, I could see something that was geared to the basketball program, with an eye to providing an even better site for PBR and other large events (think Duck Pond.) A properly conceived facility could possibly be used by pro-basketball as well, but that would need some serious study.

    I hope this is a success if it goes through, but I can't say I would wager much on it.

  5. Las Vegas is the only city of its size without a stadium of this size. The benefits outweigh the costs. Do you think most of the other high profile universities in the country are as prestigous because of the their research grant money? Everyone wants to support a winner.

    The basketball team already has two top tier facilities. The Mendenhall center is cutting edge and the T&M is outdated for a professional sports team, but still perfect for Rebel basketball.

  6. Getting the NFL or even a single March Madness Game is a pipe dream. The NFL is misguided in its understanding of game fixing and the NCAA will never reward the university that allowed Jerry Tarkanian to question its totalitarian rule of college sports.

    @Harley, The USA today's numbers were not for 2011, but from 2006-2011. Now, what the US Today's numbers don't take into account is the amount of tax revenue the UNLV financed facilities have generated. If the Thomas and Mack was able to keep just the tax revenue generated from Basketball and the NFR it could fund this new stadium on its own.