Saturday, June 1, 2013 | 8:13 p.m.
CARSON CITY – A plan to spend $57.7 million to renovate the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV was outlined Saturday to the Senate Finance Committee without drawing any opposition.
The project is included in a bill to permit the Board of Regents to issue bonds up to $85 million for construction projects on various campuses.
University officials told the committee the project will take 24-30 months and employ 600 workers. Thomas & Mack will remain open during the work.
The center is 30 years old and major improvements are needed.
A 2012 economic impact report said 21.7 million people have attended events at the center since its opening in 1983. The report, by Mark Rosentraub of the University of Michigan’s Center for Sports Management, said out-of-state visitors attending events at the center have spent more than $200 million in Las Vegas each year.
And these tourists generate $18 million in taxes annually for the state, Clark County governments and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, according to the report.
The center, Sam Boyd Stadium and the UNLV Cox Pavilion produce $7 million to $8 million to support UNLV athletic programs.
The bonds will pay for improving the mechanical, plumbing, lighting and electric systems, seating replacements and upgrade life safety systems, such as sprinklers, smoke control and fire alarms.
The bill passed the Assembly 40-1 with only Jim Wheeler, R-Minden dissenting.
The finance committee did not take any action on the bill.