Companies Jockey to Build Arena - 8 News NOW

Companies Jockey to Build Arena

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A rendering of an arena proposed for downtown Las Vegas. A rendering of an arena proposed for downtown Las Vegas.
A rendering of an arena proposed for UNLV. A rendering of an arena proposed for UNLV.

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world, but some visitors said they are surprised the skyline lacks a large modern arena or huge stadium.

The valley has a list of arenas that may or may not be built.

Sources have told the I-Team that Resorts World Las Vegas developers have floated around the idea of building an arena on the former Stardust property.

A spokesperson said they are "openly considering all entertainment venues."

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said she hopes a downtown arena will be built at Symphony Park.

"I'm really excited about it," she said. "Have been ever since (former mayor) Oscar (Goodman) was first trying to develop these 61 acres and absolutely committed to getting an NBA team here, we hope."

But Goodman said she knows there's competition.

She has long supported efforts to get the University of Nevada, Las Vegas a new stadium near its campus.

And on Friday, throwing its hat into the ring, MGM Resorts International announced plans for a 20,000 seat arena between the New York New York and Monte Carlo resorts for concerts and sporting events.

"MGM Resorts and AEG have the capacity to finance this right now," said MGM Resorts spokesman Gordon Absher said. "We are seeking no public financing. This will be privately financed."

Most arena proposals have failed -- from the Silver State arena nearby the former Sahara casino and the Las Vegas National Sports Complex near the M Resort to Caesars Entertainment's hopes for a sports arena behind the Flamingo resort.

Yet, the plans keep coming.

"It shows a lot of people are looking at Vegas and saying we need more space for big events," said Dave Schwartz, director of the UNLV Center for Gaming Research.

Whichever project wins the arena game is unclear, but don't expect anything from city hall until it's a done deal.

"We don't make announcements until the money's in the bank and the shovel is ready to go into the ground," Goodman said.

Monday's announcement that Resorts World bought the Echelon construction site is promising news for the Las Vegas economy.

The UNLV Now project estimates its mega-events center could add almost $400 million a year in spending.

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