Consulting Firm Studying Feasibility of UNLV Stadium - 8 News NOW

Consulting Firm Studying Feasibility of UNLV Stadium

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Artist rendering of proposed UNLV stadium. Artist rendering of proposed UNLV stadium.
Artist rendering of MGM Resort's arena. Artist rendering of MGM Resort's arena.

LAS VEGAS -- UNLV is moving forward with its plans for a stadium that could seat as many as 55,000 people. The stadium would be built near the Thomas & Mack Center, somewhere near the tennis courts off of Swenson Street. One of the top industry consultants is helping with UNLV's stadium game plan.

"The Cowboys, we did all the planning and the sales execution," said Bill Rhoda with CSL International, an arena consultant.

Rhoda is very familiar with sports venues.

"Not only have we been involved in the majority of the major league NFL stadiums, but we've also been involved in a variety of the new collegiate stadiums," he said.

His company, Conventions, Sports & Leisure, will help UNLV with its vision for a stadium.

"Number one, at the end of the day, is the stadium project feasible?" Rhoda said.

CLS will report on how large the stadium should be, whether it will be open-air, covered or have a retractable roof, and how much it will cost.

"Las Vegas is unique in terms of not only having the university, but having a resort industry that needs a facility like this," said Don Snyder, chairman for the UNLV Campus Improvement Authority Board.

He believes a UNLV stadium can serve the entire community. He says the arena MGM Resorts International plans to build won't affect UNLV's mission. MGM's new arena on the Las Vegas Strip will be built on a lot near New York-New York and open in mid-2016.

"It's apples and oranges. That's a 20,000-seat venue. This is going to be something closer to 50,000 seats, and it's for a very different type of events and audience," Snyder said.

Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani also supports a stadium on campus, but says Las Vegas can't overbuild.

"That's what got us in trouble on the Strip, that's what got us in trouble in our housing market. We have to stop this, everybody needs, every jurisdiction should have a stadium. I think that's nonsensical."

"What makes the most sense for this community?" Rhoda said.

CSL will be paid as much as $325,000 to answer that question. The company will also present financing options because a project of this undertaking would easily cost more than half a billion dollars. The company's final report is due by the end of September, and then if everything takes off smoothly, a stadium could be operating by  2020 or 2021.

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