LV City Council Extends Talks on Downtown Arena - 8 News NOW

LV City Council ExtendsTalks on Downtown Arena

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Artistic drawing of proposed arena. Artistic drawing of proposed arena.

LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas City Council voted Wednesday to extend talks with developers of a proposed downtown arena in Symphony Park despite some community leaders saying it's a poorly planned project and taxpayers will lose.

The vote extends talks with The Cordish Companies, the developer of the project, for another four months. The decision also sets terms that would be used to reach a development agreement.

The Cordish Companies promises the arena will host 100 events and generate millions in extra money for the downtown area. The sleekly designed 18,000-seat arena would be surrounded by an open air live district which would offer free live music and entertainment to the public.

The decision came despite strong opposition from downtown businesses, which expressed concern about how the arena would be funded. Most business leaders, including Boyd Gaming, do not want the arena funded with public money.

"Don't ask the public and the people in this community to fund this when we are trying to figure out how to fund more cops," said Russell Rowe, Boyd Gaming.

"I mean, do you really think that this is going to be feasible?" Richard Worthington with the Molasky Group asked. "I urge you to proceed carefully."

According to the city, the proposed arena would cost about $390 million. Nearly half of that money would be funded by the city of Las Vegas. An additional $52 million would still be needed which could come in the form of public and private funding.

Developers insist Las Vegans won't pay any additional taxes for the project.

"Arenas are never easy. You look at arenas across the country and they can be controversial and they are difficult to build," said Port Telles, The Cordish Companies.

"The revenue projection is just wildly unrealistic," said Bob Beers, Las Vegas city councilman.

"I ask everybody for the four months," Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said.

The proposed arena will be designed for professional sports teams. City leaders say some basketball and hockey pro teams have shown interest, but there is no commitment yet.



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