Construction begins Thursday on new Las Vegas arena - 8 News NOW

Construction begins Thursday on new Las Vegas arena

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LAS VEGAS - Construction on a new arena near the Las Vegas Strip begins Thursday morning. The arena, a joint venture of AEG and MGM Resorts, is expected to generate jobs and revenue for the city.

The arena will seat 20,000 people, making it the largest venue on the Strip. The project is privately funded; investors are spending $375 million to make it happen. It is located on Rue De Monte Carlo near Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue.

The arena is expected to host special events such as concerts and award ceremonies, but could also attract professional sports teams.

“I think it gives Las Vegas more flexibility. Now, we've got another venue that’s going to be bigger, so we can have bigger shows that we might not have been able to have," said UNLV Center for Gaming Research Director Dave Schwartz.

Developers of the project say the arena's design will capture the excitement of the Strip. The main entrance features a glass façade with an LED overlay. Although no potential teams have emerged yet, developers say the venue is equipped to support an NBA or NHL franchise.

Once the arena opens, it's expected to bring more than 5,000 new jobs and potentially more as event organizers book the venue. The arena is also estimated to bring in more than $37 million in revenue.

Schwartz says this arena is a win-win for our city.

"First of all, you're going to have people actually working at the arena. Then, you've got the potential that, if they're having events in the arena that they wouldn't have had in Las Vegas, you’re going to be drawing more visitors here. So, that's going to be even more wealth flowing in the community, and you'll need more jobs to take care of those. So, I think it has the potential for a really big impact on the economy," he said.

Schwartz says the arena is further proof Las Vegas is becoming entertainment central, instead of a gambling destination.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the arena takes place Thursday at 11 a.m. It is expected to open in 2016.
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