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August 28, 2015

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Bombarded by arena proposals: A look at the options

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Las Vegas National Sports Center

A rendering of the proposed Las Vegas National Sports Center three-stadium complex in downtown Las Vegas.

Southern Nevada’s creative minds have designed resorts that have captured the imaginations of millions of tourists.

Now, with resort development on hiatus thanks to the Great Recession, the dreamers and schemers are imagining Las Vegas’ next big thing — a sports venue.

Developers hope these arenas will be home to professional and/or college sports and keep the National Finals Rodeo in town. Most are indoor venues, but some are open air. And all would require some form of public funding.

The proposals have come at a fast clip, including two in the past two weeks. Las Vegans need a score card to keep up with the plans in play. Here’s a look at five proposed developments:

Las Vegas National Sports Center

Click to enlarge photo

A rendering of the proposed Las Vegas National Sports Center three-stadium complex in downtown Las Vegas.

LOCATION: Downtown Las Vegas, on 70 acres northeast of World Market Center in the vicinity of Symphony Park.

CORPORATE SPONSOR: International Development Management LLC, Austin, Texas

PUBLIC FACE: Chris Milam, president

PRICE TAG: $1.57 billion

PUBLIC MONEY: City land, improvement district

THE PROPOSAL: A three-venue complex:

• Silver State Arena, capacity 17,500, a proposed home of NBA basketball, NHL hockey, UNLV basketball.

• Silver State Ballpark, capacity 9,000 (expandable to 36,000), a proposed home to AAA baseball (Las Vegas 51s) and UNLV baseball. It could expand to house Major League Baseball.

• Silver State Stadium, capacity 50,000 (expandable to 75,000), a proposed home to UNLV football, Las Vegas Bowl, major league soccer, UNLV soccer. Could expand to house a National Football League team.

HURDLES: Rival developer Cordish has rights to the site, but the companies have had exploratory talks. The developers have no major league tenants on the horizon.

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Downtown Las Vegas arena proposal

LOCATION: Las Vegas Boulevard and Stewart Avenue, on part of 20 acres identified for an entertainment district.

CORPORATE SPONSOR: Cordish Co., Baltimore

PUBLIC FACE: Las Vegas City Hall, but Mayor Oscar Goodman has said he would support any group that could get an arena built.

PRICE TAG: $500 million

PUBLIC MONEY: City land, special tax district

THE PROPOSAL: An 18,000-seat venue that would be home to NBA basketball and NHL hockey. The arena would be part of a downtown entertainment district.

The design team built Ballpark Village at St. Louis’ new Busch Stadium.

HURDLES: No major league tenant has been identified.

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UNLV Now, domed stadium

Click to enlarge photo

This is a conceptual rendering of a proposed on-campus, multi-use stadium for UNLV shown Tuesday, February 1, 2011.

LOCATION:West of Thomas & Mack Center, on 150 acres next to campus

CORPORATE SPONSOR: Majestic Realty Co., Industry, Calif.

PUBLIC FACE: Majestic Chairman and CEO Ed Roski

PRICE TAG: Unknown

PUBLIC MONEY: UNLV land, special tax district

THE PROPOSAL: The 40,000-seat domed stadium would be home to UNLV football and UNLV basketball with the potential to host major league sports. It would bring football to the UNLV campus and be part of a larger project that includes retail and residential.

The developers are responsible for Los Angeles’ Staples Center and are part of owners of the L.A. Lakers and L.A. Kings.

HURDLES: Potential airspace issues involving the Federal Aviation Administration. The project could eliminate the McCarran International Airport traffic egress on Swenson Street.

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Las Vegas Arena Foundation/Caesars Entertainment arena

LOCATION: East of Imperial Palace, on 13 acres owned by Caesars Entertainment Corp.

CORPORATE SPONSOR: Las Vegas Arena Foundation, Las Vegas — a nonprofit corporation formed specifically to develop an arena on land donated by Caesars Entertainment.

PUBLIC FACE: Foundation President Bruce Woodbury, a former longtime county commissioner

PRICE TAG: $500 million

PUBLIC MONEY: 0.9 percent sales and use tax for the resort corridor

THE PROPOSAL: Would bring a 20,000-seat venue for NBA basketball and NHL hockey to the heart of the Strip. Backers say it would host concerts and other events.

HURDLES: Initiative vote wouldn’t occur until November 2012; gaming giant MGM Resorts International is leading a legal challenge against the plan.

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Olympia Group arena proposal

LOCATION: Las Vegas Boulevard South and Cactus Avenue

CORPORATE SPONSOR: Olympia Group, Las Vegas

PUBLIC FACE: Olympia Group CEO Garry Goett

PRICE TAG: $600 million

PUBLIC MONEY: Sales and use tax

THE PROPOSAL: The 20,000-seat arena is proposed as home to NBA basketball and NHL hockey. The 240-acre site owned by Olympia Group, offers plenty of room and is a potential draw to the far south end of Las Vegas Boulevard.

HURDLES: Project appears to have lost traction amid the flurry of arena proposals. The site is several miles from the Strip and downtown properties.

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