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April 21, 2015

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Rebels Athletics:

UNLV acknowledges effort to bring stadium, football to campus

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Neal Smatresk

UNLV is in early discussions to build a football stadium on campus and renovate the Thomas & Mack Center, school officials confirmed Wednesday.

President Neal Smatresk said in a statement that the school and entrepreneurs Ed Roski and Craig Cavileer are exploring a "public-private partnership" to build a multipurpose sports and entertainment complex on campus and to renovate UNLV's basketball arena. Caliveer is the president of the Silverton Casino Hotel and Lodge, which Roski owns.

"This is an attractive proposition. UNLV long has been interested in bringing UNLV football to the main campus," Smatresk said. "This will allow us to build on our success, bring more visitors to Las Vegas and retain the events that place the Thomas & Mack among the top grossing college arenas in the world."

Sun columnist Jon Ralston first reported Tuesday that Roski was interested in partnering with UNLV to build a domed stadium near campus.

Roski, a billionaire who ranked 524th on Forbes' list of the world's billionaires in 2008, has recently garnered headlines for his efforts to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles.

Terry Murphy, a representative for Roski, also confirmed Wednesday that discussions were under way, but declined to comment further.

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  1. Great idea; here's hoping some progress is made toward this end.

  2. No need for public funds when students are being asked to take a hit on the tuition and fees.

  3. This is about the dumbest thing I have heard recently. It is one thing to fantasize about this stuff in private, but it is another thing when 15% of the workforce in unemployed and higher education is in line to take a 20% cut. What are these boys thinking at UNLV? Oh, they aren't.

    This is as bright as the Chancellor who submits a budget increase, when asked to make a 10% cut.

    Looks like we need a president at UNLV to go with the new Chancellor that we also need. These chuckle heads have to go.

  4. correction, not domed stadium, but doomed stadium.

  5. There are a lot of well-meaning people that post here each day on the need to maintain funding for higher education at the current levels. Some argue for increases. While I do not always agree with them, I do respect their positions and I respect their desire to improve education in Nevada.

    This nonsense about a public-private partnership stadium, does more to undermine these advocates than any of the tax or budget arguments. The clowns running higher education in this state have zero credibility. It makes the argument that money sent to UNLV is money wasted.

  6. Let's Hear the plan - then you can throw the rotton tomatoes!

  7. I have to say... the 10% increase in spending was a symbolic move by the Chancellor; he was sticking it to gibbons and making the point that Higher Ed cannot be cut. Yes, we all know higher ed will be cut, but whats wrong with making a statement? Some people just don't get it.

    As far as the Stadium is concerned, I say bring it on. Everyone would flock to a new arena (wherever its built) to see an NFL/NBA/NHL team and so on, but no one is willing to pay a small tax increase for it. It would benefit our economy, creating thousands of jobs, but hey, we don't need those now do we?

  8. "This is an attractive proposition. UNLV long has been interested in bringing UNLV football to the main campus," Smatresk said. "This will allow us to build on our success, bring more visitors to Las Vegas and retain the events that place the Thomas & Mack among the top grossing college arenas in the world."

    Is this a University President or the Visitors and Convention Bureau talking? The people in charge of higher education in this state are way out of touch with what is going on in this state and country.

    I believe the athletic department runs a deficit to the the tune of $7 million per year (according to an article in this rag). Get rid of intercollegiate sports and pass the savings on to students--about $200 per year.

    "It's the education, stupid!"

  9. ElJeffe

    The UNLV athletic department has a budget of between $26-$27. The department relies on $7 million of state support per year. That is not running in the black by any measure except yours.
    Get you facts straight dude.

  10. Let's assume UNLV has about 28,000 students. The
    The Sun reported on January 10, 2011, that the athletic department had a budget of between $26 and $27 million. This is about $1,000 per student. $7,000,000 of the budget is funded by the state for athletics. This works out to be a subsidy of about $250 per student per year.

    Let assume UNLV has 17 intercollegiate teams. Let's say 1,000 students participate in these sports or 60 athletes per team. Intercollegiate athletics involve about 3.5 percent of the student body. UNLV offers intramurals as well. I have no estimate about the number of students that participate in these programs and the costs associated with them. I wasn't able to find the athletic department budget on the web.

    There is a question of fairness--lab fees and other extra are charged for chemistry and biology students. These course constitute a part of the core mission of the university, which the last time I checked was education.

    The discussion here is about choices and priorities. I assume the "public" in the term "public-private partnership" discussed in the article is me. Is a stadium on campus the right choice for the state, the university and its students? History will judge us on this.

    This is gut check time for everyone.

  11. Do it. Forget the naysayers and just do it. It will employ them in the long run, and help turn the corner for recruiting as well as bring revenue back into the school and the city.

    Too much talk, leads to not much done. If you build it, they will come.

  12. Turrialba you're terrible. Get rid of intercollegiate athletics? You have no concept of the college experience.

  13. Turrialba you're terrible. Get rid of intercollegiate athletics? You have no concept of the college experience.

    Jerry, I didn't say institute prohibition or close the Frats.

    As for some of you stadium proponents, how many of you get on this site each day and whine about paying more taxes. This will not get done without public money--hence the term "public-private" partnership.

  14. Close the athletic department--save plenty on the coaches salaries, the athletic director (and his two university vehicles) and put the emphasis on education and academic achievement and affordability This type of commitment would make UNLV a model for the nation.

    Intramural sports can be set up for students for an additional fee to be charged to participants.

    Student lab fees would included in student tuition.

  15. Newcomer you seemed to have confused athletics and academics. If you want to enhance the reputation of an institution start with its academics.

    The idea that quality sports leads to quality academics is simply nonsense. The only thing you wind up with is an athletic department that thinks it is the reason whey the university exists.

  16. I like it. Apparently Turrialba does not know how much money intercollegiate athletics brings to the university. In order for UNLV to make money with football it needs to "keep up" with other schools for recruiting purposes. Also a nicer, climate controlled facility towards the middle of town should entice more fans to actually show up for the games.
    Keep in mind that also UNLV football would only use the facility 6-7 times a year. If UNLV is part owner of the building, then they would get profits from other events taking place here as well. The NFR for example would move there, double the seating capacity of the T&M, it would also free up the T&M for UNLV basketball games, that would give them 2-3 more home games in the middle of December. Although it would never get a NFL team at a facility that size, it would probably entice a preseason game, maybe the NBA allstar game again.
    Sometimes it takes money to make money. And if a large portion is privately funded, than I say win-win

  17. You shortsighted naysayers forget that the Corruption Express from Victorville will be bringing in dozens of people daily, and some of them will want to go to see the 125th best College football team in the country play.