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December 22, 2014

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Goodman: Arena project a key issue for next Las Vegas mayor

Outgoing mayor says he is continuing to push for an arena project in city’s Symphony Park

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Oscar Goodman

One of the key issues coming before the next mayor of Las Vegas will be an arena project — and where it's going to be, Mayor Oscar Goodman said today.

"I believe that in the next four years, there will be the groundbreaking for an arena. And then the new mayor is going to have to go out and participate in getting the team here, for whatever sport's going to be playing in the arena," Goodman told reporters at his weekly news conference at City Hall.

Goodman, who can't run again because of term limits, said he doesn't plan to endorse any of the candidates who run in the April 5 primary. The candidate filing period for the non-partisan office is between Jan. 25 and Feb. 4.

If no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary, the top two finishers will move on to a general election, which would be June 7.

Goodman, who has championed getting a professional sports team for Las Vegas, said that before he leaves office in July, he would continue to work on getting an arena built in the city's 61-acre Symphony Park.

He said he planned to meet this afternoon in his office with a man who is proposing a multi-stadium complex in Symphony Park. However, the city's developer, The Cordish Companies, needs to be part of that discussion, Goodman said.

"I know they've been talking to Cordish. I know that they've sent a letter of intent to Cordish on Tuesday. They haven't heard back yet," Goodman said.

"There are three to four different groups who are now showing serious interest in it. And that's a good thing because I think they'll push each other into a conclusion," the mayor said.

"Some day someone's going to wake up and say that if they don't do it, they're going to miss the opportunity," he said. "I see something happening in the relatively near future as far as a firm commitment, one way or the other, on the 61 acres or someplace else downtown or some place near the university, down at the South Point or wherever."

UNLV officials confirmed this week they are in discussions with a developer on building a new football stadium on campus and renovating the Thomas & Mack Center.

That effort is being spearheaded by billionaire Ed Roski and Craig Cavileer, who are considering a public-private partnership for a multipurpose sports and entertainment complex on campus.

Roski own the Silverton Casino Hotel and Lodge and Cavileer is its president.

Goodman said he didn't know enough about the proposed UNLV project to comment on how it might affect the city's downtown arena project efforts.

"As I understand it, they're talking about a 40,000-seat facility, domed, which can be reduced, I've been told, to 5,000 seats, depending on what the event is," he said.

Goodman praised Ed Roski, calling him "a very good businessman" and a "great philanthropist."

"So, the fact that he's even in the mix at this point in time is a good thing," Goodman said.

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  1. Oscar speaks:
    But never says where the money is coming from.
    I don't want a dime of public money spent on a downtown arena when you are cutting my services and reducing to a 4 day work week.
    No public money on a downtown arena, NONE

  2. I hope Rita Rudner gets her boobs in the race, all the other candidates are dull.

  3. Mr. Goodman,

    You have been a great and entertaining Mayor for Las Vegas. You have had big dreams for Vegas which is good but a publically funded arena is not something that pencils out no matter how you work the numbers.

    The people of this town only support sports inside of Sports Books, not by buying tickets.

    Pro teams have no real interest in Las Vegas mainly because most of the leagues want nothing to do with Las Vegas. No team owner is going to chance their millions by moving to Las Vegas.

    If one of the Major casinos wants to build an arena, let them. They are in the entertainment business and know what they are doing.

    Good luck to you with your future plans and hope to see you downtown if you open your bar.