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April 26, 2015

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Report: UNLV domed stadium plans will be unveiled Tuesday

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Neal Smatresk

Plans for a domed stadium near the UNLV campus will be released at a news conference set for next week, Sun columnist Jon Ralston reported this morning.

UNLV confirmed last week it is in discussions with Los Angeles billionaire Ed Roski as part of a "public-private partnership" to build a multipurpose sports and entertainment complex near campus.

Ralston reported this morning that those plans will be announced Tuesday during a news conference at the Silverton Casino Hotel and Lodge, which Roski owns. UNLV officials have been informed of the event and invitations are expected to be sent out to various officials, Ralston said.

UNLV President Neal Smatresk said in a statement last week that "this is an attractive proposition. UNLV long has been interested in bringing UNLV football to the main campus."

Ralston first reported last week 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.

A representative for Roski last week said discussions were under way, but had declined to comment further.

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  1. And just where is the money that is going to pay for this coming from ????????

  2. Let's be realistic. The Strip Casinos are the main advocates against any kind of stadium on the strip. By aligning himself with UNLV, Roski has effectively eliminated the opposition. The Strip Casinos can't afford the bad PR of trying to block a University stadium. I'm interested to see what the split on this partnership is and the proposal for funding.

  3. Hey, Sandoval - can you lend these folks a dime?

  4. The stadium being domed is so they can possibly use it for events for the 6 or 7 months out of the year when it is well over 100 degrees here.

    Not all domed stadiums are awful. Brent, citing the dome Idaho plays in as a rule for how bad domed stadiums are is ridiculous. They started playing in that dome in 1975. I'm sure design, technology, etc... has improved in those 35 years.

    I agree that for most people, the idea of putting up any money for this stadium with the economic climate in this country, especially in Nevada, seems ridiculous. However, it is important to look at things from a long-term perspective. The Thomas & Mack Center is one of the Top 5 grossing arenas in the entire country! That is largely because it is located in Las Vegas and people want to come here for all sorts of reasons. The NFR is a HUGE money maker for the entire city every year when it rolls in. As rem92 pointed out, we will lose that event to Dallas at some point unless we provided a newer, more attractive venue in the near future. This stadium will be just that.

    As far as the UNLV football aspect of things, having a new stadium on or near campus will certainly increase the viability of the program. While most of you simply point to the fact that UNLV football is not good, the reality is that the potential to improve in a place like Las Vegas is great. A huge part of success is recruiting, and the fact that when a football recruit comes to UNLV to tour the campus, he has to take a 20-30 minute car ride to see the stadium, which really is outdated compared to even the average college football "stadium." If anyone is paying attention, Bobby Hauck is putting together a pretty solid recruiting class this year and being able to pitch a brand new stadium to potential recruits will certainly help in his efforts. Everyone knows the big money in college athletics comes from football and if UNLV can even make the jump into being an average team that competes for bowl-eligibility each year, the increase in money generated by the program will increase exponentially.

    Again, for anyone to look at this and not be a little weary about the fact that some public funds will be used for this stadium is unrealistic. However, the long-term earning potential of a project such as this is enormous.

  5. Depending on how the deal shakes out, it could be a boon to the lagging construction industry. The Governor should be chomping at the bit with tax incentives to hasten this deal along.

  6. When I lived in Oklahoma City the same issue was raised about a facility to replace the aging Myriad, where the National Finals Rodeo was held at the time. The NFR people approached the city about a better facility, the city plead poverty and the arena wasn't built. The NFR left for Las Vegas and the city lost countless revenue over the years. Now that the NFR is long gone the arena that could have saved it has been built - the Ford Center, home to the NBA Thunder.

    Las Vegas can either replicate the example (and fate) of Oklahoma City, or actually construct a facility that will bring in revenue and make people want to come here for something other than gambling and clubbing.

  7. Mike, not that this is important, but that top grossing arena stat refers to "non-sporting events." Certainly impressive, but misleading. The T&M will never gross as much as an arena like the Staples Center which plays home to several professional teams.

  8. Get rid of the athletic department, its $26 million budget and $7 million subsidy from the state. No more sports.

    Use the $7 million to subsidize lab fees. Make education the sole mission of the university. Make UNLV the model for the nation.

  9. How do athletics boost academics?

    All I see is that it creates a separate class of individuals. Few student participate relative to the size of enrollment.

    $7 million per year is about $250 per student. Not astounding, but it is something.

    The future of the Nevada is not the UNLV athletic department.

  10. @djonian81:

    I don't think a domed stadium at UNLV is what President Obama was referring to.

  11. If you get rid of the athletic department, student fees can be reduced (some portion of the fees support the athletic department)

  12. Nice line JahReb. I take it you don't have an answer to my question.

  13. I was thinking having a degree from an accredited university that one is proud of; that would provide a springboard to a real career might be the goal.

    Not the University Studies program at UNLV and other such programs, which are the repository for student athletes or athlete students.

    The people in this town have the university they deserve--fifth rate and little hope for improvement.

  14. obviously Turrialba doesn't know much about our new athletic director. The guy was able to turn the University of Arizona athletic program into a self sufficient entity that does not require public financing. Which is also the goal at UNLV.

  15. Obviously, the new athletic director has a big fat salary and two university vehicles. Maybe he can turn the academic programs around when he is done.

  16. Hey Grapes2000, my comment says 6-7 months, not 8 to 9 months. I guess we can take that as proof that you are a native of 50 years because you obviously can't read. Please learn how to read before you try to pick apart anything anyone else ever writes.

    The temperature does often stay in the mid-90's to hundreds from about late-April to late-September. I guess I didn't think I needed to point out that the statement was essentially made to imply that in order to host events there for a large portion of the year, a dome is not a bad idea.

  17. As long as it's private money, have at it. I think the days of high dollar stadiums at taxpayer expense are done, at least for awhile. Unfortunately, these days are all about cuts, and new stadiums are certainly a luxury better suited to better times. Very few stadiums make a profit, unless it's an older, paid for place like Dodger Stadium, etc. (Dodger Stadium was built with private money, by the way). The KingDome in Seattle, and the SilverDome in Detroit are typical examples of why public money shouldn't be spent on a stadium.
    So if the billionaire ponies up, let him name the stadium whatever he wants and enjoy the game!

  18. A lot of people who post here seem to plan to attend football games and other events at the proposed new stadium. The question I have is how many want their kids to enroll in UNLV?

  19. "domed" or "doomed"

    Can this doom, uh...dome be converted into a homeless shelter?

    Just looking ahead, just looking ahead...

  20. Where will the cars park?

  21. @Show--It is very easy to make the argument. The purpose of the university is education. The athletic department is extra baggage that the public supports with tax dollars. This wouldn't be so objectionable if the state were not in dire straits financially and the education system as a whole a disgrace.

    It is really a matter of priorities. The university this fifth rate academically. The proposed stadium will do nothing th change this If you think the university exists to provide athletic events, I suppose the basketball program in the 1980s looks pretty good. It made money. I Is this why we have intercollegiate sports to make money? The people in this town have the university they deserve.

    BTW--you are embarrassing yourself with these comments.

  22. Correction--

    This wouldn't be so objectionable if the state were not in dire straits financially and the education system as a whole a was not disgrace.

  23. bgh1986

    The athletic department has a budget of $26-27 million. This paper reported that $7 million of the athletic department budget was provided by the state.

    Student contribute almost $2 million in student fees toward the athletic department.

    The athletic department offers 17 intercollegiate sports--lets assume these sports involve 1000 students total--or about 3.5 percent of UNLV's student body of 28,000. Very few students participate in intercollegiate athletics relative to the size of the student body.

    As for the athletes, their academic achievements, they will exist with or without the athletic department. As for the economic benefits you cite, you have to wonder why we perpetuate a system where the athlete gets paid zero for his or her labor, even though you claim they bring economic benefits to the economy. The university does not exist for the athletic department

    The value of the athletic department is way overstated. The domed stadium is a waste and distracts from the purpose of the university which is to educate students.

  24. I called UNLV a fifth-rate university twice in this thread and not one person has challenged me on this statement.

    Another article in this rags indicates that big tuition increases are coming due to budget cuts.

    UNLV then wants to build a domed stadium in the middle of the worst economic downturn in the state's history (a public-private partnership) Mention closing the athletic department and folks get all bent out of shape.

    This is such a thing as human capital. The comments here Say a lot about what is wrong in this town and the priorities we have for our kids.

  25. @bghs1986

    If the athletic department is such a boon to the economy, let's cut off the subsidies from the state ($7.0 million per year) and from student fees ($2 million). No problem. The athletic department can stand on its own or fall on its own. It can underwrite its own stadium in an athletic department-private partnership. No need for public funds.

    Let's face sports doesn't do squat for the average student struggling to make it through and pay tuition, while working a job. This fantasy that sports is central to the student experience is a fiction.

    If you want to watch games go to a casino or bring professional sports to town. Don't force me to pay for it, when the education system is in need of fixing (you haven't taken me up on my comment about the academic standing of UNLV)

  26. @bghs1986

    The university claims that its benefits to the community are about 3-4 times the costs .

    "According to Chancellor Dan Klaich, every $1 of state support for higher education equals $4.39 in economic activity in Nevada." (see article on horsford in paper today)

    This is certainly evidence that other departments pull their weight and then some.

    Tell what good does it do the community when 80 percent of the football and basketball team major in university studies and wind up with a worthless degree? What a waste of resources. (See citation above)

    The problem is that you equate the athletic department with other academic ventures. If the athletic department closes, the university will go on. The athletic department cannot exist without the university. So what if the department goes.

    The athletic department doesn't do squat for the average student except take his/her money for the student fee. You have cited no evidence to the contrary except your assertion that some exists.

    I am surprised that given the state of education in this town, that more emphasis is not placed on academic achievement. But the Romans had their recreation as the the Las Vegans.