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October 20, 2014

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Heavyweight stadium consulting firm in line to assess UNLV project

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV wide receiver Maika Mataele pulls in a long pass while being covered by Hawaii defensive back Charles Clay in the final seconds of their game Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 at Sam Boyd Stadium. It was ruled Mataele bobbled the ball, but UNLV went on to win 39-37 on a last second field goal.

TImeline

  • Here is CSL’s timeframe for the project:
  • By late February: CSL will conduct reviews of past UNLV stadium research and conduct local market surveys.
  • By late March: CSL will determine facility needs and amenities.
  • By late April: CSL will come up with an estimated building cost.
  • By late June: CSL will recommend a funding model and make an overall assessment of the stadium’s feasibility.
  • By July 24: CSL plans to deliver a draft report for the stadium authority board to review.
  • By Sept. 25: CSL will submit a final draft for board members to submit to the Legislature.

Over the next six months, a national stadium consulting firm will conduct local surveys and financial analyses to determine the facility needs and economic feasibility of a new UNLV football stadium.

Last month, the university’s Campus Improvement Authority Board hired Conventions, Sports and Leisure International to help board members determine the size, amenities and financial plan for an on-campus football and events stadium, to be built near Harmon Avenue and Swenson Street. The $325,000 contract is expected to receive final approval next week by the Nevada Board of Examiners.

CSL International – a Plano, Texas-based stadium planning and management firm – is a subsidiary of Legends, a sports management company whose clients include the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees. CSL International says it has conducted more than 1,000 feasibility studies for professional and collegiate stadiums across the country, helping plan or manage 75 percent of all major stadiums in the country over the past 15 years.

As project manager, CSL International will conduct focus groups and surveys, and come up with multiple scenarios for the UNLV stadium board to consider.

Bill Rhoda, president of Legends Global Planning and CSL International co-founder, said a group of about eight consultants – including Las Vegas economist John Restrepo of RCG Economics – will tackle the following questions the stadium board must answer:

• How many seats should the stadium have?

• Should the stadium be open-air, domed or have a retractable roof or sophisticated shading system?

• What amenities should the stadium have? How many premium seats – such as club seating and luxury suites – if any – should it have?

• What kind of football practice, locker and training room facilities should it have?

• What kind of events could a stadium of varying sizes and features host?

• What issues relating to on-campus parking and Federal Aviation Administration flight regulations must UNLV resolve to support the stadium?

Most importantly, CSL International will recommend a financing plan and help determine funding sources available for the UNLV stadium.

“It all boils down to cost and revenue,” Rhoda said.

Rhoda said CSL would study previous research on the UNLV stadium project, including an economic impact study by Mark Rosentraub. A University of Michigan sports management professor, Rosentraub estimated a UNLV “mega-events center” could host an additional 15 events a year in Las Vegas, generating a “conservative” $393 million in additional tax revenue and direct revenue.

The mega-events center concept was scrapped last year after Las Vegas resort industry officials questioned the stadium’s 800 million to $900 million cost and 60,000-seat capacity.

However, Rhoda said CSL wouldn’t rule out any stadium scenario – including one for a mega-events center. The study might find Las Vegas’ tourism industry could benefit from a mega-events center but there is no financing for it, he said.

“We may come back and say that may make the most sense … but, there’s no funding for it,” Rhoda said.

Unlike Majestic Realty – UNLV’s former stadium partner and the developers behind the Staples Center in Los Angeles – CSL won’t be presenting any architectural renderings or designs. The consultant’s work will be strictly on the UNLV stadium’s feasibility.

“We’ll come back with a financial due diligence (report),” Rhoda told board members.

About CSL International

  • CSL International – a Plano, Texas-based stadium planning and management firm – is a subsidiary of Legends, a sports management company whose clients include the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees. CSL International has conducted more than 1,000 feasibility studies for professional and collegiate stadiums across the country, helping plan or manage 75 percent of all major stadiums in the country over the past 15 years (* denotes stadium renovation project).
  • AT&T Stadium Dallas Cowboys
  • McLane Stadium Baylor University
  • New Falcons Stadium Atlanta Falcons
  • Levi’s Stadium San Francisco 49ers
  • Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis Colts
  • Mercedes Superdome New Orleans Saints*
  • Metlife Stadium New York Giants
  • Vikings Stadium Minnesota Vikings
  • Kyle Field Texas A&M University*
  • TCF Bank Stadium University of Minnesota*
  • University of Phoenix Stadium
  • Reliant Stadium Houston Texans
  • Yankee Stadium New York Yankees

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