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September 18, 2019

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Timeline of UNLV-Majestic breakup

Here's a look at events in UNLV's partnership and breakup with Majestic Realty on the UNLV Now stadium proposal:

2010: Majestic Realty approaches UNLV with a proposal to build a UNLV football stadium on campus. The idea was billed as a "game-changer" that would transform UNLV and bring hundreds of millions of dollars to Southern Nevada.

Over the next two and a half years, UNLV and Majestic release an economic impact study, artist renderings and models of the proposed stadium.

Early January 2013: UNLV Now starts meeting with casino executives. UNLV Now officials learn about MGM’s plans for a 20,000-seat arena on the Strip.

Jan. 14: UNLV’s Don Snyder emails Majestic’s Craig Cavileer: "I would ask that these meetings (with casino executives) not be positioned as Majestic meetings. … It is important that the private sector partner not be seen as the lead at this point."

Jan. 15: Cavileer emails UNLV officials about concerns over detailing financial plans to the media.

"Is it necessary to have (this information) in the full public view? I understand needing to share numbers and budgets however by showing the public this model, we will be telegraphing to all potential stadium managers (AEG, Live Nation, Comcast) exactly what our projects are for each discreet category including the underwriting, equity, management fees, etc," Cavileer wrote. "This information being in the public domain will create real challenges for us as we go to market with this project and undermine our ability to leverage all of the work we have put forth."

Gerry Bomotti, UNLV's senior vice president for finance and business, replied:

"I don't see how we get through this project approval without showing the entire plan for the financing. Showing 2/3rd of the financial plan just makes folks suspicious of what might be in the other 1/3. We have to bring all this detail to the BOR and I am sure the legislature will ask for it," Bomotti wrote. "Not showing folks some of this information, in my experience, just leaves some with the impression that we are hiding something and that the deal will bring huge profits to UNLV and the developer. I think we are better off showing our best projections, noting the upside and downside potentials."

Jan. 16: Snyder meets with U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., to brief him about the project. Reid states there may be federal funding available to help with UNLV Now's transportation and transit issues.

Feb. 1: Cavileer emails UNLV officials, pushing to finalize a contract for the stadium's development.

"My first reaction is that waiting until late in the week will likely cause the (Basic Economic Terms) discussion to fall apart, given the complexity of making changes and having attorneys draft, principals review and approve. I strongly suggest that we figure out a way to meet very early or very late Monday-Wednesday with wrap up Thursday."

Feb. 6: Majestic wants tax-increment financing funds to go to student village. Bomotti says lawmakers "are opposed to having public tax funds support the student village, which would be only retail." Majestic also wants to raise the maximum construction budget to $800 million to $1 billion. Majestic also wants more than $12 million for a development fee.

Mid-February: MGM, Nevada Resort Association issue statements that raise concerns about the cost of the stadium project.

Feb. 19: UNLV Now officials meet with Steve Wynn to brief him on the stadium project. Wynn expresses support.

March 1: MGM Resorts announces plans for a 20,000-seat arena. Also that day, Steve Wynn meets with Sheldon Adelson. They are "determined to get this done," Cavileer emails Snyder later.

March 6: Snyder has a conversation with Cavileer about "UNLV's desire to, in effect, end the partnership with Majestic," according to an email that Cavileer sent to Snyder later in the day.

March 7: Cavileer emails Snyder, urging a meeting to reconsider UNLV's intent to drop Majestic.

"It really is essential to our thinking that you and I meet as we do not want to see the partnership fall apart due to lack of clear communication and collaboration of the challenges we face," Cavileer wrote. "This project is too important and our mutual investment of time and interest is of great value."

March 11: Cavileer emails Snyder to schedule a meeting with Majestic CEO Ed Roski to discuss "the longer term direction" and "to learn about the challenges you are facing and try to find some resolution going forward."

March 19: Snyder emails Cavileer to tell him the decision to drop Majestic is being finalized.

"It has become clear that UNLV and the industry need to come together in a true partnership to determine the evolution of this important community asset," Snyder wrote. "AB335 (tax-increment financing bill, which creates an authority) facilitates and ensures that all stakeholders are included in this process."

March 27: UNLV sends Majestic a formal letter confirming a "mutual agreement" with Majestic to allow an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement to expire. Cavileer sends a letter to UNLV President Neal Smatresk later that day.

May 27: UNLV and Majestic will officially part ways.

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