UNLV looking to casinos for mega-events center funding - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

UNLV looking to casinos for mega-events center funding

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Concert rendering (Courtesy of UNLV) Concert rendering (Courtesy of UNLV)
Football rendering (Courtesy of UNLV) Football rendering (Courtesy of UNLV)
Plaza rendering (Courtesy of UNLV) Plaza rendering (Courtesy of UNLV)

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) on Friday unveiled new models of its proposed 60,000-seat mega-events center.

Nevada's Board of Regents heard more about the plan on Friday, and while approval and construction remain down the road, the project does have a name, UNLV Now.

The latest plans call for construction at the corner of Harmon and Swenson. The building will be enclosed, and have a video screen 100 yards long.

Project manager Don Snyder, along with Pat Christenson from Las Vegas Events, presented new renderings and models to regents and the media on Friday.

The idea is to bring at least 15 unique events to the center each year, worth about $393 million to the economy. Some of those events might include concerts, music festivals, UFC events and professional wrestling.

"Now's a good time. We've gone through a few tough years around here, economically, and this is the kind of facility that extends our reach into the marketplace," Snyder said.

Neither project leaders nor UNLV officials have quoted a cost yet, though a project of this magnitude would certainly cost hundreds of millions.

UNLV is looking to partner with Las Vegas casinos for funding.

"This project is a game changer. It's the missing piece of the puzzle from our conventioneering business," said UNLV President Neal Smatresk. "We don't have a place to put 60,000 people. We think it's critically important, and we know our friends on the Strip and the rest of this town feel this could be very important to their business and bottom line."

Several regents from the Nevada System of Higher Education expressed support for the project, including Dr. Jack Schofield, who is just three months shy of his 90th birthday.

Schofield told the board that he wants to see this stadium built on his watch.

"Never did I ever dream that something like this would ever happen here in Las Vegas, and especially for UNLV. This is a game changer," Schofield said.

The Board of Regents and project leaders are scheduled to meet next month to iron out details.

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