MGM announced plans to build a new arena on the Las Vegas Strip. The idea is to be able to accommodate entertainers, special events and any professional sport, including basketball and hockey.
MGM and AEG would fund construction of the 20,000-seat arena that would be east of the Strip behind New York New York and the Monte Carlo. The arena will be the centerpiece of a total revitalization of the area, which also includes new shopping, dining and entertainment venues. MGM Spokesperson Gordon Absher says the convenience of 50,000 hotel rooms within walking distance and easy access for drivers makes this project a no-brainier.
"We feel the market has capacity for a third arena. We already operate two on the strip, two of the most successful arenas in the country," Absher said. The new arena would be bigger than MGM's Grand Garden Arena and the arena at Mandalay Bay.
The hope is that the new addition would revive that area of the strip, attracting larger events, bigger crowds, and more money. "We'd be able to sell that many more tickets that would bring promoter's interest to the city," Absher said.
While the idea sounds good on paper, some people are questioning if Las Vegas is big enough for another arena. "We have Thomas and Mack here and UNLV now project. It's hard for me to think that would be a smart idea," UNLV student Scott Luehring said.
Members of the UNLV Board of Regents say the MGM stadium wouldn't compete with the college's plans to build a 60,000 seat mega-stadium. "The facility we're talking about is really very complimentary to what they're doing. It's not competitive at all," said Don Snyder, Dean of the UNLV Hotel College.
One major difference is that the MGM arena would be ready to host professional sports teams. UNLV student and former athlete Shajuan Adair says the arena could be the draw Las Vegas needs to attract a full-time professional hockey or basketball team.
"They obviously want the fan base, somewhere they can make money off their game," Adair said.
At this time, no official date to start construction has been announced.
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