Floyd Mayweather Jr., third from the left, helps turn the first soil in the construction of the new MGM arena. (Joe Lybarger/FOX5)
In this artist's rendering, the new arena can be seen in the background with the resort's newly planned development, "The Park" leading the way. (Source: MGM Resorts)
An artist's rendering shows the exterior design of the planned Las Vegas Strip arena being built by MGM Resorts and AEG. (Source: MGM Resorts)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
It will seat 20,000 people for sporting and music events as well as provide jobs to 3,000 workers. The latest planned landmark on the Las Vegas Strip – MGM Resorts' multipurpose arena – broke ground on Thursday.
The arena, which is being built in partnership between the gaming company and AEG, will be situated just off the Strip behind the New York-New York and Monte Carlo hotel properties. A spring 2016 opening is slated.
"It's a big day for Las Vegas. It's a big day for Nevada. It's a big day for entertainment," said MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren.
Murren said the arena will provide the experiences for which today's tourists yearn.
"People come to Las Vegas to experience things they've never seen before, to see the unimaginable, to be wowed, to be excited," Murren said. "We need to, as community leaders, continue to move that bar forward."
Arriving on a front-end loader, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was among those at the groundbreaking ceremony. He expressed his excitement about the new venue.
"It's time to, I guess, build another big arena," Mayweather said. "Hopefully, I can fill it up, and we can have fun."
MGM said the arena is being designed to host NBA and NHL teams, as well as concerts, boxing, mixed martial arts, family shows and other events.
The company reported the arena will cost $350 million in private funds.
Earlier this week, MGM revealed plans to develop 8 acres adjacent to the arena into The Park. The development, described as an open-air district, will offer eateries, bars and retail stores along the existing Rue de Monte Carlo, which will lead to the planned arena. MGM also plans to construct Rue de Monte Carlo into a curve and line it with trees.
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