With a new 20,000-seat arena set to open on the Strip in spring 2016, the Thomas &Mack Center is poised to deal with the competition.
“If we’re going to worry what everyone else is doing, we wouldn’t get anything done,” said Mike Newcomb, who manages Thomas &Mack for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “It’s our 30th year. We’re going to plug along.”
AEG, an entertainment and arena management company based in Los Angeles, and MGM Resorts International are teaming up to build the $350 million venue on 12 acres between New York-New York and Frank Sinatra Drive. AEG and MGM aim to break ground in April or May, then open the venue in spring 2016.
In an interview with the Review-Journal this week, AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman envisioned more than 100 events a year at the arena on the Strip. He said potential programming could be musical acts, boxing and the Professional Bull Riders event.
Beckerman’s reference to the Professional Bull Riders event is noteworthy because the five-day PBR show is held at Thomas &Mack and just finished last month.
Newcomb said the PBR finals are under contract for 2014 at Thomas &Mack, and he expects the Pueblo, Colo.-based bull riding organization to sign a three-year deal before next year’s finals event that would keep the high-profile event at the UNLV arena through 2017.
As part of the Thomas &Mack deal, the PBR also receives promotional help from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Newcomb said. He noted that he does not know whether the PBR would still get the convention authority’s help if it moved its biggest annual event to the new AEG-MGM arena.
Michael Roth, an AEG spokesman, said his company’s goal is not to “cannibalize” the Las Vegas market but to expand the variety of offerings that come to Las Vegas so that everyone benefits.
“We designed the building with the utmost flexibility to accommodate the widest array of events. Our goal is not to cannibalize events in the market but to expand the event offerings that come to Las Vegas,” Roth said Thursday.
“The event producers will make the decisions about where to host their events,” Roth said. “Our goal is to grow the market.”
In a seperate sports venue project, UNLV wants to partner with the Las Vegas resort industry to build a football stadium/entertainment center on campus. University and MGM officials maintain that proposed stadium facility would not compete with the new arena on the Strip.
A work group of the 11-member UNLV stadium authority board Thursday finalized a bid document designed to hire a project manager for a stadium feasibility report. The project manager would assist the stadium board in determining the need, funding options and scope of an on-campus stadium. That report is required to be submitted to the Nevada Legislature by Sept. 30.
Contact Alan Snel at email@example.com or 702-387-5273. Follow @BicycleManSnel on Twitter.