Sports arena talks reach critical stage as baseball enters picture

Las Vegas might be winding down its relationship with one would-be arena developer and is adding baseball to the possibilities being considered for bringing a top-tier professional sports team to town, Mayor Oscar Goodman said Thursday.

The city has been in exclusive negotiations with The Cordish Cos., a Baltimore developer of sports and entertainment complexes, over building an arena on city-owned land downtown or in Symphony Park.

"I think that a discussion is probably going to take place tomorrow ... about whether it's realistic" that it will be built in the foreseeable future, Goodman said.

Cordish and the city have been in exclusive talks since late last year.

Other parties have approached the city about building an arena, but "I can't talk to anybody else about it right now," Goodman said. "I have to talk to Cordish."

He added, however, that there are "other areas and other sports" that are on the table.

"It won't be on the site that we're dealing with Cordish on," Goodman said. "Hopefully we will have a discussion along that line which will not interfere with a basketball arena."

The plan with Cordish was to attract either an NBA or an NHL team.

Besides basketball and hockey, "there are only two other sports," Goodman said. "That's all I can tell you."

When asked whether Las Vegas could get an NFL team, he said, "I don't think football. Now we're down to one."

Additional details were not available.

A Cordish representative could not be reached for comment.

City officials have talked about a new baseball stadium before, but it was in the context of redeveloping the Cashman Center for the Las Vegas 51s.

The minor league baseball team already plays at the field there, but the facility is not large enough to handle a major league baseball team.

Cordish and the city can't agree on how much each party should invest in an arena, which would host other events as well as serve as home base for a team.

Clark County commissioners recently considered three arena proposals on or near the Strip, but rejected them because the developers' plans called for some form of public financing.

Goodman has said public support will be necessary, most likely in the form of incentives from the city's redevelopment agency. He also said there should be a ballot question to gauge support for any arena project once the financing is worked out.

Contact reporter Alan Choate at or 702-229-6435.