News not so nice for stadium plan


A proposed 20,000-seat arena behind Bally's could be a casualty of the plan to sell Anschutz Entertainment Group's assets.

Five years ago, AEG and Harrah's Entertainment, now Caesars Entertainment, announced they were partnering on the $500 million arena, which was to open this month on land owned by the company behind Bally's.

A crashing economy in 2008 slammed the brakes on that plan and a competing $9.5 billion downtown arena project on land bordering Main Street and Charleston Boulevard.

During an August 2007 AEG-Harrah's Entertainment news conference, it was announced that AEG would build and operate the arena. The hope was to land an NBA or NHL team, or both, although the partners expressed confidence the arena could survive on entertainment alone.

Denver-based Anschutz Co.'s bolt-out-of-the-blue announcement on Tuesday said it was "commencing a process" to sell AEG, which includes a Colosseum partnership with Caesars Palace.

AEG also owns the Staples Center arena, the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and Major League Soccer's L.A. Galaxy and has part ownership of the Los Angeles Lakers.

A source who has been involved in efforts to have a football stadium and a multi-purpose arena built in Las Vegas said the loss of AEG doesn't necessarily mean the arena project is dead.

"Caesars has a lot of money," said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "There have been setbacks, and there are a lot of hurdles, but I wouldn't say the deal's dead."

'VEGAS' BUZZ BUILDING

Some powerful buzz is building for the upcoming Ralph Lamb-inspired CBS drama "Vegas."

The Hollywood Reporter heaped high praise on the real-life story of Lamb, the ex-rancher who tamed a wild town.

There's "a lot to recommend," according to the publication. "But perhaps the best thing is that nothing has looked like a sure-thing lock on television in years. It would be stunning if 'Vegas' - despite the overused and bland name - doesn't become yet another CBS drama hit."

The magazine added, in earthy Lambesque language, that Dennis Quaid "looks almost iconic as he's beating the crap out of people."

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Chippendales Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis will appear on CBS' "The Talk" today with "Amazing Race" host Phil Koeghan to promote the Sept. 30 premiere.

SIGHTINGS

Rihanna, triggering excitement at Marquee dayclub (Cosmopolitan) on Thursday. ... Barry Bonds, on the red carpet at The Pearl (Palms) on Wednesday for the premiere of the mountain biking movie "Where the Trail Ends." Also there: Audrina Patridge, Bam Margera and several action sports stars. ... Alicia Jacobs and Amy Hanley, cast members of TLC's "Vegas High Rollers" reality show, having what appeared to be an on-camera rift Wednesday at Tommy Rocker's after watching the "I Married a Mobster" episode featuring Hanley's mother, Wendy Mazaros. Earlier Hanley had a profane blowup with an invited guest over VIP seating arrangements.

THE PUNCH LINE

"Your primary reason for enlisting is to meet Iron Man." - From David Letterman's Top Ten Signs You Might Not Be Ready to Join the Air Force

Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.

 

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