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Sands not potential owner of south Strip NBA arena project

Updated December 1, 2023 - 6:13 pm

The $2 billion stock sale by Dr. Miriam Adelson, controlling shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., to fund the purchase of a majority interest in the Dallas Mavericks was scheduled to close Friday and the company is expected to confirm the transaction early next week.

Meanwhile, a source close to the deal says Sands and the Adelson family aren’t in talks with Oak View Group to acquire or partner on a $10 billion resort complex that would include an NBA-ready arena planned on 66 acres at Las Vegas Boulevard and Blue Diamond Road.

A Sands official declined to comment on speculation that the company would acquire the Oak View project.

The Adelson family, including Miriam Adelson’s son-in-law, Sands President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Dumont, is in the midst of acquiring a controlling interest of the Mavericks from billionaire owner Mark Cuban, a deal expected to close by the end of the year.

If the transaction – which must be approved by 75 percent, or 23, of the NBA’s team owners – is completed, Dumont is expected to join the NBA Board of Governors as controlling owner and Cuban would continue to oversee the team’s basketball operations. Financial details of that transaction haven’t been disclosed, but the franchise is valued at $3.5 billion. All parties have indicated the team would remain in Dallas.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is expected to discuss the Mavericks transaction when he’s in Las Vegas next week for the semifinals and finals of the league’s first in-season tournament.

Oak View’s project was detailed in a June presentation by Tim Leiweke, chairman and CEO of the Oak View Group, before the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance 2023 Perspective gathering at M Resort.

Leiweke hired Randy Morton, a former Bellagio executive, to help develop the hotel-casino part of the Oak View project, and former Las Vegas Raiders President Marc Badain to develop the planned 20,000-seat arena that would be built with the intent of someday being home to an NBA team. Badain was instrumental in getting Allegiant Stadium built to host the Raiders.

Leiweke emphasized during his June presentation that the company was not in talks with the NBA about bringing a team to the venue, but that the arena would be built with hosting a team in mind.

The prospect of bringing the NBA to Southern Nevada has been fueled by former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal and current Los Angeles Laker power forward LeBron James expressing their desire to own an NBA team in Las Vegas .

Additional speculation centered around a Sands connection because Blue Diamond Acquisition LLC, affiliated with Oak View, lists Scott Goldstein, son of Sands Chairman and CEO Rob Goldstein, as its managing partner.

In his June presentation, Leiweke was roundly applauded by the more than 800 people in attendance for financing the as yet unnamed $10 billion resort about 3 miles south of Mandalay Bay without public money.

Las Vegas Sands shares, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, closed up 68 cents, 1.5 percent, Friday to $45.80 a share on volume nearly twice the daily average. After hours, the share price was trending upward.

The Review-Journal is owned by the Adelson family, including Dr. Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., and Las Vegas Sands President and COO Patrick Dumont.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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