65°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Las Vegas Sands proposes $1B domed stadium; Adelson to meet with Raiders owner

Casino giant Las Vegas Sands Corp. will lead a consortium of investors planning to build a $1 billion domed stadium on 42 acres near the University of Nevada, Las Vegas that would house the school’s football team — and possibly a National Football League franchise.

Andy Abboud, Las Vegas Sands’ senior vice president of government relations and community development, said Thursday that Las Vegas needs a modern stadium with at least 65,000 seats to drive additional tourism to Southern Nevada.

Mark Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, is scheduled to meet with Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, and team representatives are expected to tour the site Friday.

The NFL earlier this month rejected a Raiders move to Los Angeles. Abboud said Las Vegas Sands also has had conversations with officials from other NFL teams.

“We are moving forward with the stadium concept with or without an NFL team,” Abboud said Thursday. “We see a lot more opportunities — conference championships, bowl games, NFL exhibition football, boxing, soccer, neutral site games, and music festivals. There is an entire segment out there.”

The project, so far only a concept, involves Los Angeles-based Majestic Realty Co. and UNLV, which bought 42 vacant acres along Tropicana Avenue east of Koval Lane earlier this month. UNLV wants to move its football program from the aging Sam Boyd Stadium in the east valley to a new facility closer to campus. A donation through the UNLV Foundation covered the $50 million site purchase.

“There are any number of ways that land could be used,” UNLV President Len Jessup said. “It has good potential as a stadium site. But we’ve said all along that we’d look at any opportunity. If we can get a stadium built at little or no cost to the university, we’re interested in it.”

Abboud said the project would be a “public-private partnership” in which Las Vegas Sands or the Adelson family would contribute an unspecified large portion of the financing. He said the company, which operates The Venetian and Palazzo, as well as casinos in Macau, Singapore and Pennsylvania, also could raise financing for the project.

Abboud said Las Vegas Sands may seek legislative approval for diversion of hotel room tax revenues that now support the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to the project. The company plans to present its idea in February or March to the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, which is tasked with finding ways to further grow the tourism economy.

“Nothing will move that needle like a new world-class stadium,” Abboud said.

Las Vegas Sands has been critical of the authority’s plans to redevelop the former Riviera site as part of a $2.3 billion Convention Center District improvement program, which would also seek public financing. Venetian-Palazzo President George Markantonis has said he considers spending public money on the Las Vegas Convention Center inappropriate because it would take business away from his company’s Sands Expo and Convention Center. In the late 1990s, Sands officials advocated elimination of the convention authority.

Convention authority CEO Rossi Ralenkotter said he’s anxious to learn more about the stadium proposal and will evaluate it when it is presented to the infrastructure committee.

“It’s the perfect forum for talking about this stadium proposal, and I want to see what they have to say,” he said.

Ralenkotter was less enthusiastic about diverting room tax money for a stadium.

“The LVCVA has many responsibilities in its mission to bring visitors here,” Ralenkotter said. “We always need to make sure we are adequately funded to fulfill that mission.”

A decade ago, the convention authority fought a plan to spend room tax revenue on Nevada Department of Transportation projects considered beneficial to tourism. Room tax revenues now support Interstate 15 improvement bonds.

Majestic Realty Executive Vice President Craig Cavileer said a public-private partnership is necessary for a stadium, and that financing would dictate its design.

“Design will follow structure. That’s what is required,” Cavileer said. “We’re making a significant investment and its takes a consolidated approach.”

Majestic was involved in a similar effort to bring a stadium to the university campus as part of the $800 million UNLV Now project in 2013, which was a partnership between the university and the hospitality industry. That proposal included a 60,000-seat stadium adjacent to the Thomas & Mack Center, a basketball arena remodel and other new facilities. It never won approval from the Nevada Legislature.

“We have always thought a stadium would provide another measure to draw tourists,” said Cavileer, whose company owns the Silverton through its president, Edward Roski Jr.

While the initial proposal focuses on the Koval-Tropicana site, Jessup said UNLV would be open to other locations near campus.

Jessup noted there’s precedent for college teams sharing stadiums with pro teams. Before the University of Phoenix Stadium was built in Glendale, Arizona, the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals played at Sun Devil Stadium on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe.

Gerry Bomotti, UNLV’s senior vice president for finance and business, said moving the Raiders to Las Vegas might be challenging, since the NFL is “highly regulated” in determining team moves.

“The NFL has never been high on Las Vegas as a location,” Bomotti said. “I think they are concerned about our betting, legalized gambling.”

The Review-Journal is owned by a limited liability company controlled by the Adelson family, majority owners of Las Vegas Sands.

Review-Journal reporters Richard N. Velotta and Ana Ley contributed. Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
How much do Las Vegas casino CEOs make?
Las Vegas gaming CEOs made anywhere between $1 million and $24 million last year, according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ((Las Vegas Review-Journal)
30-year-old Rio needs a little TLC
Nearly 30 years after the Rio opened, the red and blue jewel that helped catapult Las Vegas to a new level with its buffet and nightclub has lost its status along with its shine.
The latest on the Drew Las Vegas - VIDEO
Eli Segall recounts his tour of the Drew Las Vegas, formerly the Fontainebleau, on the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pinball Hall of Fame to move near south Strip
Operators of the Pinball Hall of Fame have been approved to build a new, larger arcade near the south edge of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard near Russel Road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
National Hardware Show underway Las Vegas
The National Hardware Show kicked off Tuesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Caesars for sale?
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has been swept up in takeover speculation since the company’s share price tumbled last year amid disappointing earnings and concerns over a recession. Amid the decline, hedge funds scooped up shares. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn began buying shares of Caesars as early as January. Icahn acquired nearly 18 percent by mid-March. In February Icahn called on the Caesars board to study a sale as a way to boost shareholder value.
Las Vegas home prices
Las Vegas home prices grew fastest among major markets in February for the ninth straight month. But amid affordability concerns, the growth rate has slowed down. Southern Nevada prices in February were up 9.7% from a year earlier, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. The last time Las Vegas' price growth fell below 10% was in September 2017, S&P Dow Jones Indices reported.
Free Parking Coming To Wynn
Free parking will come to the Wynn and Encore resorts on May 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Founding Venetian employees talk about 20 years at the Strip resort
The Venetian, which opened May 3, 1999, is celebrating 20 years on the Las Vegas Strip. Seven original employees talk about opening the luxury resort and working there for two decades. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Circa aiming for December 2020 opening
The 1.25-million-square-foot property will have 44-stories and 777-rooms. It will also have a separate nine-story, 1,201-space parking garage.
Boxabl official explains the building concept
Boxabl business development manager Galiano Tiramani shows off a room built by his company. (Blake Apgar/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TI/Mirage Tram reopens
The tram that shuttles guests between TI and Mirage reopened this week after being closed for much of 2018.
Las Vegas Convention Center expansion taking shape
Renderings and actual footage show how the Las Vegas Convention Center is evolving.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at Las Vegas convention
Former Starbucks CEO and potential presidential candidate Howard Schultz spoke at the Epicor Insights user conference at Mandalay Bay Convention Center Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Drew Las Vegas to open in the second quarter of 2022
The 67-story Drew Las Vegas is slated to open in the second quarter of 2022 at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NAB Day 1 (Time Lapse)
NAB kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, April 8, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
National Association of Broadcasters Show shows 1mm thick 8K TV with 22.2 channel digital sound
Japan’s NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories booth featured a 1mm thick 8K TV system used in conjunction with a 22.2 channel digital sound system at the National Association of Broadcasters Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nevada shoppers react to Smith’s no longer accepting Visa credit cards
On March 1, Smith’s announced that it would no longer be accepting Visa credit cards at any of its 142 supermarkets, including the 45 in Nevada.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission asks how long Wynn executives knew about misconduct
Business reporter Rick Velotta gives an update on the adjudicatory hearing on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to retain its gaming license in Massachusetts.
Henderson app developer part of Startup in Residence
Henderson based developers of the app On Point Barricade are taking part in Startup in Residence, a North America program dedicated to pairing tech companies with governments. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Sam's Town employees and customers talk of their love for the iconic casino
Longtime Sam's Town employees and customers love each other and love their casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas apartments rents
Las Vegas’ apartment market has accelerated in recent years. Developers are packing the suburbs with projects, landlords are on a buying spree, and tenants have filled buildings.
William Boyd talks about the birth of Sam's Town
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Sam's Town, William Boyd, executive chairman of Boyd Gaming and son of hotel namesake Sam Boyd, talks about how the casino became one of the first local properties in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
High Roller observation wheel turns five
The world’s tallest observation wheel celebrates it’s fifth year on Sunday, March 31, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Escape Room Industry Growing In Las Vegas
Escapology employees discuss the growing escape room industry in the U.S. and Las Vegas. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Impact of parking fees on visiting the Las Vegas Strip
There are no data showing a relationship between Strip resort and parking fees and the number of out-of-state visitors to Las Vegas. But there are data showing a relationship between Strip parking fees and the number of local visitors to the the Strip. ‘’As a local, I find myself picking hotels I visit for dinner or entertainment, based on whether they charge for parking or not,”’ said David Perisset, the owner of Exotics Racing. ‘’It is not a matter of money, more of principle.’’ A 2018 survey by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance found 36.9 percent of Clark County residents reported avoiding parking at Strip casinos that charge for parking. 29.1 percent reported avoiding using any services from a Strip casino that charges for parking.
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Faraday puts Las Vegas land on the market
Nearly two years after Faraday Future bailed on its North Las Vegas auto factory, the company has put its land up for sale. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
El Cortez owner Kenny Epstein on running the iconic property
Kenny Epstein, owner of the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, talks about Jackie Gaughan mentorship and answers rumors about bodies in the basement at the mob-era casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
LVCVA recommends construction of underground people mover
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced the recommendation for an underground people mover for the convention center. The system would have the potential to expand and connect Downtown and the resort corridor all the way to McCarran. (Michael Quine/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
 
Land owners near Las Vegas stadium enjoying Raiders value boost

The $1.84 billion stadium project about a mile west of Las Vegas Boulevard, was dumb luck for nearby landlords. A few bought property right across from the stadium site as recently as 2015 — two years before the football team purchased its land — and others have owned parcels much longer.