Southwest Airlines opposes proposed stadium site near McCarran Airport

Southwest Airlines opposes building a domed football stadium on a 42-acre site at Tropicana Avenue and Koval Lane, all but ending debate about whether to build the $1.45 billion structure at that location.

With that site, known as Trop 42, off the table, an 11-member committee studying how to finance the project is expected to reconsider a site just northwest of the Thomas & Mack Center that was under consideration when UNLV was looking at stadium options in 2012.University of Nevada Las Vegas stadium site considered (Gabriel Utasi/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Steve Hill, chairman of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, said Friday he hasn’t ruled out the Trop 42 site from consideration. But he said that a letter from Southwest to Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak verified what many on his committee had already suspected — that a stadium on that site could impact operations at McCarran International Airport.

“It’s not my decision, but at this point, I would say it’s highly unlikely that the Tropicana site would work,” Hill said in a telephone interview.

Hill said he expects the committee to take up reconsideration of a site identified in a UNLV campus master plan update in 2012.

Majestic Realty, one of the development partners in the current bid to build a stadium, in 2013 proposed a smaller stadium plan, known as UNLV Now. Initially proposed as a partnership between the university and the hospitality industry, the $800 million UNLV Now effort included a 60,000-seat stadium adjacent to the Thomas & Mack Center as well as a retail village and low-rise student housing adjacent to the stadium.

The UNLV Now proposal never won approval from the Nevada Legislature.

Sisolak said the June 29 letter from Southwest, McCarran’s busiest commercial carrier, was “very pointed and pretty strong” about its opposition to the Trop 42 site. Sisolak sits on the 11-member committee, which must provide recommendations to Gov. Brian Sandoval by the end of this month about the 65,000-seat stadium and its financing.

“They didn’t equivocate on their position,” Sisolak said of the Southwest letter. “From our viewpoint, the airport is a primary concern and we need to do everything we can to protect its capacity.”

The Federal Aviation Administration has been contacted about the potential consequences of locating a stadium just east of the MGM Grand parking garage and less than a half-mile from the ends of two north-south runways at McCarran.

Consultants who have examined the site and are familiar with FAA specifications say the agency would not move to block construction of the stadium, but would require additional spacing of flights. That would reduce the number of planes that could take off and land.

The east-west runways are McCarran’s busiest because of usual wind patterns, but when bad weather hits east or west of the city or the wind shifts, the north-south runways are used more often.

McCarran officials earlier this year warned that airport capacity could be reduced if the Trop 42 site was selected.

The Southwest letter, signed by Bob Montgomery, the airline’s vice president of airport affairs, and Capt. Craig Drew, senior vice president of air operations, voiced concerns about distractions to pilots that could occur at a stadium as well as traffic that would be generated near the airport during events.

“Landing and take-off are the most critical stages of flight and the industry is dedicated to removing conflicts, not creating them,” the letter said. “Safety concerns stem from the activities that come with fan expectations of a modern sports arena, including video boards and signage, light displays, fireworks, helicopters and drones.”

In an interview Friday, Montgomery said he writes letters on development issues to government entities every couple of years when there are proposals that could impact airports at cities Southwest serves.

Montgomery said it’s common for the aviation industry to weigh in on new development.

“We have pilot representatives in cities around the country who stay involved on projects in the early planning stages,” he said. “We’ve been participating and actively evaluating this site (Trop 42) and it seems to have gotten to a critical stage in development that we felt it was important to have our voice heard.”

While Southwest’s letter noted how much economic impact Southwest supplies ($30 billion a year flying 12 million passengers to and from McCarran) and how many Southern Nevadans it employs (3,250), Montgomery said the Dallas-based airline isn’t trying to strongarm the committee.

“We’re not in a position to be punishing anybody,” Montgomery said. “We just know events would occur at key arrival and departure periods for us and it would simply mean there could be fewer flights and less capacity by the FAA.”

Gerry Bomotti, UNLV’s senior vice president for finance and business, said the university is still hopeful that the stadium could be located at Trop 42 and that some of the issues Southwest cited could be mitigated.

Bomotti said the university has been working with the FAA, Southwest and airport officials for six years since discussions first began on developing a stadium close to the campus. UNLV currently plays its games at Sam Boyd Stadium in the southeast valley.

“We’ve always thought the (Trop 42) site would be feasible, but we understand that things change and we’ve learned from our contacts at the airlines and the airport that there are heightened concerns about stadiums built near airports,” Bomotti said.

He cited the recent construction of Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, which is about a mile and a half from Norman Mineta San Jose International Airport. Pilots expressed concerns about stadium lights, pyrotechnics and laser lights at the stadium and how they could affect airport operations.

“The university has never wanted to negatively impact the airport and we understand their issues,” Bomotti said. “But I think their concerns are more for an open-air stadium. I don’t think there would be the same concerns for a domed stadium.”

Airport officials said they’d have the same concerns whether the stadium is domed or open-air.

Bomotti said he is hopeful that a complete analysis of the proposal would keep Trop 42 in the running and he said a consultant’s analysis on the Trop site is about 80 percent complete.

UNLV President Len Jessup, who is vice chair of the committee, has said on numerous occasions that if the stadium isn’t placed on the Trop 42 site, the university would find another use for it.

Bomotti said there is “a long list of things we could do with that site.” He said the site could be used for the university’s fledgling medical school or that other facilities could be relocated to better use space on the main campus.

The stadium project is proposed as a public-private partnership, with private funding provided by casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp., Majestic and the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have promised to pursue relocation to Las Vegas if the Nevada Legislature approves public funding — most likely hotel room tax revenues — to help fund the stadium’s construction.

A representative of Sands reiterated Friday that the development partners have no preference about where the stadium would be built.

In addition to the revisited UNLV Now site, other locations under consideration for the stadium include the site of the recently imploded Riviera hotel; MGM Resorts International’s Rock in Rio grounds at Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard; and Cashman Center downtown.

Hill said he hopes the developers and the Raiders could work toward narrowing potential locations so that the committee could develop a better estimate of the full cost of the stadium.

The current $1.45 billion estimate does not include the cost of land or any allowance for infrastructure improvements necessary in the immediate vicinity of the stadium. If the stadium is not built on UNLV-owned land, the cost estimate could rise significantly.

“For the July 11 meeting, we asked them to get site-specific so that we can get a solid price on project,” Hill said.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Sands chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find him on Twitter: @RickVelotta

Southwest Letter Regarding Stadium Site Near McCarran by Las Vegas Review-Journal

ad-high_impact_4
News
Who can understand hospital price lists?
Lists of costs for procedures, drugs and devices are now posted the websites of hospitals to comply with a new federal rule designed to provide additional consumer transparency. Good luck figuring out what they mean.
Group helping stranded motorists during power outage
A group of Good Samaritans are offering free gas to people in need at the Glendale AM/PM, during a massive power outage near Mesquite on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen falls at Las Vegas parade
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada fell and injured her wrist at the Martin Luther King Day parade in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Business
MGM Grand Plans To Add Retail And Dining To Its Strip Facade
MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella said executives are “discussing redeveloping that entire frontage of the building out to the Las Vegas Strip.” (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Boyd Gaming planning new corporate campus
Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. has filed plans to build a new corporate campus. The plans call for two 10-story office buildings and a six-level parking garage in the southwest Las Vegas Valley. Boyd Gaming operates The Orleans, the Suncoast, downtown's California Hotel and other properties. The new headquarters would be just a mile from its current main office building.
Bellagio Conservatory transformed to celebrate Year of the Pig
The Bellagio Conservatory Team transformed the 14,000 square foot conservatory to commemorate Chinese New Year, the holiday that marks the end of the coldest days of winter. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Intro uses sound to connect people
Intro, a startup that is part of the Future Worlds Accelerator in the UK, has an app that uses ultrasonic sound to find people and companies nearby.
CES 2019 Video: CES wraps up another year
Time-lapse video of the action at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Create your own beauty products
Beauty Mix by BeautyByMe is a product that lets you create your own cosmetics and beauty products. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Picobrew’s home brew machine
Picobrew brings automation to homebrewing. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Surviving CES
What it's like to spend four days working the mammoth tech convention. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Haier’s smart home
Haier presented smart home technology at CES 2019.
CES 2019 VIDEO: Foldimate makes laundry day easy
Foldimate has created a machine that will fold your laundry for you. Just feed it anything you need folded and it will do the rest. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Opte device corrects skin spots
Opte from Proctor and Gamble is a device for correcting spots and freckles from skin. It analyzes the area for spots and then covers them with a serum of matching skin tone. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas unveiled
Derek Stevens reveals Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas. He plans open by the end of 2020. (K.M Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa, new casino coming to Fremont Street
Casino owner Derek Stevens announces his new property Circa, coming to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas in late 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dreenk My Oeno makes wine suggestions
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the Dreenk My Oeno tells you all about wine.
Polaroid One Step Plus camera unveiled at CES 2019
Polaroid has moved into the digital age with its One Step Plus camera with Bluetooth. With the connected app, it turns your smartphone into a remote for the camera, along with filters and features.
Amazon is everywhere at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Seemingly everything works with Amazon Alexa
LG Smart Mirror helps you dress snazzy
LG’s Smart Mirror is less of a mirror but more of an assistant to help get you looking snazzy. It takes your image and recommends clothes for you or matches existing clothes with new clothes, which can be purchased right from the mirror. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Underwater robots make waves at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Robosea is a company dedicated to underwater robotics. They produce consumer robots for underwater filming as well as commercial products which can be used for underwater research. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019 - Victrola record players spin in Las Vegas
A new spin on an old favorite, Victrola record players are meeting a demand for retro products. The brand is also making furnitures with built-in speakers.
CES 2019: Slamtec robots ready to serve
Slamtec is a robotics company out of China whose goal is to provide solutions for laser localization mapping and navigation. They have created two autonomous robots that can be used in areas such as bars, restaurants and malls. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mixologiq drink maker appears at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
This is the Mixologiq drink maker.
CES 2019: Veritable smart garden
Let’s face it; not all of us have green thumbs. And herbs are particularly difficult to grow, considering their constant need for sunshine. Enter the Veritable smart garden from Exky, which does it all for you. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas being sold to developer
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas is being sold to a developer, set to close in March. Bonnie Springs, west of Las Vegas off State Route 159 — next to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park — spans more than 60 acres and was on the market for $31 million. The developer and his project partner are under contract to buy the ranch and plan to chop it up mostly into custom-home lots. The plans includes a 25-room motel, a restaurant and a 5,400-square-foot event barn.
Bone-conduction headphones form Aftershokz
Aftershokz offers bone-conduction headphones - headphones that don’t go in the ear.
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Autonomous Cars and Futuristic Aircraft Rule CES
Day two of CES was dominated by autonomous cars and futuristic aircraft in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
TekNekSavr fights neck problems caused by smart phones
Atiya Syverson invented the TekNekSavr to help fight neck and head problems caused by strains while typing on smart phones. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New eyeglasses know if you fall and call for help
The French company Abeye has created eye glasses that will detect if the wearer falls and call for help. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Company that creates vibrator-like device claims genders bias against CES
Lora DiCarlo is a women-run start-up that creates a vibrator-like device designed for female pleasure called the Osé. This year they were awarded the CES Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone Category, but a month later the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, rescinded the award and their booth. Haddock and her team believe it is a reflection of gender bias and sexism in an industry with a long history of male domination.
CES-Wagz has new pet products
Wagz has three new products to help create better lives for your pets in a digital world. One is a collar with LTE tracking and an HD camera. Also a smart pet door that only lets your pet in and out. Lastly, a device to humanely keep Fluffy out of certain areas of your home. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like