Source: MGM offered aid on UNLV stadium

Before UNLV ditched billionaire Ed Roski’s Majestic Realty as its private partner for a proposed stadium, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas received an offer from a powerful hotel-casino company to help build the 60,000-seat venue, the Las Vegas Review-Journal learned Thursday.

MGM Resorts International, which unveiled plans for a 20,000-seat arena just off the Strip four weeks ago, suggested that UNLV transfer events from its Thomas & Mack Center to the new MGM Resorts venue. In return, MGM Resorts would provide “meaningful support” for the proposed stadium.

MGM Resorts made the offer two years ago, then revisited the issue earlier this year. As described by a source who is familiar with both approaches, MGM Resorts asked for a noncompete agreement. The deal would allow the university to keep Rebels basketball games and children’s events, such as Disney on Ice, at Thomas & Mack Center while surrendering 15 to 40 events such as concerts each year to MGM Resorts’ arena.

Exactly what shape the resort giant’s “meaningful support” for the UNLV stadium project would take is unclear.

MGM Resorts, which owns 10 hotel-casinos on the Strip, has pledged a $20 million donation to UNLV for the stadium. But Feb. 13, MGM issued a harsh statement against the university’s UNLVNow stadium concept, saying “it has grown too expensive for our community to support.”

The stadium project, which included millions of dollars for parking garages and relocating current athletic fields, was estimated at nearly $900 million. UNLV is looking at reducing the project’s scope to cut costs after MGM Resorts’ criticism.

UNLV’s point man on the stadium project, Don Snyder, said he had no knowledge of an MGM Resorts offer.

He said the university dumped Majestic Realty so that it could work directly with Las Vegas’ “Big Six” hotel-casino owners — MGM Resorts, Las Vegas Sands Corp., Station Casinos, Boyd Gaming Corp., Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Wynn Resorts Ltd. — and the entire resort industry.

Gerry Bomotti, who oversees Thomas & Mack as UNLV’s senior vice president for finance and business, dismissed talk of MGM Resorts involvement in the stadium decision as “a rumor without any basis in fact.”

“Such an agreement would have severe negative financial consequences to UNLV, our athletic programs, and our student athletes. Thomas & Mack Center activities (including Sam Boyd Stadium and the Cox Pavilion) provide $7 million, $8 million per year in direct and indirect support to our athletic programs,” Bomotti said.

“If we lost non-UNLV athletic events (such as National Finals Rodeo, summer NBA league, PBR (Professional Bull Riders) and a host of others), we would not only be unable to support the operations of the Thomas & Mack Center, but could jeopardize the existence of our current athletic programs and activities.”

MGM Resorts spokesman Gordon Absher called any suggestion that his company would tie support for a stadium to events that would move to its new arena “offensive and ridiculous.”

He said MGM Resorts supports a “reasonably sized, responsibly financed stadium” at UNLV.

Snyder also said Majestic was dropped because the proposed stadium has evolved from a UNLV-centric project into a neutral-site venue that would help big Strip hotels more than UNLV.

“We need to engage dialogue with the entire resort industry,” Snyder said Thursday.

That was the recommendation earlier this month by New York-based consultant Sterling Project Development. The consulting firm examined UNLV’s agreement with Majestic and reported “the project in its current form does not have sufficient stakeholder agreement pertaining to the size and scope of the project as well as its financing.”

Sterling suggested that UNLV “re-engage with the LVCVA (Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority) as well as the hotel industry to gauge the nature and extent of their support for the mega-events center.”

Majestic, which built the Staples Center in Los Angeles, had spent millions of dollars since October 2010 on the UNLV stadium plan., which was to be the centerpiece of UNLVNow, a sweeping campus face-lift that included more than 2,000 student housing units and 300,000 square-feet of retail space.

On Wednesday, Majestic’s point man, Craig Cavileer, wrote UNLV President Neal Smatresk that Majestic “is entitled to a forthright explanation” about the current and future status of the relationship.

Cavileer received a response that same day, in the form of a termination letter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like