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Aspiring stadium developer strikes out on Las Vegas Olympics bid

After striking out at the Clark County Commission and the Nevada Legislature, aspiring stadium developer Christopher Milam is taking his sports dreams to the International Olympic Committee.

He’s not having any luck there, either.

Sources said Monday that Milam, who for years has sought unsuccessfully to develop stadiums or arenas in Las Vegas, on the Strip and, currently, in Henderson, wrote recently to the IOC seeking to keep Las Vegas in play as a site for the 2020 Summer Games.

The problem?

The United States Olympic Committee, the group in charge of presenting national bids, said it isn’t bidding for the 2020 games.

"We aren’t bidding for the 2020 games, and the 2022 games are not on our radar as well," said Patrick Sandusky, spokesman for the USOC.

Sources familiar with the situation said Milam wrote to the IOC seeking an extension of a deadline to have national committee support for a bid, and the IOC almost immediately denied the request.

Milam did not return a call or email seeking comment.

Madrid, Tokyo, Rome, Istanbul and Doha, Qatar, have confirmed an intent to bid for the 2020 games.

Doha has filed an intent to host the games outside the normal August time frame so that the events wouldn’t fall during its hottest summer months.

No such request has been filed by the USOC for 2020, which could have been done had it considered a location such as Las Vegas a potential site for the games.

Hosting the Olympic Games is a mighty proposition.

Cost estimates for the facilities, support and other infrastructure at the London 2012 games are $15 billion. Even bidding for the games can cost a potential host community around $100 million.

In addition, the process is lengthy and complex. National and international Olympic committees have strict deadlines for reams of information on facilities, lodging, financial backing and security.

The cost would be especially prohibitive for Las Vegas, where local and state governments have been cutting spending and laying off personnel, and have become cool to the notion of directing taxpayer money to sporting venues.

It’s not the first time Milam has struck out on a sports deal. Earlier this year, the state Legislature spiked a bill that would have approved legal frameworks and taxing districts for three potential stadium and arena proposals, including one by Milam near Interstate 15 and Russell Road, just west of the Strip.

Previously, the County Commission rejected a proposal by Milam to revive a dormant tax district on the Strip near Sahara Avenue that he said was needed to build an arena there.

Sources in Henderson have said Milam is working on a proposal to acquire or trade public land to develop a project in that city.

No formal proposal for Henderson has emerged, and Milam hasn’t commented publicly on the plan.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@ reviewjournal.com or 702-229-6435.

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