The city of Las Vegas’ push for an arena and entertainment district is moving forward and an arena is an important part of the plan, a city official said Tuesday.
"We’re along pretty well," said Scott Adams, chief urban redevelopment officer, referring to Las Vegas’ ongoing negotiations with The Cordish Co. to develop about 20 city-owned acres at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Stewart Avenue, including the current site of City Hall.
"They quite frankly really are looking hard at the arena because that really drives their whole development," he said.
Nothing formal has been presented to the council.
The comment came on the same day that Clark County commissioners decided to look more closely at three proposals for arenas on or near the Strip that are competing with the city project to be the first project to start construction.
Proponents of one of those projects, planned just south of the Sahara, are eager to get started and even have prepared architectural plans, drawings and project details.
The city’s idea is to mix an arena, entertainment and gaming on the downtown site. That makes it easier to close "the gap," Adams said — the difference between how much revenue an arena would generate and how much it actually costs to build.
"You mix those things together, you get to a point where it makes more sense and you close that gap," he said. "I would question on some of the other sites the ability to close that gap without a large amount of private development to help subsidize the arena — without a big public injection of dollars.
"I don’t believe anybody who says they’re ready to go later this year. That means they can do it without public money."
The city’s proposal will probably require some public investment as well. As the city has done with other projects, the Redevelopment Agency or tax-increment financing — both using increases in property taxes as a revenue source — could be used, as could improvement districts targeted at the project site.
ALAN CHOATE/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL