MGM Resorts joins arena speculation

With talks heating up about a football stadium and sports arena, MGM Resorts International is reportedly exploring the feasibility of building an arena behind the Monte Carlo. The company’s third arena would be larger than the 17,000-seat MGM Grand Garden and 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center, a source said.

The rumor comes amid renewed interest in building a $400 million to $500 million arena by several groups.

Gordon Absher, vice president of public affairs for MGM Resorts, said, “I can only say we are constantly examining ways to remain vibrant and exciting for our guests, both in our facilities and our offerings.  This includes regularly weighing new opportunities and considering options.”

Caesars Entertainment and Anchutz Entertainment Group unveiled plans in August 2007 for AEG to build an arena behind Bally’s for a National Basketball Association or National Hockey League team.  

MGM Resorts has opposed using public funds for that plan, contending it would create unfair, subsidized competition to MGM Resorts’ private arenas. The recession put that project on hold.              

MCGRAW-SPRINGSTEEN DUET?

Connecting the dots? Or just a case of wishful thinking?

During a media sit-down with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, I asked McGraw who he would like to add to his wish list of duets.

“I’ve been able to sing with some great people throughout my career, but (Bruce) Springsteen would be at the top of my list,” McGraw said.

So maybe that wasn’t just a coincidence when Springsteen and his wife, Patti Scialfa, were in the audience Dec. 8 during the “Soul2Soul” debut of Hill and McGraw at The Venetian.              

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Tiger Woods’ former swing coach, Butch Harmon of Las Vegas, was in Phoenix last week working with Phil Mickelson and his new driver. A day after Mickelson opened with a 60 in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Harmon tweeted a second- round prediction of 65 or 66. Mickelson got a 65. A day later, Mickelson came up one stroke shy of the PGA’s record 54-hole total (189). Mickelson went on to claim his 41st PGA Tour victory. …

It was a doubly exciting week for Amy Rossetti. First she was promoted from director to vice president of PR at The Cosmopolitan. Then the bubbly Baltimore native went to New Orleans for her first Super Bowl. Lunch at hot spot Revolution included a sighting of Baltimore baseball icon Cal Ripken Jr. and former Lakers and Miami Heat coach Pat Riley. She survived the infamous blackout and won a $100 money-line bet on her Ravens. …  

The inaugural “Love Is in the Air” dance scholarship benefit starts at 8 tonight at Cashman Center . Entertainment includes Stratosphere headliners Frankie Moreno and Claire Sinclair, dance studio owner Tony Delgado, Chris Phillips and Elvis tribute artist Steve Connolly.  

SIGHTINGS

Restaurateur and vineyard owner Joe Bastianich, dining Thursday with a group at Gordon Ramsay Steak (Paris Las Vegas). … “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro, sampling the lunch menu at First Food & Bar (Palazzo) on Tuesday. … Scenes for the finale of Showtime’s “House of Lies” were filmed this week at Caesars Palace, while “Love in the Big City 3,” with Sharon Stone, has been shooting at the Golden Nugget. 

the punch line

“A Justice Department memo claims that President Obama has the right to order the assassination of an American anywhere in the world. Isn’t that crazy? In a related story, Donald Trump has gone into hiding.” — Conan O’Brien

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas,” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.

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