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New Vegas Arena


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LAS VEGAS -- Casino giant Harrah's Entertainment announced Wednesday it is partnering with AEG, the company that brought David Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy, to build a 20,000-seat arena capable of housing an NBA or NHL team.

The arena, behind the Bally's and Paris hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, is projected to open in 2010. It's a step toward attracting a pro sports franchise to a city that has tried to convince reluctant league officials to look past its legalized sports betting.

The deal puts a major dent in Mayor Oscar Goodman's plans to have an arena built downtown. The site for the arena, a block east of the Strip, is in unincorporated Clark County, outside city limits.

Gary Loveman, the chief executive of Harrah's, which is being bought by two private equity firms in a $17.1 billion deal, said the development was "very much a part of our master plan for Las Vegas," a long-awaited vision that is expected to link or redevelop its nine hotel-casino properties in Las Vegas, including Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah's and the Rio.

"This arena is being developed with the capability of hosting an NHL or NBA franchise from day one," said Timothy Leiweke, the president and chief executive of AEG, which owns the Galaxy and the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

"We continue to have productive conversations with potential owners and are optimistic that either basketball or hockey, or both, will be played in Las Vegas when the venue opens," he said in a statement.

The arena to be built on 10 acres of land that Harrah's owns is to be privately financed. Construction is set to begin on the project in the summer of 2008.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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With all the gambling issues going on in the NBA and NHL what are the chances that a team ends up there? No chance! 0% No way will this ever happen now. If you asked me a few months ago my answer would have been different though. Maybe 35%... yeah, that sounds good.

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There is a tennis complex and single deck parking behind these hotels as I remember. The horribly unsuccessful Las Vegas Monorail has a stop at Ballys, but there isn't that much room between that "open sapce" and Koval Lane, another parellel street to the Strip. I can see a footprint for an arena, but man that would trick the city up even more. There are some succesful properties there on Koval, plus a gas station. Therefore, I am thinking, it cannot go past Koval and will be very steep. Remember both MGM Grand Garden Arena and the Mandalay Bay Events Center hold under 12,000 for on strip events. Thomas & Mack is close to 18,000, but lack club seats and would need more suites for pro teams.

I wonder how UNLV would feel about that since they may lose major fights, NFR, PRB, and some other events.

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All the gambling issues in the NBA should've helped Vegas' case for getting a team just because of how closely they oversee sports gambling -- though because of public image it certainly does not. Besides, I think I heard somewhere that 2% of all sports gambling is actually done in Las Vegas. You could probably argue that a Las Vegas professional sports team would be the least likely to be caught up in any illegal, gambling related activities.

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I dont see any real problem with gambling in relation to a major league sports franchise in Las Vegas.

what I do see as a problem for said franchise is a lack of a grassroots fanbase. Just about everyone that lives in southern Nevada is originally from somewhere else, not to mention the millions of visitors that pass through every year.

any team that sets up shop in Las Vegas is gonna be playing to largely impartial crowds most of the time, giving the team this aura of a vagabond team despite having a home. and on any given gameday the visiting team may even have a larger following than the home team, especially if Las Vegas is hosting say a team from Chicago, Philly, Boston, New York, LA, the SF bay area, or Dallas.

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Stupid idea, and as a former LV resident, i'll tell you why:

LV residents DO NOT go to the strip unless A) they work there, or B) they're entertaining out of towners. That's it. Locals avoid that pit like the plague, simply because it is too congested, too tourist-packed, and generally a nightmare to navigate in and out of via all the traffic, construction, et al.

That being said, the only way an arena is going to work is if it's off-strip, meaning more accessible to the locals that will be the lifeblood of any future franchise. One-time events like boxing, even the PBR will be fine in the proposed location (since they largely draw out of towners anyway) - it's the franchise that will play 80 games a year and will need to draw a consistent local fanbase in order to survive that will suffer from the location. If they're relying on the weekenders and the slot-machiners in for their vacations, they will be sorely disappointed.

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Stupid idea, and as a former LV resident, i'll tell you why:

LV residents DO NOT go to the strip unless A) they work there, or B) they're entertaining out of towners. That's it. Locals avoid that pit like the plague, simply because it is too congested, too tourist-packed, and generally a nightmare to navigate in and out of via all the traffic, construction, et al.

That being said, the only way an arena is going to work is if it's off-strip, meaning more accessible to the locals that will be the lifeblood of any future franchise. One-time events like boxing, even the PBR will be fine in the proposed location (since they largely draw out of towners anyway) - it's the franchise that will play 80 games a year and will need to draw a consistent local fanbase in order to survive that will suffer from the location. If they're relying on the weekenders and the slot-machiners in for their vacations, they will be sorely disappointed.

As a current resident of LV, what you say is true, we avoid the strip. However the strip also currently doesn't play home to an NHL, NBA team. I would be more than happy to sit in a little traffic to watch the NHL on a regular basis. It still would be better than sitting in SoCal traffic.

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