Vegas $2B arena-and-stadium plan doesn’t come with parking

So it turns out that not only is developer Chris Milam proposing to build a $1.95 billion sports complex in Las Vegas, but that doesn’t include land for parking:

Nearly a dozen artist renderings depicting the stadiums on a 63-acre site west of Interstate 15 across from Mandalay Bay show the facilities linked by walking paths through greenbelts.

But the renderings depict zero parking spaces, though the largest stadium would seat 36,000 soccer fans.

Stadium developers are reportedly targeting an estimated 50 acres nearby for parking, event marshaling and facility maintenance.

But unlike the site for the stadiums, which is empty desert controlled by Texas developer Christopher Milam, much of the area planned for parking is already occupied by older single story industrial properties and warehouses.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal, which reported the above, didn’t include estimated land costs in that area, so it’s hard to say for sure exactly how much has just been added to the $1.95 billion price tag, but suffice to say it ain’t nothing. And, of course, we have no idea how that cost would be paid for.

Speaking of paying for the sports complex, the same article includes more details on Milam’s proposed funding plan:

He said he stadium project might be scuttled unless the Legislature approves the special taxing district, which would add a 12 percent ticket sales tax for any event at the three arenas.

The legislation would also allow stadium owners to keep sales, live entertainment, property and other taxes generated there for reinvestment in the facilities.

A ticket sales tax effectively comes out of Milam’s own pocket, so it seems silly for him to be insistent on that — if it comes down to it, he could accomplish much the same thing by just raising ticket prices 12 percent and devoting the added money to paying off construction costs. Unless he’s counting on these “user fees” to distract attention from that “also”: kicking back sales, property, and other taxes that would normally go to government coffers. As I noted before, this guy does have a knack for thinking big.


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