MGM Resorts opposes $900m UNLV stadium plan, calls it “too expensive”

Turns out there may be some opposition to creating a sales-tax kickback district for UNLV’s $800-million-wait-now-it’s-actually-$900-million football stadium-and-other-stuff plan after all: MGM Resorts International, a major casino owner in Las Vegas, now says that the UNLV Now project “has grown too expensive for our community to support,” and wants costs trimmed. This matters because the casinos are not only the 800-pound gorillas of the Vegas political sphere, they’d be asked to kick in money (as much as $125 million, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, in partnership with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority) on the grounds that a UNLV stadium would bring in new tourists. Because without a bigger college football stadium, nobody would have a reason to go to Las Vegas. Or something.

Anyway, with the Nevada state legislature about to vote on kicking back all property and sales taxes from UNLV Now to pay for construction of the project (the session just started, and runs through the end of May), this probably isn’t the best time for UNLV to have major casinos opposing the deal. Though presumably MGM would be happy to have a stadium that’s less expensive, or at least less expensive for them, so I’m sure there’s lots of fun horse-trading yet to come.

2 comments on “MGM Resorts opposes $900m UNLV stadium plan, calls it “too expensive”

  1. tongue in cheek-
    MGM Grand Garden Arena was built in 1993 and has “fallen” to hosting things like the Pac-12 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. At over 20 years old we’ve all learned it’s just the harsh reality that arenas are too old to compete (at being arenas with seats).

    But, wow, when most major college stadiums try to hit around $300 million it’s pretty impressive for the project to hit so high. What are the other non-stadium parts of the project? 3 mini-stadiums ?