What does a $1.3B arena project with no tenant need? A retractable roof, of course!

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has reported one more detail on former UNLV star Jackie Robinson’s proposed $1.3 billion arena project, which dropped out of the sky on Monday:

Robinson is pitching a venue with a retractable roof, which is unusual for an arena.

“Unusual” is an unusual word to describe a basketball arena with a roof; I would have gone with “unprecedented,” or maybe “cracktastic.” But, hey, when an important guy says he’s going to build something — and by “important guy” I mean, apparently, someone who played 22 games in the NBA, owned a defunct minor-league franchise, and is friends with Kiki Vandeweghe, you have to report it, right? That’s, like, in the AP Stylebook. (Wait, not that AP Stylebook. Or on second thought, maybe that one exactly.)

In any event, Robinson’s Folly now joins the proposed MGM arena as Vegas arenas that are set to break ground next spring, with no actual teams set to play in them. Las Vegas is reportedly second behind Seattle on the NHL’s expansion list, though, according to Canadian hockey commentator Bob McKenzie — no, not that Bob McKenzie. Or on second thought…

4 comments on “What does a $1.3B arena project with no tenant need? A retractable roof, of course!

  1. Actually, it’s somewhat precedented–Google Images for “Pittsburgh Civic Arena Roof” has some great shots from when theirs worked.

    The Vegas arena would be perfect for filming “Sudden Death 2.”

  2. Talking heads (including either of the Bob Mckenzies) can say whatever they want… there is no “List” of expansion franchises to be granted and no prioritization of non-existent franchises opportunities. It may sell hockey newspapers (which this McKenzie used to be the editor of before he found television… and a great tragedy that has been for everyone with HD hardware…) and gather eyeballs for boneheaded panel shows to claim that there is, but every league reviews applications as they are received. And one thing we know from the NHL’s past, it isn’t above changing team locations at the last minute because someone wrote a bigger check.

    I’m sure the NHL would “like” to be in Seattle. But at present they have no building. Even if the people of Seattle/Hansen do cough up for a building, the prospective rich guy owner has already said he wants no part of an NHL team unless it is a paying tenant owned by someone else (who wouldn’t then get most of the arena revenue that hockey clubs in poor to average markets need to paper over the fact that no-one outside of 10-12 markets is willing to pay $75 to see NHL hockey). So, McKenzieisms notwithstanding… I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Just a question: The last arena/stadium with a retractable roof we saw vapourtechture images of had a roof that operated much like an iris. So…. will this one be patterned after another body part? If so, will there be a public vote on what part it should be???

  3. Mark: Do you recall how many times the igloo’s roof was successfully opened and closed during it’s operating life?

    The over under on that should be about 8 I would think… and as I recall it was welded shut permanently not long after the Van Damme movie (or whoever it was).

  4. You can read many accounts of it being opened for concerts, minor league hockey, etc. The total is likely in the hundreds or more…