Vegas hockey team building arena in tent on casino roof, because Vegas

Las Vegas already has oodles of arenas and virtually no sports teams to play in them, plus plans to build oodles more, so naturally enough the minor-league Wranglers hockey team is doing this:

 When the Las Vegas Wranglers move to new ice downtown, team owners will invest $4 million in a 45,000-square-foot, fabric-shell structure to house a hockey rink and seating for 3,500 on the roof of the Plaza Hotel casino.

That would be here, where the basketball and tennis courts are now. The building below was formerly a parking structure, so is overengineered enough to support an ice rink plus 3,500 people, according to Wranglers president Billy Johnson.

This is easy to laugh at — in fact, let’s do it now — but it’s actually a lot crazier to build entire new buildings for sports teams that don’t exist than to come up with a temporary tent to house a team that may or may not survive the next few years. (Not to demean the Wranglers or their fans in any way, but minor-league hockey teams aren’t exactly a secure long-term investment.) Spending $4 million on a space to play in (the casino will get a cut of concessions revenue) is far more in the budget of a minor-league franchise, and the Wranglers deserve some props for thinking outside the box. Though I do wonder whether in Vegas it’s going to be so hot outside the box that we’re likely to see a repeat of this.

2 comments on “Vegas hockey team building arena in tent on casino roof, because Vegas

  1. Not acquainted with this building so call this general.

    Roofs are designed and built for a live loading of 20 psf (pounds per square foot), while, depending on the seating arrangement, bleachers will require 100 psf and fixed seating 60 psf, or between 5x and 3x the design loads. (IBC-12)

    While the building below, say the foundation and lower level columns, won’t notice the effect, the direct supporting structure, roof and its support columns, would be inadequate and require reinforcement.

    Mr. Johnson should stick with the wheeling and dealing and get some engineers involved.

  2. It’s the roof of a parking garage so the load limit is much higher. My guess is that they’ve already done the basic structural analysis if they’re announcing it.