It looks like the University of Nevada-Las Vegas is giving up on building a domed football stadium — at least the domed part. UNLV acting president Don Snyder announced yesterday that the school would be scaling back its plans to only a 45,000-seat stadium with “sun shades.”
The reason? The casinos didn’t want the competition:
[University regents Cedric] Crear and [James Dean] Leavitt have drawn push-back from resort industry representatives such as MGM’s [Rick] Arpin, who said at a recent meeting that a domed stadium could “cannibalize” events from other Las Vegas venues. MGM and Anschutz Entertainment Group are building a 20,000-seat, $375 million arena near New York-New York, scheduled to open in 2016.
At the same meeting, Paul Chakmak of Boyd Gaming Corp. noted, “The resort industry is not asking for a stadium to be built.”
Whatever the reason, a non-domed stadium would cost an estimated $523 million instead of $833 million, so that’s got to be a plus. (It also couldn’t host indoor events, which is what Crear and Leavitt are griping about, but it’s nearly impossible to imagine what indoor events would be worth spending an extra $310 million for.) Snyder says about $100 million could be raised via naming-rights and luxury suite sales, which only leaves $423 million via sales tax hikes or, you know, something. One hurdle at a time.