The University of Nevada, Las Vegas released a report on Wednesday identifying two possible sites for a new 45,000-seat football stadium, with plans to submit them to a university board meeting yesterday. That was the plan, at least, until the start of the meeting itself, when acting UNLV president Don Snyder did this:
UNLV acting president Don Snyder called an audible Thursday, delaying the proposed $523 million campus stadium project by two years.
Snyder’s move came at a University of Nevada, Las Vegas Stadium Board meeting called to finalize a proposal to send to the Legislature for consideration early next year. Instead, the project will go to state lawmakers in 2017.
He said the university is now working on too many issues, such as creating a medical school, to ask state support for the proposed stadium.
“All these things take time and energy,” Snyder said. “The medical school is the top priority. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to also know there are other demands in the community like schools and police officers … It’s more important to do this right than to do it fast.”
It’s not clear what led Snyder to put a hold on the stadium talks at the last second, though it’s reasonable enough to assume that he’d taken the temperature of the room and realized that his stadium plan was going nowhere. Now he can sit back and work on the plan for a couple of years behind closed doors, and either drum up more support (and money) for the project, or let it die quietly.
This would also, come to think of it, be an excellent time for the local media to do some research into whether a 45,000-seat football stadium for a low-profile NCAA program makes much sense. But my money’s on everyone going back to sleep until the press releases start flying again.