Casino giant MGM/Mirage and arena giant AEG broke ground today on a $375 million arena in Las Vegas. The new venue, which is being designed by Populous, will have a maximum capacity of 20,000 and is expected to open in spring of 2016.The post makes a phenomenal point that should not be lost at the end:
There’s no shortage of large venues in Vegas, with the Grand Garden Arena at 16,800 seats. The Mandalay Bay Events Center, also an MGM property, has a capacity of 12,000. The largest venue in the area has long been UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center, which holds 19,500 for concerts. Orleans Arena’s capacity is 9,500. Concert halls at The Palms and the Hard Rock support 4,000 or so. Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman supports an arena in downtown Las Vegas, but with the new arena coming on line there’s more than enough capacity. Both that project and the UNLV Now! arena/stadium combo require a significant amount of public funding, and could lose support over time. Thomas & Mack is expected to undergo $60 million in renovations to support the National Finals Rodeo, a longtime tenant that signed a 10-year extension to stay in the city (not necessarily at the arena).
At $375 million for construction cost, this arena will come in much lower than the planned arenas in Sacramento and San Francisco. It goes to show how budget-conscious companies can be when they’re building their own venues.Which begs the question, if the Rays had to pay for their own stadium, how much would the estimated $550 million price tag drop?