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Sam Boyd Stadium

Sam Boyd Stadium

  Venue Resources  
Address 7000 East Russell Road
Las Vegas, NV 89122-8338
Phone (702) 895-3727
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  The Facility  
Date Opened 1971
Major Renovation 1999
Ownership
(Management)
University of Nevada Las Vegas
(University of Nevada Las Vegas)
Surface Grass (1971-2002)
FieldTurf (2003-Present)
Cost of Construction $3.5 Million
Cost of Renovation $18 Million
Former Names Las Vegas Stadium
(1971-1977)
Las Vegas Silver Bowl
(1978-1984)
Sam Boyd Silver Bowl
(1984-1993)
Sam Boyd Stadium
(1993-Present)
Capacity 36,800
Luxury Suites XXX Suites
Club Seats None
  Other Facts  
Tenants UNLV Running Rebels
(NCAA) (1971-Present)
Las Vegas Bowl
(1992-Present)
Former Tenants Las Vegas Quicksilvers
(NASL) (1977)
Las Vegas Posse
(CFL) (1994)
Las Vegas Outlaws
(XFL) (2001)
Las Vegas All-American Classic
(NCAA) (2004-2006)
Population Base 1,000,000
On Site Parking 16,000
Nearest Airport McCarran International Airport (LAS)


Sources: Mediaventures

Sam Boyd Stadium
Image of Sam Boyd Stadium by Cory Suppes of Ballparks.com

Facility History

Now standing as one of the top college football facilities in all the West is UNLV's Sam Boyd Stadium, which will celebrate its 35th Birthday in 2006.

Undergoing a complete facelift and renovation during 1999, the "New" Sam Boyd Stadium expanded to its present capacityof 36,800 (with the ability to seat more than 40,000 when called for).

Located approximately seven miles from both the UNLV campus and McCarran International Airport, Sam Boyd Stadium successfully combines the excitement of a college football stadium and the versatility of an entertainment arena. The Rebel football team has posted a 122-87-3 record in 34 seasons playing there.

The stadium has hosted some of the greatest talents in sports and show business. Future NFL quarterbacks Randall Cunningham, Jim McMahon, Drew Bledsoe, Andre Ware and Akili Smith are among those who have played at Sam Boyd Stadium along with events involving athletes such as soccer legend Pele and motor sports stars. Additionally, the stadium has hosted world-class concerts by such musical acts as the Dave Matthews Band, the Eagles, U2, Paul McCartney, Wayne Newton, the George Strait Festival and the once-annual summer appearances by the Grateful Dead.

A mecca for football played on all levels, the stadium is currently site of the Las Vegas Bowl each December as well as having served as home to three Western Athletic Conference championship games from 1996-98. The facility has also twice served as host to professional foot ball as the Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL made it their home in 2001 as did the Las Vegas Posse, a Canadian Football League franchise that played one season in 1994. SBS also hosts high school games and has been site of the state's prep championship game.

The venue has also recently hosted two other college football events: the Las Vegas Classic, which annually features two teams from historically black universities, and the Las Vegas All-American Classic postseason all-star game.

Sam Boyd Stadium
Originally named Las Vegas Stadium when it was built in 1971 at a cost of $3.5 million, the facility was re-named the Las Vegas Silver Bowl in 1978 and then known as the Sam Boyd Silver Bowl in honor of local gaming pioneer Sam Boyd beginning in 1984. Its name was officially shortened to Sam Boyd Stadium in April 1994.

The first event held in the then-15,000-seat stadium was a UNLV football game against Weber State on Oct. 23, 1971, won by the visiting Wildcats, 30-17. Official dedication ceremonies, however, took place the next season on Sept. 9, 1972, at halftime of a 35-28 loss to Western Illinois before 8,800 fans.

SBS, which has always retained its horseshoe shape, underwent an expansion to 32,000 seats in 1978 and again enjoyed improvements in 1994. The popular Rebel Experience area outside the stadium opened in 1997.

One of the highlights of the latest renovation was the replacement of the so-called "Magic Carpet" retractable artificial turf that had been in place since 1985. Originally fitted with traditional AstroTurf, Sam Boyd was the first stadium in the world to install a Monsanto Corp. outdoor retractable turf, which helped give the facility its multi-purpose capability. The surface, which simply rolled up into cylinders in less than an hour, was installed in at a cost of $1.2 million through a grant by the Sam Boyd family and an appropriation subsidy from the LVCVA.

Natural grass replaced the artificial turf from 1999-2002 before a synthetic surface, made by TurfTech, was installed in time for the 2003 season.

Sam Boyd Stadium is Southern Nevada's premier outdoor facility located eight miles east of the famous Las Vegas Strip. As a part of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Sam Boyd Stadium hosts some of the most popular entertainment and sporting events in the country.

Named after a prominent Las Vegas hotel owner and gaming pioneer, the facility has evolved over the years not only in size (from 15,000 to 32,000 to 40,000 seats) but in the way it handled event bookings, marketing and sponsorship opportunities.

Thomas & Mack Center and Sam Boyd Stadium
Promotion's & Public Relations Department
Mr. Clifford T. Clinger, thanks Cliff

Sam Boyd Face Lift Hits Snag
By Steve Carp
LAS VEGAS SUN

UNLV may have lost out on a golden opportunity to give Sam Boyd Stadium a badly needed face lift because of a technicality.

Thomas & Mack Center officials from UNLV are planning to withdraw their request for a $2 million loan over 10 years from the Board of Regents, after the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said it would not commit funds toward permanent seating at the 31,500-seat stadium.

The LVCVA's bylaws prohibit expenditure of funds for capital improvements. But the Convention Authority has agreed to commit $250,000 toward the installation of 8,000 temporary seats in the north end zone of the stadium for the Western Athletic Conference's inaugural football championship game Dec. 7.

"Our attorney said the statute regarding the use of funds from the hotel room tax can only be used for promotions, advertising and special events," said Rossi Ralenkotter, the LVCVA's vice president for marketing. "Those funds can't be used for capital improvements.

"However, we will follow through on our commitment to provide funds for temporary seats at the stadium for the event. We'll be meeting in the next week or two to finalize those arrangements."

Part of the WAC's decision to play the game here was based on having an upgraded stadium with improved amenities. WAC commissioner Karl Benson was not happy upon hearing the news.

"I'm disappointed," he said. "The stadium was an issue when we considered Las Vegas and we were led to believe some suitable improvements would be made.

"I just hope there will be some reconsideration on the matter. This is important to the WAC, not only on the field, but in terms of putting our best foot forward from an image standpoint. We're trying to lure national corporate sponsors, bowl officials and national media and network television people to the WAC and this is our showcase event."

Had the $2 million been available, it would have paid for construction of 6,500 permanent seats along the west side of the stadium, a refurbished press box, six to eight VIP suites, a new ticket office and repaving of the west parking lot.

Instead, the only improvements that will be made are extending the height of the scoreboard at the north end of the stadium while adding two mini-boards to allow fans sitting in the temporary seats to keep track of the score.

Sam Boyd Stadium
Image of Sam Boyd Stadium by Cory Suppes of Ballparks.com with the assistance of Gary Lee "Plumber"

Thomas & Mack director Pat Christenson was perplexed by the LVCVA's decision.

"This was a sound plan," he said. "It didn't cost (the LVCVA) a dime more. In fact, it would've been less, because it's probably going to cost more than $250,000 to put in the temporary seats, raise the scoreboard in the north end and put in the additional scoreboards.

"But without the money from the Convention Authority, I can't go to the regents and ask them to loan us $2 million. It just wouldn't be right."

Had the LVCVA agreed to let its money be used by UNLV, the funds would have been used to repay the $2 million loan for the first three years. If the game remained in Las Vegas beyond 1998, the annual seating money would have been used to continue payment on the loan.

In addition, Christenson said UNLV would have rebated the LVCVA $6 for each of the 6,500 permanent seats used for other events at the stadium, such as concerts.

Las Vegas regent Mark Alden, who sits on the regents' finance and planning committee, said the plan was solid. But without the LVCVA's assistance, it would have been tough to approve.

"Pat's plan made sense," he said. "Instead of renting seats, which is a waste, the Convention Authority should allow us to use the money where it would bring about the best use.

"I'd like to see the Convention Authority reconsider its decision."

Sam Boyd Stadium
Image of Sam Boyd Stadium by Cory Suppes of Ballparks.com with the assistance of Gary Lee "Plumber"

The regents are scheduled to meet next Wednesday. Alden said the item would be dropped from the agenda unless something dramatic happens in the next day or two.

UNLV athletic director Charles Cavagnaro said given the athletic department's budget problems, he would be hard pressed to ask for additional stadium funding. The athletic department already has borrowed $800,000 from the university to balance its 1995-96 budget.

"We've got to get our house in order first," he said. "And with the (proposed downtown) domed stadium still up in the air, everything's still spinning.

"I think we have to wait and see what happens there first before we commit funds to Sam Boyd (Stadium). Obviously, if they build the dome, that's something we want to be part of for our football program, and the WAC championship would probably be looking at that, too.

"If they don't, then we'll want to revisit improving Sam Boyd."

Tucker DiEdwardo, President of Las Vegas Events, which helped lure the WAC title game to Las Vegas, also was surprised to see the original plan of temporary seats implemented.

"My sense of the matter is the Christenson proposal appeared to be a plausible way of using the WAC budget to pay for the leasing of seats," he said. "And it was like any other leasing of seats.

"We're getting seats, but it's not as good as what Pat proposed."

Benson said the WAC can live with the 8,000 temporary end-zone seats for now. But he said the improvements for the press box and the VIP areas must be addressed.

"I maintain that the status quo in those areas are not acceptable to the WAC," he said. "The press box improvements are necessary to not only accommodate the media, but more importantly, to project a positive image of the WAC."

UNLV WANTS ON-CAMPUS STADIUM, UPGRADED ARENA
January 20, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Las Vegas, Nev. - UNLV officials are in discussions to build a domed 40,000-seat stadium and entertainment complex on and around its campus while also upgrading the Thomas & Mack Center, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.

University president Neal Smatresk said in a statement he has been in talks with Ed Roski and Craig Cavileer to form "a public-private partnership."

Roski owns Los Angeles-based Majestic Realty, one of the world's largest commercial developers. He also helped build L.A.'s Staples Center, and he has a stake in both the NBA's Lakers and NHL's Kings.

Cavileer, president of the Silverton Casino and a longtime business associate of Roski, told the newspaper the development will be "much more" than just a stadium.

He would not discuss details with the newspaper but said he and Roski may make a formal announcement by week's end.

"We're not quite there yet," Cavileer said. "It's something that we've been working on for quite a while."

Smatresk was enthusiastic about the potential project.

"This is an attractive proposition. UNLV long has been interested in bringing UNLV football to the main campus and in updating the Thomas & Mack Center. This will allow us to build on our success, bring more visitors to Las Vegas, and retain the events that place the Thomas & Mack among the top grossing college arenas in the world."

Where exactly the new complex would be placed is uncertain, though Smatresk told the Review Journal it would be convenient to the Strip and McCarran International Airport. Others told the newspaper it would be on UNLV property.

The possible new stadium is expected to house more than UNLV football. It also could handle basketball games and special events such as the National Finals Rodeo - a reliable sellout at the Thomas & Mack - and potential Pac-12 Conference Championship should Las Vegas ever be awarded that football game.

The Review Journal quoted sources says the university was approached about the project. It comes while the school and the athletic department face difficult financial times and are anticipating state budget cuts.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman told the newspaper he didn't know if a stadium near UNLV would hurt his plan of having a pro hockey or basketball team in a downtown arena. City officials have been negotiating with the Cordish Cos. since 2009 about building an arena, on the Symphony Park site, but haven't reached an agreement.

If a stadium is built at or near UNLV, Goodman said, that's fine.

"I am not unhappy about this. It's all great. It looks like the more activity, the closer we get to getting a professional sports team," he said.

"I personally believe the right site is downtown because it's a neutral site. It won't be associated with any casino operation and everybody will be able to buy the suites and the boxes without fear that they're helping a competitor."

Sam Boyd Stadium
Sam Boyd Stadium
Sam Boyd Stadium
Sam Boyd Stadium
Images of Sam Boyd Stadium by Cory Suppes of Ballparks.com

LOCATION OF UNLV STADIUM TOLD
January 27, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Las Vegas, Nev. - A proposed new 40,000-seat domed football stadium at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas would sit between the Thomas & Mack Center on campus and Paradise Road, James Dean Leavitt, chairman of the higher education system's Board of Regents, told the Las Vegas Review Journal.

If it is ever built, the stadium complex would include a hotel, campus housing, restaurants and retail space, he said. A portion of Swenson Street would be removed under the proposal, he said. "It will eventually develop into a town square concept," Leavitt said.

Craig Cavileer, one of the developers behind the project, confirmed what Leavitt said. But Cavileer told the Review Journal he was not ready to release more details yet. He said he expected to hold a formal news briefing.

He wouldn't discuss a potential price tag or whether public financing will be involved in the proposal. A higher education source told the newspaper that no UNLV money would be involved.

A spokeswoman for developer Ed Roski, Cavileer's partner in the deal, declined to comment to the newspaper on specifics of the plan. The spokeswoman said the proposal has not yet been completed. She said she did not want to release details that might be changed in the final proposal.

The plan is scheduled to be presented to the Board of Regents at a special meeting set for Feb. 11. The Board is being asked to enter an exclusive agreement with Roski, owner of Southern California-based Majestic Realty , and Cavileer, president of the Silverton Casino, to develop the stadium.

Leavitt said the proposal will include the setting up of a special tax district, which would redirect tax revenue from the stadium complex away from local governments to pay off bonds issued to develop the stadium. Such an arrangement would require legislative approval, which is why he scheduled the special Board of Regents meeting so quickly.

The land is largely vacant or used for parking. Property records show the portions not already part of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus are owned by the Clark County Department of Aviation and two rental car companies that no longer operate there, the newspaper said.

The stadium would replace Sam Boyd Stadium, seven miles from campus and originally built in 1971, though it has been refurbished and expanded since then.

The Review Journal said the new stadium would house not only UNLV's football games, but potentially its basketball games and special events, such as the National Finals Rodeo.

UNLV REGENTS APPROVE STADIUM PLAN
February 17, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Las Vegas, Nev. - The higher education system's Board of Regents gave its initial approval to a plan that would build a 40,000-seat domed stadium on campus on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.

The stadium would be accompanied by thousands of units of on-campus housing, 600,000 square feet of retail space, a spacious outdoor gathering spot and parking for thousands of cars.

The plan, backed by developer Majestic Realty, needed the Board's approval to get going. The approval technically allows the university to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Majestic for 150 days.

Majestic will now seek legislative approval to create a special enterprise district around all the new things they plan on building. They'll collect and keep whatever tax revenue is generated in the district to help finance the entire project, the newspaper said.

No other public money, including money from UNLV or its students, will be used on the project, its principal spokesman, Craig Cavileer, told the Review Journal.

Cavileer, president of the Silverton Casino, said there is no way to estimate how much the whole project will cost. It's also unknown when it all might come together, though he did say it would almost certainly be built in phases, and that it would probably be a year or more just in the planning phase.

The project would cover about 150 acres on UNLV's 332-acre campus. Much of it would surround the current Thomas & Mack Center near the southwest corner of campus. The Thomas & Mack would also be refurbished.

The newspaper said the Thomas & Mack is the top grossing college arena in the country. It brings in $26 million a year in total revenue. Another arena that took away its business could cost the university's athletic programs $5 million to $7 million a year.

The plan is one of several being circulated in Las Vegas for new stadium and arena facilities. None has received final approval.

UNLV TO CONTINUE TALKS ON NEW STADIUM
June 23, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Las Vegas, Nev. - The Nevada Board of Regents unanimously approved a 150-day extension for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to discuss alternative funding plans with developer Majestic Realty Co. to build a 40,000-seat domed stadium on campus, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

Senate Bill 501, which would have created a special tax increment-financing district for the mixed-use stadium project, failed in the final hours of the legislative session, deflating developers' hopes to use taxpayer money for construction.

UNLV President Neal Smatresk told the board that he plans to present a detailed proposal by December that outlines a way to complete all or part of the project without the special tax dollars.

"We do believe in this project," Smatresk said. "When you try to do something very big and very bold that can change your campus and the trajectory of growth and build-out of UNLV, it takes time."

The stadium plans, which were announced with fanfare in February, would be built through a public-private partnership with real estate mogul Ed Roski and Silverton President Craig Cavileer.

The venue would be part of a 150-acre master-planned development, including retail space and student housing, at Tropicana Avenue and Paradise Road.

No academic dollars would be spent on the project, Smatresk said, although revenue and proceeds from ticket sales and rent could be used.

DEVELOPERS SAY UNLV STADIUM WON'T REQUIRE TAX HIKE
September 15, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Las Vegas, Nev. - The public-private partners behind a proposed on-campus stadium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas told the Las Vegas Sun they are developing a plan to build it without raising taxes.

Since the Legislature this year rejected a special tax district to fund the $2 billion stadium/dormitory/retail project, university administrators and Majestic Realty Co. have been working on a financial formula and other changes to allow the project to move forward.

Craig Cavileer, president of Silverton resort and Majestic's representative on the project, told the newspaper one idea is for UNLV to issue but not underwrite bonds to pay for construction, allowing the university to avoid liability should the project fail and investors sue. Another idea is for Majestic to fund the project.

Regardless of the source of financing, the stadium would be built on public land - west of the Thomas & Mack Center on space now used for parking - eliminating the need to pay hefty property taxes and seek a special state exemption from the tax.

Majestic Realty would lease the land from UNLV, and the two entities would split the profits 50-50, Cavileer said.

Changes to the project include:
* Building a 60,000-seat open-air stadium instead of a 40,000-seat domed stadium;
* Renovating the Thomas & Mack Center and building a promenade of retail establishments between the basketball arena and the stadium.
* Constructing 3,000 to 5,000 units of student housing.

"This project will not only bring football back to campus, but will create a true university campus lifestyle," Cavileer said.

UNLV Athletic Director Jim Livengood said the project would be a "game-changer" not just for athletics but for the university as a whole.

"Without trying to get glossy, this changes the perception of the campus," Livengood said. "We're now perceived as a commuter school. This turns us into absolutely a residential campus. That's how big a deal this is."

A sense of urgency over getting a state-of-the-art facility built has grown since completion in 2009 of the $1.2 billion stadium for the Dallas Cowboys. Its owner, Jerry Jones, has reportedly expressed interest in getting the National Finals Rodeo, a huge December event for Las Vegas, to move to his facility.

Majestic executives said pro sports franchises could be future tenants of the facility. An NFL team isn't part of the plan, Cavileer said, but it is well-known that Major League Soccer is interested in Las Vegas. And the National Hockey League might be interested and the National Basketball Association has "from time to time" expressed interest, he said.

If the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents agrees to an exclusive negotiating agreement with Majestic in December, Cavileer said construction could begin within 18 to 24 months and be complete about two years later.

UNLV DROPS ARENA PLAN IN FAVOR OF STADIUM
December 8, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Las Vegas, Nev. - Plans to build an outdoor football arena seating 40,000 on the University of Nevada at Las Vegas campus are dead, the university's president told the Las Vegas Review Journal. Instead, officials plan to develop a 50,000-seat stadium on the site.

That was one of the changes to the project UNLV President Neal Smatresk announced. Another was in how the project might be financed. A special taxing district, once seen as essential, might not be necessary, he said.

The higher education system's Board of Regents agreed to extend for another 180 days an exclusive negotiating agreement between UNLV and Majestic Realty to develop the project. Regent Mark Alden was the only vote against the extension. He opposed making the agreement exclusive, given that the University of Nevada, Las Vegas sits on public land.

A consultant said the larger stadium gives more flexibility and doesn't limit the types of events that could be attracted to Las Vegas.

Eventually, plans are to include the stadium, shopping, student housing and parking on the site, now the parking lot for the Thomas & Mack Center.

No public money has been spent on the project, said Gerry Bomotti, the university's senior vice president for finance and business.

He said none would be spent, either.

Backers and university officials announced the project in February. They had planned on getting legislative approval to create a special tax district wherein taxes collected on the site would help fund the project.

But the Legislature did not pass such a measure. Smatresk said that failure gave officials time to rethink a rapidly planned project. Craig Cavileer, president of the Silverton and a Majestic executive, told the regents that the project probably would be completed in stages.

The stadium would come first.

"Our enthusiasm for this project is as strong as ever," he said. "This is a big vision, and those don't happen overnight."

Both he and Smatresk said it is too early to know whether the tax district will be necessary eventually.

Smatresk said another financing option might be naming rights, but that was only a possibility.

He said the student village concept - student housing, shops and parking - will not go away.

University officials told the regents that they would use the next several months to come up with detailed plans for the stadium and surrounding facilities. They expected to have it completed in the first quarter of 2012, with some details to follow. They will present those plans in June.

TAXPAYER FUNDS SOUGHT FOR UNLV STADIUM
March 8, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Las Vegas, Nev. - The Las Vegas Sun says the public-private partners behind a proposed on-campus stadium at UNLV say they will need tax money to build it, after all. Last September, after the Legislature rejected a special tax district to fund the $2 billion stadium, dormitory and retail project, university officials and Majestic Realty Co. started working on a funding plan they said wouldn't require tax money.

In a project update to the Nevada System of Higher Education's Board of Regents, UNLV President Neal Smatresk outlined a new funding plan for construction of a 50,000- to 60,000-seat, closed-top stadium on the west side of the university's Maryland Parkway campus.

The stadium portion of the project is expected to cost $450 million to $500 million, including costs associated with moving displaced facilities from the construction site and practice fields. The project also would require the purchase of some Clark County-owned land.

To fund the stadium construction, UNLV would need to raise $35 million per year for the next 20 years, Smatresk added.

"That should take your breath away," Smatresk told regents, adding he remained "ironclad" in his commitment not to use student tuition or general fund dollars to pay for the project.

The project would require four sources of funding, Smatresk said:
* Gifts and pledges from "founding partners" such as corporations, wealthy individuals and municipalities. There have been "a number of prominent entities who have stepped forward to offer support," Smatresk said, adding the "founding parties" would be a significant source of funding.
* Naming rights to the stadium, which may bring in $200 million to $300 million, Smatresk said.
* Future revenues, concessions, ticket sales and advertisements, which would be a smaller portion of the funding equation, Smatresk said.
* Finally, a tax-increment financing district, which would divert tax dollars in a legislatively approved area to be used for economic redevelopment or a special project. The stadium itself would not raise enough tax dollars, but public-private partners are hoping the stadium plus the mixed-use development of retail stores and restaurants would generate necessary funds.

Despite the project's setback last summer to secure the special tax district, university officials and builder-partners are hopeful they can sway public support for the project during the year until the next legislative session.

That calculus comes as the developers released preliminary stadium revenue projections.

Currently, the Thomas & Mack Center with a capacity of 18,000 seats draws $250 million annually in direct revenue for the state, excluding tax revenue, officials said.

With a UNLV stadium more than double, maybe triple, the size of the Thomas & Mack arena, developers say the stadium could attract larger events, and with them more tourists to the city. UNLV is hopeful the stadium would play host to 15 "major events" each year.

Developers say they conservatively project the stadium's revenue around $500 million annually from lodging, gaming and dining in the region.

UNLV and Majestic Realty are expected to present finalized cost projections and funding plan by the June Board of Regents meeting. Construction is expected to begin in late 2013.

EXPERT: VEGAS NEEDS STADIUM, HOSPITALITY SCHOOL
March 29, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Las Vegas, Nev. - Robert Lang, director of the Brookings Mountain West think tank at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told the Las Vegas Hospitality Association the city needs a new stadium and a new hospitality school in order to maximize its potential, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

"We have the biggest mismatch in the country," Lang said. "We have the largest food and beverage infrastructure, the most hotel rooms and the biggest airport taxi stand I've ever seen in my life, but we don't have the venues. There are Texas high schools with bigger football stadiums than we have."

Southern Nevada's major football venue, the 40-year-old Sam Boyd Stadium, seats 36,800 and is located nearly 10 miles east of the Strip.

Plus, Las Vegas' economy would get a bigger boost out of a stadium than other cities receive, Lang added. Arenas in other regions attract mostly local traffic. Here, a stadium would bring in more tourists and boost the export economy. What could make it happen without busting public budgets? The Legislature must approve a special tax district surrounding a stadium so revenue tourists generate there stays local rather than heading to Carson City.

"The business model is straightforward. You don't need financing beyond a special taxing district," Lang said.

He also mentioned the Pac-12 college sports conference's decision to move its annual spring tournament to Las Vegas from 2013 to 2015.

"We'll have Pac-12 Weekend, packaged up with a zillion cross-sells, and before you know it, you've drained every rich alum from the Pac-12 of their resources that weekend," he said. "That's why a stadium would make a difference here."

A new hotel college at UNLV would be the second game-changer, Lang said.

UNLV's William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration shares 30-year-old Beam Hall with the College of Business.

"We have beautiful buildings on the Strip, buildings that are gleaming and gold-plated, and then you have a 1980s, Brutalist college building where it's almost hard to relate to what's on the Strip," Lang said. "The whole emergence of the modern megaresort ... beginning with The Mirage came after the hotel college was built. The facility that is training people in the practices of our dominant industry is mismatched compared to the spaces in the industry."

Lang suggested funding a new building the way UNLV's 4-year-old Greenspun Hall was financed, with a mix of about 60 percent private donations and 40 percent state money.

GOVERNMENT LAND AVAILABLE FOR HENDERSON STADIUM
April 12, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Henderson, Nev. - The Bureau of Land Management said it would offer up 480 acres of public land for a new stadium in Henderson.

The Las Vegas Review Journal said the BLM's offer gives Silver State Land LLC, a Delaware corporation working with the city of Henderson, an advantage in acquiring the property and starts a 45-day clock for bidding and public comment.

Under the proposed "modified competitive, sealed-bid" sale, the BLM would accept bids on the property, and Silver State LLC would have an opportunity to match the best offer.

"If they matched the highest bid, that parcel would go to that person," BLM spokeswoman Hillerie Patton said.

The minimum bid the BLM will accept for the land is $10.6 million under rules of the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, which requires the government to accept no less than fair market value when selling property.

Henderson, which has a development agreement with businessman Chris Milam to build a multi-stadium sports project, made the request to the BLM"to build enclosed, covered stadiums to create a distinctive sports venue and mixed-use facilities," according to the notice.

Although the move by the BLM gives stadium backers a chance to secure land for development, it doesn't guarantee the project will advance.

Milam has proposed stadium developments in the city of Las Vegas, on the Strip at Sahara Avenue and near Russell Road and Interstate 15 but failed to deliver results.

An agreement by Milam to buy the Las Vegas 51s baseball team fell apart when the Legislature failed to act on a bill that would have enabled tax dollars to be diverted to a ballpark.

He also is subject to a $1.1 million judgment stemming from a condominium project he started but was finished by another company, although the judgment is under appeal.

Milam also faces competing stadium proposals, with one group seeking to complete a stadium on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus and with an arena backed by Caesars Entertainment Corp., proposed near the Strip.

UNLV Running Rebels

Sam Boyd Stadium
Sam Boyd Stadium

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