M Resort stadium proposed
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New proposal would bring an NBA team to the Vegas valley
To many people in the Las Vegas area who know of the subject, Chris Milam is a name that has become like luck at a slot machine.
If no money is coming out, move on and forget it.
Yet after multiple failed attempts without hitting the jackpot and not moving on, the city of Henderson could now be a destination for Milam’s new $1.4 billion multiple-stadium sports complex proposal, located south at Interstate 15 by the M Resort.
Milam has been noted for attempts to bring a high-class sports complex to the Las Vegas area in the past. His last notable proposal came in February 2011 when his company International Development Management (IDM) proposed a stadium complex that would have been located in downtown Las Vegas near the Spaghetti Bowl.
IDM, however, is the same company who said in July 2010 that an NBA team was “under contract” if the Silver State Arena’s proposal was accepted by Clark County.
That, obviously, never happened.
In May 2011, Milam had a proposed $1.95 billion stadium complex that would have been located by the Mandalay Bay and financed by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
That never happened and never got advanced from the table.
Fast forward to September and the Henderson area is going to get a shot at a stadium complex on the gathering of land near the luxurious resort. This time, optimism is higher than ever.
“I think [this proposal] has a pretty good chance [of being successful],” said Dennis Porter, Utility Services Director of the City of Henderson. “It’s in a good location near the highway, good access to the 15 and room for surface parking. From my perspective, I think it has a good chance.”
There are multiple phases to this proposal, with the developers and proposals in phase one right now. This would consist of a 17,500-seat arena that could host a possible NBA team, along with a 25,000-seat stadium that could be host to a Major League Soccer team and would host the Pro Bull Riding World Finals, which are held every year at the Thomas & Mack Center.
“We know absolutely, positively, the MLS is interested in [a franchise] for Las Vegas,” Porter said. “They have said that themselves.”
IDM is planning to purchase 485 acres, according to the presentation provided by Las Vegas National Sports Center (LVNSC). Ground would not be broken for this project until summer 2012, with the construction of the stadium projected to be finished by spring 2014, and construction of the arena to be finished by fall 2014.
Currently, UNLV athletics have been in the conversation for this, but are not in the immediate plans for the future. As for the chances of a professional franchise re-locating to Las Vegas, those rumors are not as far-fetched as they seem.
“I’ve heard the [Sacramento] Kings be named as a possibility,” Porter said in regards to a possible NBA franchise coming to Las Vegas. “I’ve also heard the [New Orleans] Hornets as a possibility, but not much is being talked about due to the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the lockout.”
When stadium proposals have been discussed in the past, the one concern residents have had throughout the course of this time period is if city-goers will be taxed extra. There is no need to worry about taxes this go-around.
“Our mayor and city council have been clear that there are no tax increases [for city residents],” said Bud Cranor, Director of the Communications and Council Support Office for the City of Henderson. “There will be no diversion of taxes for residents.”
In order to get on board with this, Porter believes that if people are properly educated on the subject, everyone will consider this a success.
“The problem I’ve seen for the last 90 days or so is that people don’t understand tax increment,” he said. “They automatically think that it’s a tax increase so they react to that without understanding. There’s an educational component that needs to be done.”
Porter has also said that he has received about 10 emails from residents who believe that it will be a tax.
If construction does indeed go through as planned, this would put a good number of Nevadans back in the job market.
“From what the presentation has provided us, there could be thousands of jobs in construction and long-term employment,” Cranor said. “There could also be job opportunities in support service and retail as well.”
As time progresses and we move closer to the possible approving of these arenas, the culture, both financially and socially, of Las Vegas, may never be the same in the next couple of years if this goes through.
“I think the developers are on the right track with the MLS and NBA possibilities,” Porter said. “With the more potential this can produce, the future could be very bright for the Las Vegas and Henderson areas.”