Campus stadium proponents optimistic about new board
Appointments made to key committee
The future of the UNLV Now mega-events center and other campus improvements hinges on the findings of a board in its infancy.
Four members of the UNLV Campus Authority Board were appointed Friday as part of the process to commission a workable plan for the university’s aims.
Three of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s regents — Cedric Crear, James Dean Leavitt and Michael Wixom — were among the appointees to the authority board, along with an officer from UNLV, former dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration and UNLV Now project leader Don Snyder.
Beginning Oct. 1, the 11-member authority board will be tasked with making recommendations on the size of the stadium, its design, calculating projected costs for the mega-events center and funding. The authority will have until Sept. 30, 2014 to devise a plan and will dissolve a year later.
The authority board will begin formulating a plan of action after a series of other appointments are made by other key stakeholders including one by Governor Brian Sandoval, one by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and one by state Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick. It will also include an appointment by County Commissioners and appointees from the gaming and tourism industry — Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“The Authority Board is key to the future of the mega-events center,” said Gerry Bomotti, UNLV senior vice president of business and finance. “They will have a great deal of work to do in a relatively short period of time, but so far everyone seems to view this as a very important and serious undertaking.”
The passing of Assembly Bill 335 in June empowered the Campus Authority Board to create a study testing the need or possibility for UNLV to build structures that are part of it’s “Master Plan” — the blueprint for a mega-events center, new student housing and improving various structures on campus.
Prior to being amended by Kirkpatrick, the bill empowered the authority board with handling funds received through the creation of a tax district, which UNLV would have used to fund its planned mega-events center.
Snyder was pleased with the prompt action by the regents; the four members of the authority board had to be appointed by Aug. 31, or AB 335 would have died automatically.
“The quick action of the Board of Regents reflects a clear understanding of the importance of the project and moving forward with this,” Snyder said.
Snyder said he is excited about the new partnership that AB 335 has mandated.
“The important thing about moving this project forward is to have the various stakeholders fully involved,” he said. “As I have said many times, it needs to be a true partnership between the university and the resort industry.”
University officials say they are ready and willing to listen to new ideas that might be proposed.
“If this project goes ahead, it should reflect the broad input from the stakeholders to insure the project best meets the needs of both the university, and the resort industry,” Snyder said.