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Developer Floats Another Wet 'N Wild Idea: Silver State Arena

By Chuckmonster on Sunday, 16th May 2010 4:02am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 9


Christopher Milam, the brains behind the myriad ideas floated for the Fontainebleau and Sahara adjacent parcel, formerly occupied by Wet 'N Wild and the shuttered Crown Las Vegas Resort and Casino (aka the "Las Vegas Towers" - rendering above).

Milam is proposing to build the Silver State Arena, a 20,000 seat sports and concert venue that will cost about $750 million bucks to build.

The project will submitted to the Clark County planning commission for approval this week.

More from Norm!.

If you're stuck holding the bag of developing that property after a slew of impressive hotel projects were crushed by the economy, dropping $750 million bucks to build a badly needed arena seems like a pretty good idea, particularly if you are the proud owner of Riviera, Fontainebleau, Encore, Sahara, City Center north or Project Circus-Circus Center.

I'll be surprised if this project gets any bit further past kicking a little dirt around. The Fontainebleau / Wet N Wild plots have proven to be nothing more than money holes... and might even be cursed.


Comments & Discussion:

Well for YEARS now, we've heard talk about a new sports stadium... It's about damned time someone actually proposes to do something. I know Oscar Goodman has been talking forever about doing one Downtown, but it seems that just keeps going nowhere fast. It might as well be on The Strip, on a plot of land that's sitting empty.

The only concern I have is about Strip traffic... But since that part of The Strip is quite dead now (thanks, Echelon, "New Plaza", "CityCenter North", & F-bleau!), it might actually help to bring some more traffic to The North Strip and plop more people in the (few) casinos (left) up there.

The rendering actually looks pretty good, but I give this no chance. Is Milam just throwing it out there, or does he really have financing? A more feasible option would be for Boyd to build it on the Echelon plot. They already have the cash burning a hole in their pockets.
$750M is way too expensive for a 20,000 seat sports arena (maybe for an 80,000 seat stadium). I don't think the economics will work out if it goes above $150M.

$750 million sounds about right considering its' Las Vegas and costs are a bit higher. The Barclays Center in Brooklyn is slated to cost $800 million to build. The soon to open arenas in Orlando (Amway Center) and Pittsburgh (Consol Energy Center) have price tags of $480 million and $321 million respectively. The arena that AEG and Harrah's proposed on Koval behind Bally's had a $500 million price tag.

Harrah's is involved with the proposal for an arena to be built behind the Imperial Palace (Harrah's is going to donate the 10 acres, worth around $182 million.), and that proposed arena has a $500 million price tag as well.

Another proposed arena is on LV Blvd. at Cactus Ave, south of South Point. The price tag on it is $600 million.

So $500-750 million for an arena in Las Vegas sounds about right. I have a feeling that the Silver State Arena will get approved since 85% of the costs are slated to be privately funded.

If they build it, will the NBA or NHL come to Las Vegas?

I would put the possibility of an NBA team being greater than an NHL team. If the Maloofs cannot get a new arena in Sacramento for the Kings, the long standing rumor is that they'll move the team to Las Vegas (Las Vegas Kings has a nice ring to it.).

NHL I'm less sure of, as while there are teams that are potential candidates for relocation, it appears that places like K.C., Winnipeg, and Houston (or in Jim Balsille's dreams, Hamilton, ON) would be more likely spots unless Jerry Bruckheimer manages to buy a team (He's been a major proponent of the NHL putting a team in Las Vegas.). I think that Las Vegas will get an NHL team down the road, it just won't be an existing team. There's been talk of the NHL possibly adding two more teams as part of the next Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NHLPA.

Another major tenant of this arena would potentially be the National Finals Rodeo. The current contract with the NFR expires in 2014 and Jerry Jones is angling to bring the NFR back home to the DFW Metroplex and hold it at Cowboys Stadium. If they get a new venue in Vegas before the contract is up, they're more likely to keep the NFR in Vegas.

Honestly, if you guys REALLY want a pro team to come to Vegas, you have to wonder, will the majority of Las Vegas deal with driving thorugh tourist traffic EVERY week for the game? I think if the goal of this arena is to attract a team, its best location is miles, and MILES away from the strip and or downtown. That being said, it is pretty well sized for a NBA or NHL team, looking at the largest sized NBA and NHL arenas:

NBA: All Top Ten largest arenas are between 20-22K
NHL: All Top Ten largest arenas are between 18.5-21K

So the size and local area (LV) definitely could support it. I just feel that the location will be a major example of shooting your own foot for las vegas. It would rely heavily on a traveling fanbase (tourists) attending the games opposed to a local fanbase.

But hell, I'm on my third Grolsch right now, so my thoughts could already be total bullshit. :)

you may run into a problem with locals coming out, but it's sports - people have been known to sit around in a parking lot anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days prior to games.

also you have the ability to really bring in out of towners - i would love to catch a road game AND spend a weekend in vegas...that's win-win.

Just adding my own un-original thought--traffic would be horrid. Like Shannon said (3 Grolsch? Big Whoop. I am on my 10th Simpler Times), no locals would travel to the strip to frequent the place.
Has anyone thought about a strip mall/celebrity chef restaurant/casino-type project?

Meh, up to 5 grolsch now. Its about where i start to lose the common sense and start to daydream. 10 simpler times though...impressive.

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