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The Arena In The Park

By Chuckmonster on Sunday, 10th November 2013 3:24pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 8


Earlier this week, MGM Resorts International and AEG formally unfurled fruits of their partnership to construct an arena located atop the former CityCenter design annex, directly behind New York-New York. The news of this project was first dropped by MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren in March of 2013. The news of the forthcoming 'New York Newy York Arena' led us to speculate that MGM had more in mind than just an arena for the area behind NYNY. MGM confirmed our speculation when they announced The Park, MGM's answer to the Linq a few months later. Earlier this year, MGM expanded their presentation on The Park to include full renovations of the facades of New York and Monte Carlo. As part of "The Park" announcement, MGM promised their ever adoring, bouquet tossing fan base that they would eventually share details about the anchor arena tenant. That day arrived earlier this week.

MGM and AEG released three renderings of the $350 million dollar, LEED Gold certified arena project. Ground breaking is scheduled for April 2014, targeting a spring 2016 opening. Whereas Linq is Caesars Entertainment's partnership with Caruso Affiliate do duplicate their The Grove and Americana shopping districts in an alley between The Quad and The Flamingo. The Park + Arena is MGM's partnership with AEG to bring a version of L.A. Live entertainment district to an alley between New York New York and Monte Carlo. Caruso's focus is on creating signature destination retail experiences, where AEG is on creating live venues surrounded by dining, entertainment and high end accommodations.

The as-yet-unnamed arena was designed by architectural firm Populous. Populous is known for designing high profile sports arenas, stadiums and ball parks all over the world - the O2 in London and Dublin, Wembley Stadium London, Metricon Stadium in Queensland, Nationals Park, Target Field, Marlins Park,

Petco Park and Camden Yards in the U.S.. If that weren't enough of a resume, Populous rebuilt "The House that Ruth Built" - the 'new' Yankee Stadium. With such breadth of experience, Populous could easily have handled any task MGM and AEG had thrown at them - from vintage to modern and every flavor in between. This is what they came up with.

Nyny Arena Beehive

One of the biggest questions I had when the arena project was first announced, was whether MGM would build a "retro" looking arena to match New York New York's art deco design language or extend City Center's contemporary illusiory theme southwards. We now know the answer.

Nyny Arena Rue Entry

Architect Populous explains the new arena as being a design corolarry to the strata of rocks in Las Vegas Valley's surrounding mountain ranges, set in a design that takes advantage of the excitement of the Las Vegas Strip yet shields it from harsh heat and sunlight.

The end result is an oval shaped arena wrapped in a sandstone colored perforated metal skin which offers shade and protection as well as additional experiences on outdoor promenades surrounding the arena proper.

Nyny Arena Marquee

The Park - the tree lined area between NYNY and Monte Carlo will feature an open air plaza lit by a gigantic marquee advertising current and future events at the arena, plus comp club promotions and other add ons.

Nyny Arena Seethru

The exterior features a second stage for live performance that will fill the Park as fans are entering and leaving the arena. The idea of exterior entertainment will make The Park a destination even when there isn't a big show inside... and gives them the opportunity to close the Park off to become its very own open-air multi-use ticketed entertainment area like they use the parking lot across the street from Luxor for every spring. Possible uses could include - fight card weigh-ins and press conferences, festivals with multiple indoor/outdoor stages, huge outdoor catered events, food truck festivals, battle of the cover bands, surprise concerts, Cirque's vaudevillian answer to Absinthe or a destination for live TV show remotes.

Nyny Arena Endcaps

The interior promenades will feature exterior lounge spaces on every level that look out onto The Park.

Nyny Arena Bar

Bars galore.

I'm not surprised that MGM decided to go for a contemporary looking design. The past means nothing to MGM and there is no evidence that they employ a global "art director" to ensure - or even suggest - that property expansions and remodels hapen within (or purposefully without) a range of brand identity guidelines.

MGM is building the "City Center Arena" (Arenia?) not the New York-New York or Monte Carlo Arena. Design and construction of an arena that adheres to the existing styles of either of the two older properties would signify their permanence, as if the arena were a stack of chips placed as odds behind a theme. Like most craps players facing a point of 4 or 10, MGM opted not to put chips behind the Pass Line, but instead double down on the City Center motif as the front runner for taking over the rest of the neighborhood. Smart money would see this as the first salvo of the coming internal war of preservation for both of these properties. First comes botox, then comes the lifts, then comes reconstruction, then, before you know it you're Katherine Helmond in Brazil, bones sloshing out onto the funeral parlor floor.

The front entrance with the juxtaposion of angluar wrap, sloping exterior promenade and impressive exterior light show is striking.

The exterior wrap, itself wrapped in metaphorical nonsense about geology, looks more like one of Las Vegas valley's other famous strata - an overloaded buffet plate, covered in layers of pancakes, scrambled eggs, petrified bacon, slimy pizza, eggs benedict, bagels, toast, waffles, sushi, candy covered apples, maple syrup, ketchup, hollandaise, wasabi, caramel, mini-donettes and much much much more.

I like the ideas, not so hot on the exterior wrap. I'm reasonably convinced that these aren't the final FINAL renderings of how it will look outside.


Comments & Discussion:

I was hoping for a retro design along the lines of the American Airlines Center in Dallas, but this does have some NYC flavor to it as it seems to be Madison Square Garden meets Barclays Center.

I like modern design, but I can't stand it that MGM is so adamant about having EVERY property looking like each other. I probably would be more of a CityCenter fan if it's look was unique, but every coffee shop, elevator, and restroom at any random MRI resort is starting to feature the same look. I understand Murren is a fan of contemporary design, but is he really so pompous as to insist that anyone who stays in Vegas must also be a fan of that one single motif?

I love contemporary but honestly, would it have been so hard for them to kind of do a "mix" that fused modern and art deco? I mean, MGM have worked with Pelli-Clarke-Pelli before (Cesar Pelli did Aria)... and Cesar Pelli's signature style is to mix hypermodern with art deco. Why couldn't they have done that? The result would've worked with BOTH CityCenter AND NYNY, providing a smooth transition between the precincts.

I'm not a fan of the flowing, curved design mixed with the geometric lines in the shell. Anyone else have opinions on that aspect?

once this is in process of being built, I'm wondering if next step is utilizing the MGM Grand arena space for change.

It's....ummmm...hunh. Well, it's a arena. That is one oddball design. Not so much in the style as the colors they chose. Why not go for something really futuristic, or maybe just a MSG knock-off design?

Why does the place look like a giant piece of candy?

A caramel candy look ! Mmmm quite tasty !

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