Former UNLV head coach Mike Sanford left not-so kind words on his way out of town by saying UNLV had subpar facilities and not having an on campus stadium as a reason the Rebels were not successful. While current head coach Bobby Hauck realizes that it would be nice to have a stadium that is not eight miles away from campus, but Hauck is not going to use that as an excuse to why the Rebels struggle.
Back in February, there were two separate proposals to build a multi-purpose football and basketball stadium downtown and one on campus, but now due to the worst economic downturn seen in Las Vegas in 70 years, it will take a miracle for UNLV to get a stadium on campus.
Hauk believes having an on campus stadium would enhance the game day experience:
"It is one of those things where having an on-campus venue, in terms of the collegiate experience and the atmosphere on campus, is a big deal," Hauck said. "Football Saturdays are fun on campus. That is not to say we can't have fun in our current venue. But to have a football Saturday on campus is really a cool part of the college experience. It would be a good deal for UNLV."
The artists renderings look nice and appealing, but the project is not just a stadium. It is to include housing and shops near by, but the Las Vegas housing market has house prices plunging which would mean these new developments would be undersold, unsold or completely empty. Also, Las Vegas does not need more shops that most likely will fail just as others in the area have with the economic downturn.
Finding finance for the project was always an issue for the multi-billion dollar project and the final nail in the coffin on this project came last month:
The project took another blow in June when the Nevada Legislature didn't approve a special taxing district that would have helped in being creative with the financing. This made it more difficult to find financing for the idea.
Instead UNLV will play in Sam Boyd which is eight miles away with poor locker rooms, dirt parking and few students in the seats. Hauk does look at the bright side: "Sam Boyd is a fun place to watch a game. There are good seats,."