Developers have been trying for the past year to build an on-campus football stadium for UNLV, but there have been snags along the way. The prior hiccup was that back in June the Nevada Legislature rejected a special tax district to fund the $2 billion stadium project that including housing and shopping which would have helped fund the project.
The economic downturn in Las Vegas was the main reason for that decision, and without public assistance a new on-campus stadium was an after thought. However the developers are now saying a new football stadium at UNLV can be done without raising taxes:
Craig Cavileer, president of Silverton resort and Majestic's representative on the project, said one idea is for UNLV to issue but not underwrite bonds to pay for construction, allowing the university to avoid liability should the project fail and investors sue. Another idea is for Majestic to fund the project.
Regardless of the source of financing, the stadium would be built on public land - west of the Thomas & Mack Center on space now used for parking - eliminating the need to pay hefty property taxes and seek a special state exemption from the tax.
Majestic Realty would lease the land from UNLV, and the two entities would split the profits 50-50, Cavileer said.
This is certainly good news for UNLV, because having a stadium on campus would be huge and if it can be done without the public having to fund this project, and then it would have a ton of support from the locals.
A little bit about Majestic Reality, they are the developers behind the Staples Center and are part-owners in the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings. So, this deal may also be a way for them to attempt to lure in a NHL, NBA or even an MLS team to Las Vegas.
There are also some changes to the project, which most likely are cost related:
• Building a 60,000-seat open-air stadium instead of a 40,000-seat domed stadium;
• Renovating the Thomas & Mack Center and building a promenade of retail establishments between the basketball arena and the stadium.
• Constructing 3,000 to 5,000 units of student housing.
The project is still a long ways off, but it looks to be gaining some momentum and public support by potentially having the stadium be built by not increasing taxes.