Regents to hear UNLV arena plan for football, basketball

The surprise proposal to build a sports arena to replace the Thomas & Mack Center would burnish UNLV’s image, galvanize the sports programs and, at a time of state austerity, provide the campus with a source of nontaxpayer dollars, officials say. • The tentative design involves 42,000 seats for football games and a structure that would shrink seating to 22,000 or more seats for basketball games, according to regents’ Chairman James Dean Leavitt. • The Thomas & Mack, which is more than a quarter-century old, would be renovated at a cost of at least $10 million and converted to a nonsports venue of shops and other commercial enterprises.