Monday, August 27, 2007

Is there a worse idea?

Harrah's and AEG want to put a major sports stadium behind Bally's and Paris. I'll expound on this more on "The Strip" this week and in my Las Vegas Weekly column, but just curious if I'm alone on this one. Notwithstanding the question of whether Vegas wants/needs/should have a major league sports franchise or two, what sort of crack are they on that they think putting a massive center like that in that location is a good idea? And what sort of acquiescent fool legislators would allow it? What, the traffic's not bad enough already?

Am I crazy? Am I missing something?


ray said...

I think it would make more sense, if they're determined to build a big sports arena, to do it a few blocks off the Strip on the east side. It would provide a good reason to widen and improve Koval. They could also do it south of Bali Hai and the airport (near I-15 & I-215 interchange... better access! maybe even extend the monorail down that way too!) to provide an anchor for extending the Strip southward. This kind of project provides a good driver for strategic improvements in infrastructure and if done wisely can set in motion decades of growth in new and smarter directions. I just hope they don't blow the opportunity. As it is, adding more traffic and hubbub to that part of the Strip will not make things better. Unless they bulldoze Bally's. In which case it might not be such a bad thing! ;)

Anonymous said...

In many cities the developer has to pay for extensive improvements in order to improve traffic around their development. This could include widening streets for several blocks or building a new subway (monorail) terminal.
In Las Vegas it seems that the developer only has to put up new traffic lights and turn lanes.

surely MGM could afford this.

Jeff Leatherock said...

Here is why I think the NBA isn't coming to LV. I (obviously) was in town when the announcement was made. No columnist seemed to understand that sports leagues almost always expand by 2 so every team can play on any given day. By Friday there was no mention of the arena in either paper (talk about jaded). Here in OKC there are 5 sports talk radio stations. We are hard core OU Sooners, but we are also sports crazed. Las Vegas is clearly not. The NHL is desperate for cash, so they would probably jump at the idea of adding LV and Kansas City at the same time. Kansas City is finishing up a new arena that AEG is managing. Good fit, eh? I kind of wish LV would get an NBA team (The 21s is my choice), so we could hear the "hip" ESPN Sportcenter anchors call the the blackjacks.
The NBA ain't coming. They have figured out how to make it cashflow without any pro franchise. So far as gridlock, I don't think Gary Loveman or any AEG bigwigs live in LV, so they don't care.

dan kane said...

Yeah, I don't get it. if the city council approves this, they're just proving what Jerry Lewis said in your story -- nobody gives a crap about smart development. just build build build. worry about the problems it causes later.

Gregory_Zephyr said...

How is it that a 20,000 seat arena used (at most) a few nights a week will generate so much more traffic than the 20,000 or so new hotel rooms planned for the mid and north Strip? Personally, I don't see this as a "locals" venue. Sports team or not this is not really any different than an addition to the convention center or a big new hotel property. Are Vegas residents unhappy about it? Perhaps. But this isnt a municipal stadium. This is a private venue designed to serve a gaming company. If locals want to attend events, fine. But that is not the objective.