The Las Vegas sports scene is about to get more crowded.
Sports executive and entrepreneur Tim Levike’s Oak View Group, developer of one of the world’s largest stadiums and arenas, announced Wednesday that it has acquired 25 acres of land in Las Vegas and plans to create a $ 3 billion sports and recreation district.
The location is near Interstate 15 and I-215, about ten minutes from the Las Vegas Strip and adjacent to the new high-speed train station. Leiweke said his group plans to build a 20,000-seat area, including a hotel and casino. The sector alone is expected to cost 1 billion.
The foundation stone of the project is expected to be laid next year.
“Las Vegas is the capital of entertainment and so all we have to do is make the best for Las Vegas,” Leiwek told CNBC.
You build it, will they come?
Although the NBA has been present in Vegas for a long time through their Summer League and WNBA’s Vegas Aces, it is still committed to bringing a team here.
Will this new project be enough to tempt the NBA team in Vegas for a long time?
“The decision to come to the NBA should be made and however, there is no certainty or guarantee that the NBA will come to Vegas, but if they do come, we will be ready for the NBA,” Leewick said.
Las Vegas ranks first in the ranking of the hotspot’s best major metropolis for a quick ride in the epidemic.
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Commissioner Adam Silver has been watching Sin City for years. In 2021, he said that while the NBA was not at the point of expansion, Las Vegas would be in debate to bring down a franchise when the time came.
Earlier this month, sports pundit Bill Simmons predicted that Vegas and Seattle would soon land an NBA franchise led by LeBron James and Fenway Sports Group. An NBA spokesman said “this is not true.”
Leoveck’s Oak View Group was also behind Seattle’s new Climate Commitment Arena and the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York. He has been instrumental in the construction of dozens of stadiums and arenas across the country, with nearly two decades of AEG-led experience.
“We understand that this is similar to what we did with Seattle’s Climate Commitment Arena before we were able to get the 32nd franchise in the NHL,” Leiwick said, referring to Kraken.
Vegas as sports capital
Las Vegas has expanded beyond betting and boxing to become one of the most popular sports destinations in the world. Professional sports are attracting huge crowds there.
The National Hockey League expanded into the area in 2017 with the first season of the hugely popular Golden Knights playing. The team played in the Stanley Cup Final in the second year of its existence.
In 2020, the NFL then moved the riders to the জ 1.9 billion Allegiance Stadium.
In a recent earnings call, MGM’s Bill Hornbuckle highlighted the extra business the Raiders brought to the city. “Half of their seat licenses go to out-of-towners. On game day, 68 percent of those seats are out-of-town residents, the biggest pickup in a thousand years,” he said.
The destination is drawing other sports fans with college basketball, the April 28 NFL draft and the final attraction – the 2024 Super Bowl.
Other sports are sniffing around, too. Sources told CNBC that Formula One is expected to announce a Las Vegas race for November 2023. Oakland A’s also explored the potential location of the area.
Leiweke hopes his project could be the key to landing an NBA team in Las Vegas.
“Again, there’s no guarantee that this is going to happen, but will they decide to visit Las Vegas, the বিল 1 billion, brand new field that will ultimately help them make that decision? Probably so,” Leiwek told CNBC.
Although the NBA knows Levi well, the league has not discussed with him about bringing a team to Vegas, a person close to the situation told CNBC.
A new player in town
Leiweke believes his new project will be successful, even without the NBA franchise. This will provide new competition for the other five courtyards of the city.
“We have to be very musically driven, we have to make sure we watch UFC or other sporting events like boxing or wrestling,” Leiweek said. “We have to go out and try to find every big event that isn’t in Las Vegas and bring it to Las Vegas today.”
It will be close to the airport, private jet hangar and the planned Brightline West High Speed Rail Station, which connects Los Vegas with Los Angeles. The developers hope the project is a first stop for Las Vegas visitors.
Oak View Group is still in the early stages of the licensing and licensing process. Leiweke expects the project to be completed by 2025.