SBD/July 19, 2013/Facilities

Majestic Realty Scraps Backup Plan For UNLV Stadium But Still Holds Right Of First Refusal

UNLV Now is working on a committee to craft new plans for a stadium
Majestic Realty's plans to build a 60,000-seat off-campus UNLV football stadium "have been scrapped," according to Paul Takahashi of the LAS VEGAS SUN. After UNLV "nixed its partnership with Majestic" in March, the L.A.-based developer "entered into an exclusive agreement with Wells Fargo Bank to purchase 40 acres of privately-owned land at the corner of Koval Lane and Tropicana Avenue." Because Majestic "failed to win public funding for its stadium proposal during this past legislative session, it was forced to automatically terminate its agreement to purchase the land from Wells Fargo." The property is "now up for grabs to any developer looking to build another project near the Strip." Majestic point person Craig Cavileer said, "We're not in pursuit of a stadium at this time." However, Majestic "may still be able to help develop the UNLV Now stadium project backed by the university." Majestic has the "right of first refusal" under its termination agreement with UNLV. That means the university "must present any new stadium plans to Majestic, which has the right to build the project or pass it on to another developer." That termination agreement "expires after two years, however, which makes it unlikely Majestic will be able to utilize its right of first refusal." UNLV now is "working with an 11-member planning committee to craft new plans for its stadium." Majestic's alternative stadium idea "became a casualty of casino competition, bad timing and politics" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 7/18).

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME? In Las Vegas, Ray Brewer notes UNLV last college football season only had "about 4,000 season ticket holders," and there "weren't nearly enough fans at Sam Boyd Stadium to make an impact." But UNLV interim AD Tina Kunzer-Murphy said, "We want people to come out and make a difference." She said that "nearly 80 percent of the season ticket holders from last year have been renewed." In addition, another 250 "have been purchased, helping them reach 96 percent of their revenue from last year." UNLV last season "ranked last out of 10 teams in the Mountain West in averaging 15,208 fans per game, or 41 percent of Sam Boyd's 36,800 capacity." UNLV "needs more fans to help create a true home-field advantage, but locals traditionally won't support struggling programs regardless of the team or sport." They will "jump on the bandwagon once a team starts winning." UNLV "isn't the lone Mountain West program faced with poor attendance." In following the "same pattern as Las Vegas, league teams struggling at the box office also struggled on the gridiron" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 7/19).
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