SBJ/June 12 - 18, 2006/This Weeks News

Las Vegas group puts out the call for facilities plan

HOK Sport, Ellerbe Becket and Rossetti have each teamed with research consultants to bid for the job of determining whether Las Vegas’ Thomas and Mack Center and Sam Boyd Stadium should be renovated or replaced.

Vegas is weighing the future of Sam Boyd
Stadium (above), Thomas and Mack Center.
The architects were among industry experts responding to a request for proposal issued by a task force in Las Vegas. The group seeks a feasibility study in the next three months that includes a cost-benefit analysis of having pro teams as primary tenants.

The task force expects to select a consultant consortium by June 19, according to the RFP. The task force will spend about $200,000 on the study, said Pat Christenson, the group’s chairman, president of Las Vegas Events and former director for Thomas and Mack and Sam Boyd, which are UNLV sports facilities.

HOK teamed with Stafford Sports, Rossetti linked with Economic Research Associates and Ellerbe Becket formed multiple teams with consultants to compete for the opportunity to study the next generation of sports venues in the city that bills itself as the entertainment capital of the world.

Toyota Center in Houston and SBC Center in San Antonio, two NBA arenas designed by HOK and Ellerbe Becket, respectively, could serve as the model for a new sports facility in Las Vegas, Christenson said.

Both arenas have roughly the same number of suites that Christenson said is appropriate for a neutral-site arena in Las Vegas. Toyota Center, which was built for $212 million and opened in 2003, has 80 traditional skyboxes; SBC Center, priced at $190 million when it opened in 2002, has 40 standard units, 16 bunkers and four party suites.

“They’re both great venues and were not that costly to build in this day and age,” Christenson said.

The RFP stipulates that consultants should examine public vs. private financing for the project. Dallas-based Dreamscape Development wants to build a privately owned and operated arena and stadium near the Las Vegas Strip. It has discussed its $2.1 billion proposed project with local officials.

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