Purchase Of Triple-A 51s Could Be First Step In Bringing Pro Sports To Vegas
Acquiring the Triple-A PCL Las Vegas 51s last week is the “first step” in Int'l Development Management President & CEO Chris Milam's “plan to build three state-of-the-art facilities" opposite the city's Mandalay Bay casino, according to Todd Dewey of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. The proposed Las Vegas National Sports Center, a privately financed $1.95B project, would be located on a 63-acre parcel and house a “9,000-seat ballpark for the 51s,” a 17,500-seat arena "designed to house an NBA basketball team and a 36,000-seat stadium" for an MLS franchise. 51s Exec Dir Don Logan, who helped broker Milam's purchase of the team, said, "He wouldn't buy the team if he didn't think a stadium deal was going to happen." IDM spokesperson Lee Haney said that the company “plans to start construction on the project by the end of the year.” But Dewey notes IDM first must "finalize the purchase of the land.” Construction is “slated to start simultaneously on all three venues this year.” Haney said that the “arena is expected to be finished first, open for NBA action in the fall of 2013.” The soccer stadium and ballpark “will open, in that order, in 2014.” Haney said that IDM “likes its chances to lure an NBA franchise to Las Vegas.” The ballpark “could expand to 36,000 seats to accommodate” an MLB team, and the stadium “will allow for on-demand expansion to 50,000 seats for NCAA events and international soccer exhibitions, and could be further expanded to 72,000 seats for the NFL.” Subject to “final PCL approval, ownership of Las Vegas' 29-year-old Triple-A franchise is expected to be transferred to Milam by the end of July” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 5/7).