Work starting on minor league ballpark outside Vegas
Howard Hughes built airplanes, made movies, dated Hollywood starlets and flew around the world.
But he never built a ballpark.
Now the late billionaire’s real estate development company — The Howard Hughes Corp. — is about to start pouring concrete for its $150 million Las Vegas Ballpark for the Class AAA Las Vegas 51s in Summerlin, about 10 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip.
Hughes Corp. owns the New York Mets affiliate and will change the franchise’s alien-inspired name when the team moves into the new ballpark in 2019. The team now plays at Cashman Field in downtown Las Vegas.
Hughes executives and HOK architects designing the ballpark see it and the adjacent Vegas Golden Knights headquarters and practice facility as key economic and real estate drivers in the affluent Summerlin area.
Tom Warden, Hughes senior vice president of community and government relations, said the 10,000-seat ballpark will be a centerpiece in a planned urban core for the 22,500-acre community that’s on land Howard Hughes bought in 1952.
“It is new urban in nature,” Warden said of the 6,000 acres slated for the downtown portion of the development, including the ballpark. The master-planned community already has 100,000 residents and is projected for another 100,000, Warden said.
Plans call for a live-work-play, walkable urban area with 4,000 new housing units, complete with offices, restaurants and retail. “It’s going to be a cool downtown in a suburban location,” said Michael Parks, a senior vice president with commercial real estate firm CBRE.
The ballpark follows the urban core’s drive for density, sitting on just 8 acres. The facility’s design elements will include a 50-person outfield swimming pool, outdoor pool tables and other games, and a “beers of the world” concessions area, said Anton Foss, HOK managing principal. “People will want to get up and walk around,” he said.
The ballpark also will be able to host soccer, concerts and other events beyond baseball. It could seat as many as 15,000 for concerts.
The ballpark is the latest major sports project for the Las Vegas metro. T-Mobile Arena, home of the Vegas Golden Knights, opened in 2016. The NFL’s Raiders are building a $2 billion stadium in Las Vegas and will relocate there from Oakland in 2020.