An expansion of athletic facilities at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) proposed by private developers could include a much-needed renovation of Thomas & Mack Center.
UNLV officials love to push Thomas & Mack as the busiest arena in college sports, which is true — but a little misleading, as it’s the only major arena in a busy town and gets a lot of business by default (sorry, MGM and Orleans; you know it’s true). It’s certainly miles away from being state of the art and lacks the revenue-enhancing amenities you’d find in a newer arena.
Ed Roski, best known as the builder of Staples Center and one of the builders seeking a new NFL stadium in Los Angeles, has teamed Silverton Casino‘s Craig Cavileer to propose a dramatic overhaul of the Thomas & Mack area of the UNLV campus that would include a new 40,000-seat covered stadium, a renovation of the arena, and the addition of a town-center-type development that could include restaurants and bars. Thomas & Mack is already an entertainment hub, and the development would certainly enhance that reputation.
One thing not clear: exactly what role Thomas & Mack would play in the new complex. There’s already talk that Runnin’ Rebels games could be shifted to the new stadium, as well as National Finals Rodeo. The future of Thomas & Mack may actually be as a scaled-down entertainment complex, not as a sporting facility, especially if another arena comes online in Las Vegas in the next few years.
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