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IDM shifts direction on Vegas arena, heads downtown

UNLVInternational Development Management, which had pitched a Silver State Arena on the Vegas Strip, has shifted direction and is now proposing a new arena, football stadium and minor-league ballpark in downtown Las Vegas, bringing a new chapter to the area’s arena wars.

The prime tenant of the facilities: the University of Nevada, Las Vegas sports teams.

The proposal from International Development Management and partners Romani Group and Turner Construction is ambitious, to say the least: the trio would build a 50,000-seat football stadium, a 17,500-seat arena and a 9,000-seat ballpark capable of being upgraded to MLB standards down the road. While UNLV is envisioned as the main tenant — the school is being offered a $1 lease — the arena will be capable of hosting an NHL or NBA team.

No word on how much the project will cost, though a billion dollars is a reasonable guess for a starting point, assuming the city donates the 70 acres of land off I-15. IDM had made noises about having an NBA team all ready to move to the Silver State Arena project, but they may have stretched the truth on that. Meanwhile, Majestic Reality — the Ed Roski firm — has proposed a new events center on the UNLV campus, complete with football space, entertainment district, student housing and a renovated Thomas & Mack Center. Both firms are going after UNLV as a main tenant, and both are looking at a large amount of private investment. In the case of IDM, officials say they can pull off the project with no public assistance, though surely the economics of the deal calls for the UNLV participation and a future NBA or NHL franchise anchoring the arena. Timing is of the essence: the UNLV Board of Regents is set to discuss the Majestic Realty proposal on Friday and perhaps deciding on an exclusive negotiating period.

RELATED STORIES: Renovations pitched for Thomas & Mack Center; Goodman to Vegas group: Show me the NBA contract; Vegas group: We have contract for NBA team if our arena plan is approved; Master plan for Las Vegas arena includes NBA, NHL teams; Las Vegas foundation drops arena effort

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