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Cordish has four months to finalize downtown Las Vegas arena deal

Cordish Companies has four months to finalize a downtown Las Vegas arena financing plan, as the city council is clearly growing impatient with the firm.

Cordish has been working with the city for four years on a downtown Las Vegas arena plan. The current price tag is $390 million, but the current funding plan has a gap of $52 million. That’s a pretty large gap, and some on the council — which narrowly passed a resolution to give Cordish four more months — say it’s time to pull the plug on the arena. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

But the 4-3 city council vote to give Cordish another four months – after four years of planning – to finish its funding plan was a bloody victory for the pro-arena faction. It revealed deep divides between the downtown business community and city hall, and between council members who disagree on the propriety of investing public money in a home for a sports franchise….

“I can’t help but feeling like a betrayed spouse or partner, not just once but several times,” said Richard Worthington, chief operating officer of the Molasky Group development company and a Downtown Las Vegas Alliance director.

Worthington was upset that Cordish’s original funding plan, revealed just days before the vote, called for a tax on downtown businesses to raise about $50 million for the arena. City officials quickly backed off that scheme once it went public.

One big reason why there’s little enthusiasm for an arena fight among many in the city: it’s not clear that a new arena would actually bring in an NBA or NHL team. Both leagues seem fairly set, especially the NBA, which has flirted with Vegas in the past. There are other cities seemingly in line for an NHL team as well — Seattle, suburban Toronto — and there are many who don’t see Vegas as being a natural hockey town. We are also talking about a community where there are other public and private arenas — Thomas & Mack Center, MGM Grand — that would compete with yet another arena.

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