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Las Vegas arena groundbreaking set for May 1

With multiple arena proposals still on the table, AEG and MGM Resorts International are moving ahead on a $350-million arena project behind New York-New York on the Strip, and a groundbreaking is scheduled for May 1.

The past several years have seen several proposal for a higher-level arena in the Vegas area; city officials have pushed a downtown arena, while developers have pitched a replacement or renovation of Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus. (And let’s not forget the other pitches for arenas on both ends of the Strip.) But with AEG and MGM combining with Populous (architect) and ICON Venue Group on the planning of the new project, it looks like the New York-New York project will be first to the market.

The new arena will sit between the casino and I-15, on the north side of Tropicana Avenue. The 20,000-seat arena will be augmented with 80,000 square feet of shopping, as well as a park and a plaza. Though AEG and MGM plans to move ahead without an anchor sports tenant (which, as AEG has proven with Kansas City’s Sprint Center, represents a perfectly viable business approach, as there’s plenty of events to fill the place), the plan is to pitch the facility as being perfect for an NBA or NHL team.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

The AEG-MGM arena will feature lots of high-end premium seating and outdoor balcony areas, ranging from suites for two to four people to clubs for more than 100 guests. Fans will enter the main entrance from a vast plaza.

The entrance will feature a glass facade and video overlay nearly 12 stories tall.

The new arena will be privately financed.

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