Sin City’s sports and gambling scene could be adding a new player in the next couple of years.
The Oak View Group of spots executive and entrepreneur Tim Lieweke announced last Wednesday that it has purchased a 25 acre property in Las Vegas which it plans to turn into a $3 billion sports and entertainment venue. The site is about 10 minutes from the Las Vegas strip and near Interstate 15 and I-215, adjacent to the new high-speed train station.
In a recent interview with CNBC, Lieweke said that the plan is to build a 20,000-seat arena, and a casino with a hotel. The arena alone is expected to cost $1 billion and the project is expected to break ground next year with 2025 as its targeted completion date.
“Las Vegas is the entertainment capital and so what we have to build is the best we have ever built for Las Vegas.”
NBA Expanding to Las Vegas?
Lieweke also teased on the possibility of the NBA coming to Las Vegas, saying that if the league wants to come to Sin City, they will be ready. The NBA has always had a presence in Las Vegas with the league holding its Summer Leagues there. The WNBA also has a franchise based in Sin City in the Las Vegas Aces. But as big a market Las Vegas is, no NBA team has ever been based there.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said last year that while the NBA isn’t currently looking at expanding the league but if the time comes, Las Vegas will be in contention to land an NBA franchise. Rumors are linking Las Vegas and Seattle to a story about LeBon James and the Fenway Group leading the next NBA franchise, although a league spokesperson denied the issue.
Las Vegas as Sports Haven
Las Vegas has become more than just a gambling haven and boxing’s favorite destination over the years. Aside form the aforementioned NBA Summer Leagues and the Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA, the NHL also expanded to Sin City in 2017 with the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Two years ago, the NFL relocated the Raiders to Las Vegas and its $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium. The UFC also holds regular events at its APEX Facility in Paradise, Las Vegas and most recently, Formula One announced that it will be holding a race in Sin City next year.
While Lieweke hopes that his project will be the key to bringing the NBA to Las Vegas, he believes that it will be successful even without and NBA franchise. He says that his arena will give competition to the five other arenas in town. It is near the airport and the high-speed train station that connects Las Vegas to Los Angeles, making it the logical first stop for Las Vegas visitors. Of course, with sports and entertainment coming, the gambling side of it will follow.