University of Nevada Las Vegas plans nearly $2 billion in renovations

DollarsI suppose it’s only fitting that Las Vegas may be home to the most expensive college athletics stadium ever built. University of Nevada – Las Vegas has reached the next step to constructing a massive sports complex after Clark County unanimously approved to grant 60 acres of land to the university.

The project which would construct a 60,000 seat multi-weather domed stadium, a new student village, retail space and a hotel is estimated to require 150 acres and $2 billion dollars to complete. While sounding like a massive amount of cash, which is it, county officials are hoping for a long term payout with a pie in the sky number of $300-$400 million dollars in annual revenue when completed.

“This could be good for the economy, this could bring jobs, and this could benefit the university, which ultimately is our goal,” Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani said.

Residents in the area are concerned but excited. “We love the project. We want the project. We’re just concerned that we’re going to lose our agreement that we have for taking care of the traffic problems and parking problems in the area that’s worked so well for us.”

When the vision was first announced early last year, developers were promising that the project could be completed without any tax payer assistance allowing the early steps of planning to roll out quickly. Naturally, figures were revised and as the price tag for the development rose drastically so came the need for public assistance.

About one third of the total cost is said to be covered by stadium naming rights, advertising and future projected revenues. The remainder is to be left to public assisted financing. The stadium itself is estimated at $800 million, with snags or difficulties, the bill could easily swell to over $1 billion dollars, with the public on the hook for nearly half of that amount.

The new venue could easily become a huge draw, with events like Wrestlemaina, UFC Fight Week, Pac-12 bowl games, concerts and more. “We’re more optimistic, but we have a lot of work to do,” said Don Snyder, UNLV’s hotel college dean.