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Las Vegas Arena Plans
Las Vegas Arena Plans

AIR DATE: November 22, 2010

Mayor Oscar Goodman wants to build a sports Arena in Las Vegas and lure either an NBA and/or NHL team to the area. The city is talking with a group about the possibility of building the arena in Symphony Park. But, the city is being very hush about their plans.

Meanwhile Harrah's Entertainment just gathered the signatures (which is being challenged by MGM) to get the state legislature to pass a bill that will allow a tourist tax that will allow Harrah's to build an arena next to the strip.

Should the state give a casino tax rebates to build an arena? Or if the city builds one, do taxpayers want to see a $500,000,000 facility built in this economy?

Howard Stutz, gaming reporter, LVRJ
Andrew Zimbalist,Robert A. Woods Prof of Econ, Smith College
Alan Feldman, Sr VP of Public Affairs, MGM Resorts International
Marybell Batjer, Sr VP of Public Policy and Communications, Harrah's Entertainment

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Interesting that MGM is against this when they were major players in bringing the Monorail (and we see how THAT turned out)! I wish for once we could put politics aside and get something done that helps Nevada- why not be behind a project that brings jobs? Especially right now! This would also undoubtedly be a huge bonus for tourists to come here- I'm on board.
Casey F.Nov 17, 2010 10:48:22 AM
Nevada NEEDS revenue right now! I don't understand why anyone would be against DONATED land and a tax that we won't even be paying for- tourists will. This can only benefit locals.

I'm for anything that brings jobs right now too- 15% people!

Veronica S. Nov 17, 2010 10:07:04 AM
An arena in Las Vegas makes sense. If Harrah's wants to donate the land for one, why not let them?
AnnNov 17, 2010 10:06:03 AM
Maribel sounds like those tunnel-visioned sales people of Miller Park in Milwaukee back in the 90's. They don't seem to care about, and sidestep the very important points of money being spent on education and other very necessary community services. Education in particular can not be over looked in Nevada: the state that recently nudged out Mississippi for absolute worst state in education in the union.

Back in the 90's, the political sales pundits vying for public assistance for the construction of Miller Park promised the world on a golden platter, and stated how necessary tax dollars paying to subsidize this project would do so much for the local economy, both present and future.


Once the Miller park was finished, it was (as anticipated by the opponents of the project) millions of dollars over budget. The middle class and working poor of Milwaukee County are the ones that had to pay for that subsidy. Through sales taxes, those barely scrapping by were all of a sudden forced to pay a few extra dollars for a grocery and fuel bill when they were barely able to afford those items without the tax increase.

DarionNov 17, 2010 10:02:06 AM
So many cities have publicly funded arenas and stadiums. Denver is a great example of a city revitalizing its downtown by building BOTH. They did it with a 1/4 cent increase in sales tax.

Phoenix also has a vibrant downtown today because of the new ballpark and basketball arena.

How can Feldman say the tax would be on the local, when Kansas City has implemented a hefty "arena tax" on car rentals for several years. I believe the last time I rented a car there the tax was close to $15 for a two-day rental.

There are ways to make this happen. Since the private companies aren't in the position to build right now, it's time to get creative. Let's put a chunk of the bill in the hand of the tourist. Will people NOT rent a car because of an "arena tax?" Come on people... Look at what other cities have done and let's put the Las Vegas twist on it.

I'm in full favor of building an arena and/or stadium in the downtown area. It's exactly what the city needs to give it a real shot in the arm.

AlNov 17, 2010 10:01:55 AM
An arena OR stadium is NOT our future as has been mentioned on this show. OUR CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE. Las Vegas heads the list of NEGATIVE educational demographics, i.e., high school dropouts, low college admission, SOME OF THE LOWEST TEST SCORES IN THE NATION. We should spend this time, money and efforts on EDUCATION! Why don't we build some more schools and more importantly HIRE & TRAIN BETTER TEACHERS (AND administrators). This whole conversation is farcical! WHO GIVES A *%%*&^*^*! if this benefits the casinos! Gimme a break!
Nairobi SailcatNov 17, 2010 09:58:40 AM
I's like to address Marybell's suggestion of traffic routes for this arena. I wonder when the last time was that she has driven down Koval, Paradise, I-15? these are our most congested streets in Las Vegas! A little bit of cinstruction on Koval and Harmon causes hours of congestion. And the Venetian parking lot? Or Bellagio? these garages are already full on weekends. What would casino guests say if they cannot park? Finally, the monorail goes nowhere!
sandy clarkNov 17, 2010 09:56:15 AM
The idea of an arena is just a continuation of the myopic vision of our city leaders. We have depended far too much on entertainment, then construction. What ever happened to diversifying our economy?
DavidNov 17, 2010 09:54:33 AM
I think it would be great to have the arena on the strip. I think the location would be perfect for our tourist.
Janice Nov 17, 2010 09:45:52 AM
You know where you go for serious medical care in LV? McCarran Airport. Because our hospitals are likely to kill you. We have one of the worst university systems in the country. By most measures we are the dumbest, sickest city in the nation. We are the only venue in the country where sales tax is greater than the tax on gambling. The absentee landlords of gambling businesses have the best legislature that money can buy and they do not live here so they do not care. I have no solution.
Doug NusbaumNov 17, 2010 09:41:12 AM
Why does it have to be about tourist in order for us to have the arena. Look at all the arena in the other states who has local supports. I believe with support of our local community, the arena will work. Why care if the tourist decide to come to the arena. As a community we need a professional team that we can represent. The arena is for us not for the tourist.
patrick thachNov 17, 2010 09:39:16 AM
The economy does not seem to be rebounding in Las Vegas. What happens if tourism suffers? Who will be stuck paying the bill?
SamanthaNov 17, 2010 09:39:02 AM
I am a native Nevadan and excited at the thought of having a team for my children to watch. I am also married to a man in construction and am very grateful for an opportunity to ensure more jobs. This is great. I hope we get an arena soon.
Summer Nov 17, 2010 09:36:27 AM
Are there any viable plans that are 100% privately financed, that will not require additional taxes?

I thought boasted no taxes for a new arena.

JasonNov 17, 2010 09:36:18 AM
With all the tax breaks given to private industry to build an arena, where do the tax payers make a profit? Isn't this public money subsidizing private profit instead of making a profit for the public, which it the kind of profit the state and county need right now?

Vegas may be a different city, but the politics and business models used to build an arena are the same.

Jim in HendersonNov 17, 2010 09:26:28 AM
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