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UNLV Stadium: One Regent's Reservations
UNLV Stadium: One Regent's Reservations

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AIR DATE: April 22, 2013

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Allison Stephens, Regent, Nevada System of Higher Education

BY AMY KINGSLEY --The stadium portion of the campus-improvement project called UNLV Now is big, flashy and expensive, with a $900 million price tag, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

But UNLV Now isn’t just a stadium construction plan. The project includes a “residential village” with new dorms and retail spaces. That part of the plan has been overlooked in the rush to build a stadium, said Regent Allison Stephens, who represents Clark County. She wants to change that, and emphasize the residential improvements instead of the stadium, which is being pitched as a “Mega Events Center.”

“Really the focus should be on the residential aspects of this project, the shopping aspects of this project and getting a mega events center that maybe isn’t so mega, and might actually be realistic and something we can do.”

The stadium doesn’t serve the students as much as it serves the resort industry, Stephens said. Major casino companies want a new stadium for big events like National Finals Rodeo. And the public has been seduced by flashy renderings of the domed, 60,000-seat stadium.

“This is new. This is big. This is very Las Vegas. So naturally I think that people are drawn to it. And naturally, I think we should take a look at it. I think it needs to be reasonable. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it. What I’m saying is we’ve got to step back, get back into reality and think about our campus environment first.”

 

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    COMMENTS:
    Contrary to the assertions of Ms. Stevens, it is totally irrelevant that the university might make money on a stadium project, even if that money were put towards education. Indeed, if the function of a university was to make money, it could open a casino, or a chain of convenience stores, or even x-rated book stores, for all of these businesses make lots of money. But, no, someone needs to remind the university regents and administration in no uncertain terms that the actual function of a university is to *spend* money (given to them by taxpayers) on education, not to *make* money via running an empire of taxpayer subsidized "businesses".
    Tom HurstApr 23, 2013 10:53:24 AM
    The university needs very much to focus on education, which is their stated and funded mission, rather than on building a $1 billion stadium business subsidized by taxpayers. Aside from consuming land that would be better used for academic facilities, the traffic is already a nightmare whenever the T&M Center (another "business" that the university should not be in) is having an event. Bottom line, research shows that every "public" stadium in the country is a money-loser for the taxpayers who subsidize them, and, in any case, it is certainly not the function of a government to provide entertainment for citizens.
    Tom HurstApr 22, 2013 14:21:52 PM
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