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T-Mobile Arena A Sign Of More To Come For LV Strip?

AP Photo/John Locher

In this March 28, 2016, photo, workers finish construction outside of the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The latest multi-million dollar development on the Las Vegas Strip features a leafy outdoor pedestrian area, 20,000 seat arena and small theater.

Trailing the opening of T-Mobile Arena Wednesday are a lot of questions.

As the first major construction completed on the Strip since the recession, does this signal the beginning of a new era of Strip development?

Will the arena draw the much-coveted Millennial generation to Las Vegas -- or at least start to get them interested in The Strip?

Does this mean a professional sports team will eventually land here?

Chris Sieroty, U.S. editor of Gambling Compliance magazine, told KNPR's State of Nevada that he believes the new area is important for the Strip. 

“I think it is a big deal because you finally built a modern arena with all the amenities," he said, "It’s not an outdated Thomas & Mack. It’s not the MGM Grand Garden, which is also outdated”

But he doesn't believe it will draw people to come to Las Vegas just for the arena, but is another attraction for the 40 million visitors coming here already.

Michael Parks, a member of the Global Gaming Group of real estate group CBRE, said the arena could give a boost to other projects along Las Vegas Boulevard.

“It doesn’t hurt," he said, "Anytime you have $350 million invested on the Las Vegas Strip, it’s positive for the community.”

He said the success of the arena will show that it is okay to invest in the Strip and Las Vegas.

Scott Roeben of the blog said the area adjacent to the arena known as The Park, which features new restaurants and bars, has potential to draw in people. 

But he did point out an obvious problem with the Park. 

“[MGM has] gone to great lengths to make sure everybody knows there is a significant amount of shade because there is a reason Vegas is mostly inside there are long stretches of time where it is unbearably hot out," he said, "So this patio culture is cool, but not literally.”

However, he's not entirely sure that the Park and the arena will bring in the crowds of millennials that casinos are trying to lure in. Roeben believes the arena will draw crowds depending what events and concerts are booked there. 

“I don’t know what event draws millennials as whole,” he said.


Besides the Park, one of the biggest topics surrounding the opening of the new arena is the new MGM policy to charge for parking, something almost unheard of along the Strip.

Both Sieroty and Parks think people will pay for the parking, just like they do at every other big arena in every other city in America.

However, Roeben thinks it is a "significant concern for people." He believes it will impact tourists' decisions.

“This has become the point of conversation for a lot of people symbolizing everything is ruined," he said, "This is the moment when everything is ruined.”

The T-Mobile Arena opens Wednesday night with a concert by the Las Vegas-based band The Killers The Guns N' Roses concert Friday and Saturday is sold out. 

Chris Sieroty, U.S editor, Gambling Compliance magazine;  Scott Roeben,;  Michael Parks, Global Gaming Group of CBRE 

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.