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MGM steps back from UNLV Now stadium project

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Updated: 2/15/2013 3:49 pm
LAS VEGAS — A major player in the future UNLV stadium project has stepped back, at least in its financial commitment. MGM Resort International initially pledged $20 million dollars to the project, but has now reconsidered.

In a statement, spokesperson Gordon Absher writes: “… we are concerned the current UNLV Now concept has grown too expensive for our community to support.”

Don Snyder is in charge of raising funds for the giant stadium project touted as a future sports and entertainment mega center. As far as he’s concerned, MGM is still in.

“And it's not a straight line from point A to point B. You go through a lot of conversations in the dialogue and keeping the dialogue open is part of that,” Snyder said.

News 3’s Jon Ralston says last week at the Nevada Resort Association, a presentation by Snyder and Majestic Realty's Craig Cavileer didn’t go very well with gamers, who were cool to the idea of diverting room tax money to help pay for the project.

The Nevada Resort Association in a statement said it supports a “concept of a stadium”. But also “Questions remain regarding the project elements, costs, and financing.”

Among the major gamers: MGM Resorts and Caesars each have plans for their own arenas.

Snyder says the stadium project would complement, not compete against arenas on the strip.

If money is the issue, Snyder says that’s fine with him.

“If we can find a way to adjust the scale, the scope of the project and lower the cost, that is the type of thing I think that serves everyone's best interest,” Snyder said.

What is clear right now, this “game changing” stadium still has to win some very important support.

A workshop to discuss the stadium project next week with the Board of Regents has been canceled but the stadium is scheduled to be brought up at the next board meeting on February 28 and March 1.


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