Las Vegas: Oak View to build $3B entertainment hub featuring casino, hotel and arena eying potential NBA team

Las Vegas: Oak View to build $3B entertainment hub featuring casino, hotel and arena eying potential NBA team

Developer and investment company for sports and entertainment venues Oak View Group has plans to build an arena south of the Vegas Strip, set to serve as the centerpiece of a new entertainment hub that will feature a casino and hotel.

“We’re going to go after every big event that exists,” Oak View Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Tim Leiweke said, according to Bloomberg. “It’s exclusive, it’s high-end and it will be built in a way where it’s the perfect experience for those willing to spend the money to have the greatest experience in live entertainment.”

To that end, the company has acquired 25 acres on a 66.5-acre plot, located a few minutes from Harry Reid International Airport. Oak View expects to break ground on the ambitious development next year. The venue would serve as the home for events and pro sports teams that don’t yet come to Vegas.

According to the cited source, the area is being designed as a $3 billion entertainment campus featuring luxury experiences, such as packages for hotel and live events, with hotel suite keys granting access to a private club at the arena. The hotel is set to accommodate about 2,000 guests, while the 20,000-seat arena looks to attract major pop concerts and sports teams.

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Bloomberg reports that the company has already held talks with potential partners to operate the hotel and casino, as well as preliminary conversations with Live Nation Entertainment for concert promotion. However, the sources cited by the prestigious news agency said the deals aren’t final yet, and Oak View has declined to discuss partnerships thus far. But what seems secure, according to the news source, is that former president of Las Vegas Raiders Marc Badain will work along Oak View in the project.

Oak View also shares an investor, Silver Lake,  with Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which stages many events in Las Vegas.

The project comes as Vegas turns into a sports and entertainment destination, with the arrival of pro teams, the construction of new venues and pop acts booking regular residencies. It also follows reports that the NBA would consider adding a team in Vegas if the league expands, with Fenway Sports Group -owner of the Boston Red Sox- allegedly interested in a team.

“There is zero guarantee the NBA comes to Vegas; we are well aware of that,” Leiweke said, reports Bloomberg. “But if the NBA does come to Vegas, this building will be an option. It will be built to the highest specifications of the NBA.”

Leiweke has conceived the plans for T-Mobile Arena, which is now the home of the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team. This new arena will cost as much as $1 billion – more than twice the cost of T-Mobile.

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Oak View’s Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle

What does seem like a more secure bet is the arena catering to major musicians: the company could lean into the relationships of music mogul Irving Azoff, an Oak View co-founder along with Leiweke. While the company is well aware Vegas doesn’t lack entertainment venues, Leiweke argues the new arena would take offerings to a next level.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Oak View was founded by Azoff and Leiweke in 2015. The company’s biggest project to date was the redevelopment of the former KeyArena in Seattle, in part in preparation for the Seattle Kraken, the city’s National Hockey League team. The new 18,100-sear arena has now been renamed Climate Pledge Arena.

Additionally, the business is also a partner in UBS Arena on New York’s Long Island, which serves as home for the Islanders hockey team. It is also about to open the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, an upcoming multi-purpose arena under construction on the campus of the University of Texas, slated to open in April 2022.

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