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June 19, 2013

AEG, MGM Resorts Team Up to Build Long-Awaited Arena on the Strip

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

In the latest sign that large-scale development is stirring again on the Las Vegas Strip, AEG and MGM Resorts International said June 18 that they are teaming up to build a $350 million arena between the New York, NY and Monte Carlo resorts.

If it comes to fruition, the plan would close a major gap in the city’s entertainment venues. AEG and MGM Resorts are proposing a 20,000-seat indoor venue that would presumably be suitable for a National Basketball Association team as well as for large-scale concerts and other events.

The agreement brings together hospitality and entertainment powerhouses with extensive experience in large-scale projects. In Las Vegas, MGM Resorts owns the Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and the Mirage, along with a 50 percent stake in the City Center development.

AEG, a unit of the Anschutz Co., is associated with dozens of major sports and entertainment venues, ranging from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and Minneapolis’ Target Center to Best Buy Theater in Manhattan’s Times Square. It is also the developer of L.A. Live, a $2.5 billion, 4 million-square-foot sports, entertainment and residential district in Downtown Los Angeles.

AEG and MGM Resorts are eyeing a summer 2014 groundbreaking and spring 2016 opening for the arena. The partners said that they would finance the project with a combination of their own equity and unspecified private third-party funding sources.

To design the project, AEG and MGM Resorts tapped Populous, a prolific firm represented by stadiums, convention centers, arenas and other public venues. Populous’ credits include the main stadium for the 2012 London Olympics; the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia; the 2016 Soccer World Cup in Brazil, Wembley Stadium and Emirates Stadium in London;  Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, Aviva Stadium in Dublin and Sporting Park in Kansas City.

Details of the design are not yet available, but the developers said that the facility will feature various premium seating options and  hospitality areas for entertaining and private events.