MGM Resorts, AEG Break Ground on New Vegas Arena

MGM Resorts and AEG last week broke ground on a new $375 million, 20,000-seat indoor arena west of the Las Vegas Strip, between the New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts.
MGM arena

As if there weren’t enough reasons already to hold an event in Las Vegas, ground was broken last Thursday on a new $375 million, 20,000-seat indoor arena there. The arena is being developed by Las Vegas Arena Co., an entity owned by MGM Resorts International and AEG. It’s scheduled to open in spring 2016.

The 16-acre site is west of the Strip, between the New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts. The as-yet-unnamed arena will host about 100 boxing, UFC and other sporting events; major entertainment events; awards shows; and other events yearly, according to the owners.

Designed by architect Populous, which specializes in sporting and convention centers, the arena will house multiple locker facilities, “premium dressing rooms” and complete broadcast facilities. Intended to meet LEED Gold certification, it will also feature 50 luxury suites and more than two dozen private loge boxes.

The arena’s funding will be roughly 50-50 between contributions from the partners and outside funding, an MGM Resorts spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive. The outside financing for the arena is being led by Bank of America and will also include a number of banks with which “both AEG and MGM Resorts have strong longstanding relationships,” according to the spokesperson.

AEG affiliate AEG Global Partnerships will oversee the sale of naming rights, sponsorships, premium seating and luxury suite sales.

MGM Resorts International operates such brands as Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage, and also owns 50 percent of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features ARIA Resort & Casino.

A wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Co., AEG owns or is affiliated with a collection of companies including more than 100 facilities around the world, such as Staples Center (Los Angeles), Best Buy Theater (Times Square, New York), Mercedes–Benz Arena (Shanghai) and Allphones Arena (Sydney).

Only about 10 days ago, MGM announced plans for the Mandalay Bay resort to undertake a $66 million expansion of its convention center that will add 350,000 square feet of exhibit space and additional underground parking. After the expansion (expected to be completed by January 2016), the center will total 2 million square feet, making it the nation’s fifth-largest convention center.

On top of that, as part of the creation of the $2.5 billion Las Vegas Global Business District, the Las Vegas Convention Center is undergoing the first phase of a 500,000-square-foot expansion that will add 86,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space, a grand concourse linking all three halls and enclosed pedestrian access to the Las Vegas monorail.