(Bloomberg) — Oak View Group has built state-of-the-art arenas in Seattle, New York and Austin. Now it’s going behind Sin City.
The company plans to build an arena just south of the Las Vegas Strip, serving as the centerpiece of a new entertainment center that includes a casino and hotel. Oak View has acquired 25 acres on a 66.5-acre plot located just minutes from Harry Reid International Airport, and will lay the groundwork for development next year.
The arena is being designed as a $3 billion entertainment complex catering to people with enough money to spend on luxury experiences. Customers will be able to purchase a package for the hotel and live events, and their hotel suite key will grant access to a private club in the arena. The hotel is expected to accommodate about 2,000 guests, while the 20,000-seat arena will be large enough to be home to a professional sports team and to host concerts for major pop stars.
“We’re going after every major event that exists,” Oak View CEO Tim Leiveke said in an interview. “It’s exclusive, it’s high-end and it will be built in a way where it’s the perfect experience for anyone willing to spend the money to have the greatest experience in live entertainment.”
According to a person familiar with the matter, the company will need a partner to operate the hotel and casino, and has held talks with potential participants. It will also seek partnerships with concert promoters, and has had preliminary talks with Live Nation Entertainment Inc., said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deals are not final. Leiweke declined to discuss specific business partners. Live Nation declined to comment.
Leiweke is building the venue to serve as the venue and home for professional sports teams that haven’t come to Vegas yet. The recent arrival of professional hockey and football teams and the construction of new venues have transformed Las Vegas into a major sports and entertainment destination. Famous musicians used to move to Vegas in the later stages of their careers, but some of the biggest pop acts in the world have booked regular residency in Vegas. The Grammy Awards are set to take place in the city on April 3, while the Super Bowl will be held there in 2024.
The National Basketball Association has said it would consider adding a team to Las Vegas if the league expands, and the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC, owners of Fenway Sports Group, are interested in a team, according to a report. Huh. “There’s zero guarantee the NBA comes to Vegas; we’re well aware of that,” LeVeque said. “But if the NBA comes to Vegas, this building will be an option. It will be built to the highest specifications of the NBA.”
Fenway Sports did not respond to requests for comment.
Oak View also shares an investor Silver Lake with Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., which owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which hosts a number of events in Las Vegas.
The arena will cater to prominent musicians and other performing artists who lean into the relationships of Oak View co-founder, music mogul Irving Azoff. Leiweke and Azoff started the company in 2015 to build new venues to meet the growing demand for live entertainment. Oak View operates an 18,100-seat arena in Seattle, which is also home to the city’s hockey team, as well as a new arena on Long Island, New York that serves the Islanders hockey team. It’s about to open the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, and has plans for at least a dozen more locations.
Leiweke has dreamed of building an arena in Las Vegas since he was chief executive officer of Anschutz Entertainment Group. He conceived the plans for the T-Mobile Arena, which is now home to the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team. Las Vegas isn’t short of entertainment venues, but Leiveke argued that he would have one in its class. The cost of this new area would be $1 billion — more than twice the cost of T-Mobile.
“This is the biggest bet our company has ever made,” said Leiveke.
The area south of the Strip has historically not been a major attraction for free-spending tourists. But people moving from Southern California to Las Vegas will leave the new site before reaching busy areas. It is located just minutes from the hangars that serve most of the private jets arriving in the city. Mark Badain, former president of the Las Vegas Raiders, will work on the project with Oak View.
To contact the author of this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles [email protected]
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