Two moguls propose a $3 billion entertainment hub for Las Vegas

(Bloomberg)—The Oak View Group has built state-of-the-art arenas in Seattle, New York and Austin. Now he’s going after 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 lot located minutes from Harry Reid International Airport, and will open the development next year.

The area is designed as a $3 billion entertainment campus, catering to people with enough money to afford luxury experiences. Customers will be able to purchase a hotel and live event package, and their hotel suite key will give them access to a private club at the arena. The hotel will likely accommodate around 2,000 guests, while the 20,000-seat arena will be large enough to house a professional sports team and host concerts for major pop stars.

“We’re going to tackle every big event that’s out there,” Oak View CEO Tim Leiweke said in an interview. “It’s exclusive, it’s premium and it will be built in such a way that it’s the perfect experience for those who are willing to spend the money to have the greatest live entertainment experience.”

The company will need a partner to operate the hotel and casino, and has held talks with potential participants, according to a person familiar with the matter. It will also seek partnerships with concert organizers and has had preliminary conversations 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 positioning the venue to host events and professional sports teams not yet coming to Vegas. The recent arrival of professional hockey and football teams and the construction of new venues have made Las Vegas a top destination for sports and entertainment. Famous musicians used to go to Vegas in the later stages of their careers, but some of the biggest pop acts in the world have booked regular residencies 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 will consider adding a team to Las Vegas if the league grows, and Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC owner Fenway Sports Group is interested in a team, according to a report. . “There’s no guarantee the NBA will come to Vegas; we are well aware of that,” Leiweke said. “But if the NBA comes to Vegas, this building will be an option. It will be built to the highest NBA specifications.

Fenway Sports did not respond to requests for comment.

Oak View also shares an investor, Silver Lake, with Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which hosts numerous events in Las Vegas.

The arena will host major musicians and other performing artists, drawing on the connections of music mogul Irving Azoff, co-founder of Oak View. 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 in New York which serves the Islanders hockey team. He is set to open the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, and plans at least a dozen other locations.

Leiweke had dreamed of building an arena in Las Vegas since he was the CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group. He designed the plans for T-Mobile Arena, which is now the home of the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team. Las Vegas has no shortage of entertainment venues, but Leiweke said his would be in a class of its own. This new arena will cost up to $1 billion, more than double the cost of T-Mobile.

“It’s the biggest bet our company has made to date,” Leiweke said.

The area south of the Strip has never been a big draw for spending tourists. But people traveling to Las Vegas from Southern California will pass through the new location before arriving in busier areas. It is also located minutes from the hangars servicing most private planes entering the city. Marc Badain, the 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 at [email protected]

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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