Developer Chris Milam is proposing to build a $1.57-billion three-arena sports complex, on 70 acres, in downtown Las Vegas. The project, designed by Kansas City, Mo.-based ThreeSixty Architecture, calls for a 17,500-seat basketball/hockey arena, plus a 9,000-seat ballpark and 50,000-seat football stadium, both partially covered with tensile roof structures. Romani Group Inc., Greenwood Village, Colo., is program manager, with Turner Construction Co., New York, as general contractor. The Las Vegas National Sports Center would be located on city owned land within the Symphony Park master-plan, northeast of the World Market Center near the Interstate 15/ U.S. 95 interchange.

The project, floated by Milam�s International Development Management, could break ground as soon as October and be open by late-2013. It has quietly lined-up financing during the last two years and would require no tax money, project officials claim. Yet, the project�s business plan is based on securing professional sports tenants and successfully selling high-end luxury seats. The baseball and football stadiums could be expanded to 36,000 and 75,000 seats, respectively, to host professional sports teams if needed.

The sports center faces an uphill battle, however. The city of Las Vegas already has an exclusive negotiating agreement with Baltimore-based developer Cordish Cos. Also, a nearby rival stadium plan also took a step forward on February 11 when the Nevada University Board of Regents approved exclusive talks with L.A. billionaire Ed Roski to develop a new domed football stadium on the University of Nevada-Las Vegas campus.

The 40,000-seat, steel-and-glass venue is the centerpiece of Roski�s proposed 150-acre mixed-use, master-planned village consisting of 3,000 housing units and 600,000 sq ft of retail space, with parking for 15,000 vehicles. Commerce Construction, City of Industry, Calif., is the general contractor with Design Development Group, Baltimore, and Kansas City-based Populous (formerly known as HOK Sport) as project architects. A budget and timeline have yet to be established.

Milam has had a rocky time in Las Vegas. He floated a $750-million, 20,000-seat arena scheme last summer, but abruptly withdrew it when neighbors complained about potential traffic overflow. Milam also proposed building a $5-billion, 1,064-ft residential tower, on 27 acres, at 2600 Las Vegas Boulevard South in 2007. New York-based Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP were the project architect. The tower, dubbed Crown Las Vegas, drew fierce opposition and the plan was scuttled a year later.

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