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What is UNLVNow?

UNLVNow is a proposal to revitalize the northwest part of the university's main campus.

Project elements include:

  • A mega-events center that would give UNLV a state-of-the-art home for its athletics teams and provide the region with the only events center capable of hosting concerts, sports, and other special events for more than 55,000 spectators.
  • A student village offering housing, dining, and shopping, as well as the retail and service activities customarily found adjacent to or as part of residential campuses.
How much will it cost?

Final costs are still being determined.

The university’s contribution would be land, its image and brand, and its tax status. Options for naming rights, founder contributions, media income, and related funding for the project will begin once the final site, design, and cost have been determined.

Student tuition/fees will not be used to support the UNLVNow project.

How will UNLVNow impact the local economy?

Governor Brian Sandoval’s economic development plan for Nevada (see Brookings/SRI report) calls for the state to look for targeted opportunities for economic growth in tourism, gaming and entertainment. The report recommends leveraging this massive industry, and its world-class reputation, to attract visitors from niche markets with new and diversified offerings.

A mega-events center will provide new opportunities for Nevada as it would make it possible for Las Vegas to host large-scale events for more than 20,000 spectators in a modern facility – giving the region a competitive advantage.

An economic impact report indicates that a 55,000-plus seat events center would bring 15 or more new major events to the Las Vegas market each year. Those events will bring $393.2 million in direct economic benefit to the community — with $66 million in new spending on the campus alone. According to Las Vegas Events (LVE), the mega-events center would have more positive economic impact than all the company’s events now do on an annual basis.

(See economic impact report by Mark Rosentraub and the University of Michigan Center for Sport Management.)

Is UNLV counting on the mega-events center revenue to fund university programs?

UNLVNow is a game changer for the university and the community — it will better connect the campus to the community and the tourism industry by bringing signature events year-round and returning all of UNLV’s athletics programs to campus. The mega-events center would, like the Thomas & Mack Center, serve as a community asset, benefiting the university in the process. Any revenues UNLV enjoys from the mega-events center’s operations will also enhance the campus’s academic programs and activities.

While these additional funds would significantly benefit the university and its programs, they are estimates and cannot be “counted” as a revenue stream.

According to an economic impact report conducted by the University of Michigan Center for Sport Management, it is reasonable to assume the mega-events center would draw at least 15 new major events annually. With 15 annual events, the facility would have an annual direct economic impact of $393.2 million locally — with more than $66 million in new spending on the UNLV campus alone.

How does planning for the proposed student village relate to the mega-events center?

Current planning is focused on the mega-events center portion of the UNLVNow project. UNLV expects that additional planning for the student village component will begin after more details on the mega-events center are solidified.  All future planning and prospective business terms regarding the student village will first be presented to the Board of Regents for approval.

How will parking and mega-events center traffic be addressed?

Efficient access, transit, and parking availability are important components of the project, as is improved transit to support the mega-events center. Through the campus’s master planning efforts that were approved in December by the Board of Regents, the traffic, transportation, and parking requirements of the entire UNLV Maryland Campus were studied. 

In addition to many intersection improvements around and inside the campus, we assume a strong partnership with RTC for the use of Harmon Avenue as a transit corridor to move individuals to and from the mega-events center.

The campus parking plan is based on a "distributed" model so that we will not rely on one major way in and out of the campus (Harmon Avenue) but will have parking structures around the campus, all within a short walk of the mega-events center. Distributed access to campus parking will relieve congestion at specific entry points but will also support campus parking efforts during the academic week. The student village will have dedicated parking as outlined in the campus master plan.

Currently, there are more than 12,000 parking spaces on the campus to support academic needs and events in the Thomas & Mack Center. The plan with the mega-events center is to increase the total number of parking spaces to 23,500.

Are there any renderings?

Not at this time.

What happens to Sam Boyd Stadium and affected athletic fields?

There is no final plan on the disposition of Sam Boyd Stadium if the mega-events center is constructed. All relocation of existing facilities has been considered in the new master plan.

What's the status of the project?

UNLV concluded its exclusive negotiation agreement with Majestic effective May 27, 2013.

UNLV worked closely with Nevada lawmakers during the 2013 Nevada Legislative Session to enact Assembly Bill 335, enabling legislation that creates the UNLV Campus Improvement Authority (Authority).

The Authority will bring stakeholders together in an open, inclusive manner to study, assess and evaluate options for the general design, size, cost and financing of the mega-events center. This group will submit formal recommendations to the Nevada Legislature in 2015.

The mega-events center is a large, complex, and important project — significant on many levels for the campus and our community. The Authority ensures that stakeholders from the public and private sectors are directly engaged in the planning and development process.

The Authority consists of an 11-member board of directors:

  • Four members appointed by the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents (one can be an officer of the university and not a BoR member)
  • One member from the Board of County Commissioners (a member or officer who is not also on the LVCVA board)
  • One member from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) Board of Directors (appointee must not also sit on Board of County Commissioners)
  • One member appointed by Governor Brian Sandoval
  • One member appointed by Nevada Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick
  • One member appointed by Nevada Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis
  • Two members nominated by the LVCVA Board who hold executive positions in the tourism/hotel/resort industry in Clark County. They will be appointed by the previously seated nine Authority board members.  

The Board of Regents must appoint the first four members by Aug. 31, and all other groups must appoint members by Sep. 30. The Authority will hold an organizational meeting in October 2013, where it will appoint the final two members. The Authority Board of Directors will submit a final report for the Nevada legislature by Sep. 30, 2014.

How does the proposed MGM arena affect UNLVNow?

We appreciate MGM’s support of the UNLVNow project, and the broad-based support of the resort industry as a whole. We feel that the mega-events center, which as currently discussed would host events for up to 60,000 spectators, is complementary to and not in competition with the proposed MGM arena.

UNLVNow has evolved greatly over the past two years, and we believe the community understands the economic value a mega-events center on our campus would add to UNLV, Las Vegas, and the state.

(Last updated 6.20.13)