UNLVNow Mega-Events Center & Student Village (OLD)

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What is UNLVNow?

UNLVNow is a proposed public/private partnership between UNLV and Majestic Realty Co. that includes a covered mega-events center and student village.

Project elements include:

  • A mega-events center on the northwest part of campus. The center 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 60,000 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. Majestic is an at-risk developer for the mega-events center, meaning there would be no financial risk to UNLV for the mega-events center as Majestic would be responsible for any construction and operational cost overruns.

How will UNLVNow impact the local economy?

The ability to host large-scale events for more than 20,000 spectators in a modern facility will give Las Vegas a competitive advantage. An economic impact report indicates that UNLVNow 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.)

What's the status of the project?

On June 1, the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents approved an exclusive negotiating agreement with Majestic Realty for the project. This allowed UNLV to begin negotiating details of the project. UNLV originally entered into a preliminary assessment agreement with Majestic in February 2011 to develop a proposal and examine the feasibility of the project.

On Nov. 30, The NSHE Board of Regents approved an update to UNLV’s campus master plan, which serves as the road map for future development at the university. This includes academic infrastructure, housing, parking, and future facilities like the UNLVNow mega-events center.

UNLV is currently negotiating with private partner Majestic Realty on basic economic terms for the mega-events center, and continues work on the scope and final cost estimates of the mega-events center through conversations with the project’s many stakeholders. UNLVNow is a large, complex and important project—significant on many levels for the campus and our community. The UNLVNow team feels it is essential to be responsive to partners and the resort industry to make this project right for the university and the community. A regular update on the UNLVNow project is scheduled for the Feb. 28/March 1 Board of Regents meeting, though no action will be taken at that time.

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, benefitting 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, for which an operating model and basic economic terms agreement are expected to be presented to the Board of Regents at its Feb. 28/March 1 meeting. We expect that additional planning for the student village component, including business terms, will begin after more details on the mega-events center are solidified. It should be noted that all future planning and prospective business terms regarding the student village will first be presented to the Board of Regents for approval.

If the student village moves forward, we would follow our existing plan (which is defined in the exclusive negotiation agreement) and methodically negotiate the business terms for this project, which would include protections for UNLV to ensure we do not have any financial liability for the project and to ensure there is protection for the completion of the project.

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 the 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 use of Harmon 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 do not rely on one major way in and out of the campus (Harmon Avenue) but have parking structures around the campus, all within short walks 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 (TMC). The plan with the mega-events center is to increase the total number of parking spaces to 23,500.

Are there any renderings?

The latest UNLVNow renderings were released at the Jan. 11 Board of Regents meeting.

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.  Relocating the affected athletic fields was covered in the master plan presentation, so it is considered to be part of the project cost and will be part of the final project cost presented to the Board of Regents on Feb. 28/March 1. All relocation of existing facilities has been considered in the new master plan.

(Last updated 2.14.13)