MGM breaks ground on new Las Vegas arena

LAS VEGAS -- MGM Resorts International has won the race to be the first to build a new arena in Las Vegas. After years of proposals from various companies, MGM Resorts broke ground on the project Thursday.

The 20,000-seat arena along the Las Vegas Strip, behind New York New York and behind the Monte Carlo.

MGM Resorts International and sports and entertainment giant AEG marked the occasion with a Thursday morning ceremony that included plenty of fanfare, boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, basketball legend Bill Walton and a groundbreaking ceremony.

"It was important to us that we partner on an arena and not have any taxpayer subsidies or support," said Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of AEG.

The $375 million project will be the centerpiece of an eight-acre, tree-lined entertainment and dining district dubbed "The Park."

"It's just going to make a great city even better. We are the entertainment capital already," said Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts.

He says the project will create 3,500 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs. It could help the city's chances of attracting professional sports teams.

"This obviously, dramatically, increases the chance that Nevada and Las Vegas will be a home team for a professional team down the road, and if it happens, I have a feeling we are going to be part of that conversation," Murren said.

"Whether it's an NBA or an NHL team, you got to have the arena. And you got to make sure you got all the amenities," said Luc Robitaille, president of business operations, Los Angeles Kings.

The arena is expected to host more than 100 events a year.

"I can promise you, you are going to see stuff inside this arena you've never seen before," Murren said.

The privately funded project is the furthest along of several arenas proposed for Las Vegas in recent years.


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