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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Las Vegas NBA-Ready Arena Project Grows to $10B

  • Oak View Group is leading project originally budgeted for $3 billion.
  • Vegas is targeting an NBA expansion team potentially owned by a group with LeBron James.
Casinos and attractions on the Las Vegas strip
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

With NBA expansion on the cards later this decade, the group vying to build a suitable basketball arena in Las Vegas is significantly increasing its investment.

Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke said that his company is now budgeting $10 billion for a potential hotel, gaming, and entertainment district after initially laying out $3 billion.

No public money would be required at the outset. “It helps when you walk into a room and say to them, ‘I do not need your money,’” Leiweke said.

The project’s footprint is also growing from 35 acres to 66.

An NBA team in Las Vegas seems to be a near-certainty according to league commissioner Adam Silver, even if the timeline, where the team would play, and who would own it remains to be determined.

OVG led the $1.15 billion rebuild of Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, which is also seen as a frontrunner for a future NBA expansion team. The SuperSonics played in Seattle from 1967–2008 — winning an NBA title in 1979 — before moving to Oklahoma City in 2008.

LeBron James hasn’t been shy about his desire to be involved in an ownership group of an NBA team in Las Vegas. James has a stake in Fenway Sports Group — the owners of the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Liverpool of the Premier League — which could front the bulk of the expansion fee.

Leiweke is bullish on Las Vegas’ ability to handle another major venue on top of T-Mobile Arena, home of the NHL champion Vegas Golden Knights.

Vegas is the “No. 1 live entertainment market” in the world, Leieweke said.

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