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Harrah’s to build sports mega-arena

Aug 28, 2007 2:40 AM

With an eye toward luring a sports franchise to Las Vegas, Harrah’s Entertainment and AEG last week unveiled plans for of a 20,000-seat, sports and entertainment arena.

This arena is envisioned to be Las Vegas’ new home for the most popular and important sports and entertainment events. The site of the venue will be one block east of the Las Vegas Strip on approximately 10 acres of land owned by Harrah’s.

As managing partner, AEG will be responsible for developing, operating and programming a full range of live sports and entertainment events including concerts, boxing matches, special events and awards presentations, as well as sporting events, tournaments and exhibitions.

The arena will be constructed and configured in a manner that will make it capable of housing an NBA or NHL professional sports franchise.

Projected to open in 2010, the venue will also feature private "hospitality centers," luxury suites, club seats and an array of amenities, gourmet food offerings and entertainment options to make every guest’s experience memorable and world-class.

"This arena is part of our on-going growth strategy and very much a part of our master plan for Las Vegas," said Gary Loveman, chairman, CEO and president of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. "We are committed to offering a variety of entertainment options to our customers, and this arena will allow us to bring to Las Vegas high-quality sporting events along with top-name entertainment that our partners, AEG, have an unparalleled track record of delivering."

The proposed arena location, directly behind the Bally’s and Paris resorts, will provide visitors convenient access between the arena and all the world-renowned amenities the Strip offers, including thousands of hotel rooms, monorail service, restaurants and nightclubs.

"There has never been a better time to create a world-class arena for Las Vegas," said Timothy J. Leiweke, president and CEO, AEG. "A city known for showcasing the most important and popular artists, events and extravaganzas needs a state-of-the-art arena to ensure that every important touring act considers Las Vegas a ”˜must-play’ city while solidifying the city’s reputation globally.

"This arena is being developed with the capability of hosting an NHL or NBA franchise from day one," continued Leiweke. "We continue to have productive conversations with potential owners and are optimistic that either basketball or hockey, or both, will be played in Las Vegas when the venue opens."

"We would not be here today without the tremendous cooperation and vision of Commissioner Reid and the members of the Clark County Board of Commissioners. This privately-funded project will pay enormous dividends to the entire region," Leiweke added.