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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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At A Glance: The Las Vegas National Sports Complex Proposal



Sunday, July 15, 2012 | 2 a.m.



The Las Vegas National Sports Complex is a proposed multibillion-dollar project that would be built on 485 acres east of Interstate 15, just northeast of the M Resort in Henderson. Developers envision the project launching with a 17,500-seat, $650 million indoor arena, followed by a 25,000-seat open-air stadium, a 63,500-seat domed stadium and a baseball stadium.

Principals behind proposal

Las Vegas National Sports Complex LLC, led by developer Chris Milam, is developing the project. The company is in discussions to secure a $650 million construction loan from China Security & Surveillance Technology, a company based in Shenzhen, China. Milam has attempted and failed to develop several other stadium proposals in Southern Nevada, including a complex west of Mandalay Bay.

Support for or against

The Henderson City Council has expressed tentative support for the project, approving a master plan agreement and supporting Las Vegas National Sports Complex’s purchase of 485 acres from the Bureau of Land Management. The project has received little resistance from the public so far. Dennis Porter, Henderson’s director of utility services, said the city has met with neighborhood groups and various other organizationsto explain the proposal.

“Sometimes when we start those meetings, they’re concerned about traffic and noise,” he said. “Once they better understand the project, the location, how we’re managing traffic, 99 percent are on board.”

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Interesting. Sounds like they want to attract NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and MLS in one fell swoop. The one I'm interested in is the 25,000 seat open air stadium. Whats Las Vegas like during the summer? Worse than Phoenix or slightly better?
 

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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Looks like one competing arena proposal may have bitten the dust:

Strip arena backers regroup after ruling knocks initiative off November ballot



Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012

A ruling Wednesday evening by the Nevada Supreme Court will indefinitely stall the effort to build a 20,000-seat arena near the Las Vegas Strip, says the chairman of the group developing the project.

The Caesars Entertainment-backed arena suffered a major setback when the court invalidated roughly 200,000 signatures collected in support of a ballot initiative to raise the sales tax to fund the $500 million project. The initiative would have raised the sales tax by 0.9 percent in a tourism district within a three-mile radius of the arena, which would be built on land donated by Caesars.

The ruling means the effort to place the initiative on the statewide ballot this year is “at the end of the road,” said Bruce Woodbury, chairman of the nonprofit Las Vegas Arena Foundation, which was formed to develop the arena. “I’m not optimistic that there’s any further light at the end of this tunnel. We’ll have to talk about whether we can regroup and what to do next,” he said.

Woodbury said lawyers would review the decision to see if there are further grounds for rehearing the issue, but with Election Day fast approaching, the window to get the initiative on the ballot is shrinking. The Supreme Court’s ruling, reported Wednesday night by the Sun’s Jon Ralston, comes after months of legal wrangling and fierce opposition to the proposal from the rest of the gaming community, including MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming.

Caesars has been working to bring a stadium to the Strip for several years. An attempt to pass the sales tax increase through the Legislature in 2011 was met with hostility and fierce lobbying, said Woodbury, forcing arena proponents to turn to the ballot initiative, which began collecting signatures in 2010.

A total of 221,874 signatures were certified in support of the initiative, far more than the required 97,002, but a suit by the Taxpayers For the Protection of Nevada Jobs, a nonprofit backed by MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming, challenged the validity of those signatures. In a June 19 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that the petition’s description of effect — a 200-word summary of the proposal — was misleading because it didn’t make clear that passing the initiative would effectively kill other competing stadium proposals in the area.

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Stadium and arena proposals in and around Las Vegas have been bandied about for years, but none have come to fruition.Several projects are in the planning phases, including a 50,000-seat domed stadium at UNLV, a multi-stadium sports complex in Henderson, and a 20,000-seat arena in downtown Las Vegas. “Every competing proposal would not qualify under the language of the initiative,” Scherer said. “The competition from a taxpayer-supported arena is also going to have an impact on people being willing to spend private dollars on an arena.”

Caesars Entertainment feels Las Vegas needs an arena to stay competitive as an entertainment destination, and the ballot initiative provided the most direct way of funding one, said Marybel Batjer, Caesars vice president of public policy and corporate social responsibility. “We feel strongly that in order for Las Vegas to remain the entertainment capital of the world, we have to got to have a new arena, and it’s best that it’s on the Strip where 40 million people come to visit every year,” Batjer said. “If you take a look at the arenas that have been built throughout the country in the last 10 to 20 years, every one has needed some public funding to be financed.”

Batjer said Caesars is disappointed with the court’s ruling and it’s unclear what’s next for the arena proposal. “We’re obviously still digesting it,” she said. “We believe very strongly in the effort that was put forth by the Las Vegas Arena Foundation board, but we’ll have to make a lot of considerations (before moving forward).”


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Avant Garde
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Interesting. Sounds like they want to attract NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and MLS in one fell swoop. The one I'm interested in is the 25,000 seat open air stadium. Whats Las Vegas like during the summer? Worse than Phoenix or slightly better?
The average summer temp in Phoenix is 106. In Vegas it's 104.
 

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The average summer temp in Phoenix is 106. In Vegas it's 104.
So those two degrees are the threshold for building a retractable roof? Seriously, whomever plays there had better schedule a lot of night games, and probably stack the home games to either end of the season. I've often wondered how the minor league baseball team could function.
 

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According to the information released by LVNSC they do plan on having a roof.

Anyways here's a recent article on the rumored funding.

Potential arena lender connected to Chinese government monitoring

The Las Vegas National Sports Center, LLC is in the process of securing financing for the $650.2 million Silver State Arena, potentially from China’s largest surveillance technology company.

“With respect to CSST, their overseas financing program is in joint venture with the Chinese Development Bank,” said developer Christopher Milam, in a statement provided by LVNSC spokesperson Lee Haney, August 8. “They certainly have the capital if acceptable deal terms can ultimately be agreed.”

In April, Milam said a financing deal between LVNSC and Shenzhen-based China Security and

Surveillance Technology was fully approved by the CSST committee, but he now says he believes the lending landscape has shifted in his favor.

“LVNSC is working with a variety of lenders… and is not relying solely on Chinese financing,” said Milam. “The bank lending market is very much improved in the last six months, and there is a great deal of interest from a variety of lenders.”

City officials have been cautiously optimistic about the project for over year, acknowledging the enormous financial benefit—including 10,000 jobs through build-out—a stadium complex could provide
the community.

The increased inter-relation between China’s surveillance industry and American companies and governments has drawn the scorn of critics, including the co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia.

“No corporation in China does what it wants to,” said Wolf in a July 10 interview with the Henderson Press. “They are all controlled by the top leadership of the Communist party. So the question is, if morality counts, do you want to take money from a country that is one of the very worst human rights abusers in the world today?”

CSST produces, sells and installs surveillance and security products throughout China. Slightly more than half its sales are to entities within the Chinese government.

In 2005, it purchased a listed shell company in Delaware to allow it to be traded on the over-the-counter bulletin board market (OTCBB), generally a home for volatile and lightly traded stocks. It gained SEC approval in 2007 to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company’s overseas sales wing, DIT, supplies wireless cameras, motion detectors, even baby monitors to U.S. retailers such as Costco and the Home Depot, Radio Shack, Fry’s Electronics and Sam’s Club.

“They have several divisions of their company,” said Haney. “It’s my understanding this is the first time they will have partnered on anything like a sports complex.”

A senior CSST delegation visited Henderson this spring to meet with city officials and inspect the grounds. “They appeared very serious about this,” said Councilwoman Gerri Schroder. “They asked a lot
of questions.”

“I think they were just coming out to get a feel about how serious the city is about the project,” said Dennis Porter, the city’s Utilities Director and principle representative in the project. “They already had some discussions with the developer. They wanted to see the site. They were checking it out for themselves, getting an initial idea about how the bonds are going to work.”

Chinese surveillance companies have increasingly established a presence in U.S. markets in part to solidify the confidence of eager but cautious western investors. American hedge funds, including the Citadel Group, have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in CSST and other surveillance companies in recent years, tapping in on a bourgeoning business.

China’s Safe Cities program has seen the investment of over $40 billion dollars for advanced security networks throughout the country, and CSST is the major player, buying up 20% of the country’s top 50 surveillance tech companies.

The leadership in Beijing saw with the rest of the world the vital role the internet played in 2011’s Arab Spring. Many of CSST’s surveillance camera’s monitor internet cafés.

Internet use in China is censored by the Golden Shield Project, an extensive system that blocks sites and monitors user activity. China’s government representatives contend that GSP is intended to prevent public access to pornographic, gambling and other designated undesirable websites, but critics call the program an attempt to control the communications and activities of anti-authoritarian activist groups.

BBC News and Voice of America are among the websites that are periodically blocked, as well as searches relating the Tiananmen Square protest, Falun Gong (a banned meditation discipline), Taiwanese and Tibetan independence. The Golden Shield Project’s chief technical advisor is Runsen Li, a prominent CSST board member.

California based Cisco Systems currently faces lawsuits from dissidents and practitioners of Falun Gong stemming from the company’s sale of technology to China used in the implementation of Golden Shield.

Cisco maintains the equipment they sold to China is no different than equipment they sell throughout the world and are not responsible for its application, an argument shared by defenders of the Chinese surveillance industry.

Observers also point out that more security cameras are installed throughout London than Beijing, but critics argue the intent is inherently different, as surveillance equipment helps maintain a fear-culture government officials have nurtured for years.

According to the group Chinese Human Rights Defenders, 3,500 people were known to be unlawfully detained by the police or military in 2010 without legal recourse, and the crackdown on lawyers and activists have been more severe since last year’s uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East.
Congressman Wolf believes the profits American organizations make from their relationships with China’s surveillance industry have led to a shirking of ethical responsibility regarding human rights.

“A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest,” he said. “People are looking for economic development.

“When Chinese dissidents come to America, they come through my office,” said Wolf. “And if you look at all the human rights and religious freedoms reports, the Chinese government and the men running these corporations who are connected to the Chinese government are fundamentally doing evil things.”

The congressman did not single out CSST for criticism, instead speaking of the human rights issues that face the industry as a whole.

Amy Tang, representative for CSST, declined comment for this story, citing company policy.
Porter said city representatives still know little about any deal developing between CSST and LVNSC, and still have the option of requiring the Milam group to seek alternative funding sources.

“We can pretty much do whatever we like, because we have a pretty healthy contract agreement that gives us off ramps, when and if we’re not comfortable,” he said.

“We have our own consultants, both on the legal and the financial side, who will be taking a look at those companies we are going to be potentially dealing with.”

City attorney Josh Reid said his office has received nothing from Milam regarding a funding deal since a non-binding memorandum of understanding between LVNSC and CSST in March, and noted that the developer’s window to close on the land is narrowing.

The LVNSC has until December 4 come up with the remaining $8.4 million for the 485 acres south of the M Casino and Resort. If they cannot, they lose their option on the property and the $2.1 million deposit that would go to the City of Henderson.

If CSST is presented as a lending partner, Reid said “we would evaluate it at it as a whole package, absolutely.”

Porter left open the possibility the city would be willing to reject CSST’s financing on purely ethical grounds. “It’s certainly something we’d take a hard look at,” he said.

“If there is anything that makes its way to the city attorney’s office that they have major concerns about, we’d certainly have those discussions."
 

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Could Las Vegas really support a NFL-team? Hockey/Basketball; sure.
But NFL?
I think the football field will be for one off events, that's if it's built. LVNSC seem to be focusing on the arena in the first phase.

The Las Vegas Wranglers are actually well supported for a semi pro team and Thomas and Mack does very well for basketball games. I think at least those two sports to work. The problem is attracting teams, it looked a lot better a few months ago with the Kings stadium issues and Hornets struggling to find owners.

The MLS won't be an issue if they can build the stadium. The MLS commissioner and other people connected to the MLS lobbied state and local governments for this project.
 
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