Roski Pitches UNLV Stadium

The developer challenging AEG to build a football stadium in downtown Los Angeles is now seeking exclusive rights from the University of Nevada Board of Regents to develop a domed 40,000-seat stadium on its Las Vegas campus.

Ed Roski, CEO of Majestic Realty Co. and a partner with AEG in building the Staples Center, staged a press conference at the Silverton Casino in Las Vegas Feb. 1 to announce his company will formally ask the regents to OK a public-private partnership for the project.

Plans call for lawmakers to establish a special improvement district, with the funds used to support a public bond offering. Majestic officials said it would also get funds from bank loans, its own contributions and eventually from revenue generated from student housing, restaurants, retail and other amenities.

Regents were to meet Feb. 11 to consider the proposal. UNLV President Neal Smatresk said the university was taking a cautious approach to any deal, but acknowledged that the campus risked losing millions from events at the Thomas & Mack Center to other venues if upgrades aren’t made.

“If another arena is built (in Las Vegas), I figure we lose something between $3 million and $7 million a year instantly,” Smartresk said. “The impact of that would be devastating on our [NCAA Div. 1] sports.

“So what we’re saying is, we want to keep the business we had and build,” he said.