UNLV, Majestic Talks OKed

Developer Ed Roski’s Majestic Realty Co. won the right to exclusively negotiate for 150 days with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on plans for a 40,000-seat stadium on campus.

The university’s board of regents agreed to allow the Los Angeles developer, which also owns the Silverton casino in Las Vegas, the exclusive negotiation rights at a Feb. 11 meeting. Majestic Realty and UNLV will now be able to take the plan for the proposed 150-acre project beyond conceptual sketches.

UNLV President Neal Smatresk said the stadium, renovation of Thomas & Mack Center arena and new student housing, retail and other components are necessary to attract students from beyond the region.

“We have to bring football home to our campus and provide our students with the amenities they associate with a major state university,” he said. “We stand to lose $5 million to $7 million a year if we lose our major events,” he added.

Silverton President Craig Cavileer said the stadium could host a professional sports team in addition to the Rebels squads.

Majestic offered few new details about the project since unveiling plans the previous week during a press conference. A flyover video and artist renderings of a domed facility were made available, but Cavileer told regents that final plans would need to be worked out, down to how many seats the stadium holds and whether it’s domed or open.

The 150-day exclusive gives Majestic and UNLV time to work out a plan with Clark County and aviation officials at nearby McCarran International Airport, as well as to seek state legislation to make the campus a special district so taxes generated there can be used to support the project.

The plan isn’t without critics. During a public comment period a lawyer representing developers of a three-venue project in downtown Las Vegas said the agreement would bind the university to a long-term deal without a public bidding process under state law.

“You’re auditioning Majestic without the opportunity for any other competitor to come in here and to audition and to compete,” attorney Pat Lundvall said on behalf of International Development Management.