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County Officials Hear Proposals for Sports Arena | Sports

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County Officials Hear Proposals for Sports Arena

LAS VEGAS  -- Thousands of jobs and millions of dollars could come to the Las Vegas valley if an arena becomes a reality. Four proposals for state-of-the-art arenas were brought before Clark County commissioners Tuesday.

While each developer says their arena could attract sports teams or other big events, all of them would require some public money which is an idea county leaders aren't all sold on.

See the Arena Proposals

The projects would be located around Las Vegas Boulevard, with three proposed in unincorporated Clark County and a fourth proposed within Las Vegas city limits. County commissioners were told the undeveloped land has the potential to bring in millions of dollars for the Las Vegas economy.

Any of the arenas would have the potential to hold more than 20,000 seats. Many say it could bring in new sports teams or -- more importantly -- keep events like the National Finals Rodeo.

"I know that some argue when times are tough to pull in the reins, but that is not what history tells us must be done to keep our economy moving again," said Christopher Kaempfer, attorney for Las Vegas Arena Foundation.

Ironworkers filled the seats of the commission chambers in support of a new arena because it would mean construction jobs. But to become a reality the arenas need financial help from Clark County taxpayers.

"The commissioners seem to be understanding that there is a need for public funding," said Christopher Milam, Silver State Arena. He says their project needs the least public funding and would be located on the site of the old Wet n Wild water park. 

Two other sites, including the Las Vegas Arena Foundation and Olympia are asking for a 6 to 7/10ths of a cent increase in sales tax either along the resort corridor or by creating an arena tax district. Commissioners are torn.

"I firmly believe that with a new arena or not, whoever writes the bigger check is going to get the cowboys not the Dallas Cowboys, the NFR cowboys either to stay or go elsewhere. It's the size of that purse," said Commissioner Larry Brown.

It's a decision that could be up to the voters. The commission has not chosen a site. They still have a lot of questions. If they decide to increase the sale taxes, they'll have to take that to the voters in November.


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