The arena is to be built with private financing on 10 acres of land that Harrah's owns and construction is set to begin in June 2008.
[Mayor Oscar] Goodman said the deal does not slow down city plans for a proposed $9.5 billion sports arena with casino, retail and residential uses on 85 acres downtown, put forth by Michigan-based REI Group LLC.
Any team that wants to locate in Las Vegas could now shop between two large venues for a home, he said.So who's shopping? Well, we know Seattle SuperSonics owner Clay Bennett has expressed interest in moving the team to Vegas. Worried that he'll jump ship before the end of the Sonics' KeyArena lease, the city is currently considering an ordinance to keep him in town. When will the Sonics lease be up? 2010. When is the new Harrah's arena scheduled to open? 2010. There are doubters, though, that Vegas will get a franchise, especially in the wake of the recent NBA gambling scandal. But with so much Vegas money going into wooing teams with new, state-of-the-art, privately funded facilities, it's hard to imagine the NBA resisting temptation forever.
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