Goodman: 20,000-seat downtown arena could lure NBA team

Dave Toplikar

Las Vegas could be moving down the court a little faster on a 20,000-seat downtown sports arena.

That’s what Mayor Oscar Goodman said today at his weekly press conference, following up on his plans to have the Las Vegas City Council next week look at an exclusive contract with The Cordish Companies to start planning it out.

"These are serious people. These are not people who are operating on a wing and a prayer," Goodman said. "Cordish has a proven track record. They don’t have time to play games."

The contract would allow Cordish, a commercial real estate developer based in Baltimore, to have exclusive rights to study the feasibility of the project, which would encompass 18 acres, including the City Hall campus and 12 acres to the east.

For the past several years, the city had dealt with developer Rei Neon at putting together a financing package for a downtown arena/hotel-casino/entertainment development project.

But "that would have been a miracle for that deal to have ever gotten legs and taken off," Goodman said.

The mayor said he and his office have been dealing with Cordish for several years, almost on a daily basis.

"They’re taking this very seriously … I don’t think they would be wasting their time unless they were very, very serious," Goodman said.

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