Following a ceremonial groundbreaking in 2014 and little activity since, site work has resumed on a $1.3 billion mixed-use arena project on the Las Vegas Strip, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The project, which is expected to include a 22,000-seat arena featuring a retractable roof, was delayed while developer and former NBA player Jackie Robinson sorted out financing details and battled previous financial consultant SL Hare in court.
Now slated for completion in 2019, the project is also set to include a 500-room hotel and a 300,000-square-foot retail and restaurant space. Robinson said even if he can't find a professional sports team willing to play out of the arena, the development would be supported through events such as concerts and conventions.
The new life in Robinson's project comes as Las Vegas prepares for an almost-certain move by the Raiders to that city from the team's current base in Oakland, CA, pending construction of a $2 billion stadium and approval by the NFL.
After the Raiders were denied a move to Los Angeles last year by NFL owners, the team was courted by investors in Las Vegas. They decided to make the leap after the Nevada General Assembly agreed to a boost in the Clark County, NV, hotel tax that would contribute $750 million toward stadium construction.
Following a dispute with original investor and supporter Sheldon Adelson that saw the billionaire walk from the stadium deal and take his promised $650 million with him, however, the future of the project was in doubt. Adelson's financial backer also exited the stadium plan, leaving other investors to deal with the possibility that the project was permanently shelved.
Raiders owner Mark Davis said other financing options were on the table. That seems to be the case. Davis announced this week that Bank of America, which reportedly has other dealings with the NFL, has agreed to take up Adelson's position with a $650 million loan.