Operated by MGM Resorts International, the new facility can hold up to 20,000 fans and has 44 luxury suites and eight bunker suites (high-end spaces with no views of the action). The hope is it will be awarded an NHL expansion team that would begin play at the arena in 2017. There’s talk of the pro hockey league taking that step in June, when the NHL Awards show will take place in Las Vegas.
“Getting a pro sports team makes a statement about what kind of city Las Vegas has evolved into,” says Daniel Rush, vice president of global sports and event sales for MGM Resorts International. “It is not just a mecca for hotels and resorts.”
With an ownership group lined up and 14,000 people signed up to purchase season tickets should Vegas get a team, the city is now just playing the waiting game. “People want it,” adds Rush.
To do its part, MGM deliberately kept its name off the new arena. You won’t find MGM signage in the building either, making it neutral ground. Not only does that play off the citywide push to attract a sports team, it also allows MGM to sell suites to other Vegas venues like Wynn and The Venetian.